The Professional Paso Fino Trainer’s Association sponsors the Trainer of the Year Award given annually at the National Show. As this award has gained popularity, it has also garnered the support of important private donors such as Fiddle Leaf Farms, Larry Williams Photography, and Casa Dosa Tack.
Excalibur, as our trophy is known, is engraved with the names of each year's winner and is kept on display at the national office. Larry Williams Photography has generously donated annual awards photos and photos of Excalibur to each winner.
Until 1992, the choice of Trainer of the Year was an informal vote, usually tallied in the warm-up ring or at the barns. Funds were collected by Pedro Gomez, the award’s creator, and others for a small gift chosen to match the recipient’s tastes or needs, be it a special piece of jewelry, tack or some other memento. While this format was fun and added to the camaraderie of the trainers, the formation of the PPFTA ushered in a more formal balloting system. To be eligible for this award, trainers must be members of the PPFTA and must represent certain standards of excellence in their work with the horses and with the people for whom they train. The criteria are based on many things, including show records, clinic participation, overall sportsmanship and the ability, knowledge and willingness to share training expertise. At this point, the award is considered as a lifetime achievement. Previous winners are ineligible for successive awards.
For more information about the Professional Paso Fino Trainer’s Association and the Trainer of the Year Award as well as to view biographies of the Trainer of the Year award recipients, visit the PPFTA website, pasotrainers.org.