Contact OEPFHA officers

Rick Meyer-PresidentRick Meyer

           Starting at a very young age, Rick greenbroke Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses and then started to train Polo Ponies.  In 1978, a business venture began between Rick, Ray and Winona that involved managing a hunting preserve, raising Brittany Spaniels and Paso Fino Horses.

            During the 1980’s, Flint Oak Ranch grew to be the largest Paso Fino breeder in North America.  Rick was foaling out fifty plus mares each year and soon the herd consisted of 250+ Paso Finos. 

Rick and Janice were asked to do clinics around the country.  At that time, Paso Finos were relatively new in the States and people were “hungry” for any information.  Rick, along with Winona Walton completed the first step by step training book for Paso Finos, “Horse Sense in Training”.  Today the book is in it’s 5th printing.  Rick obtained his judge and steward’s card in 1981 and became a Senior Certified Judge several years later. He competed in the 1986 Mundial (World Cup) in Puerto Rico where he won a World Cup Championship!  Almost ten years “flew by” when suddenly Ray Walton suffered a heart attack and decided to sell the horses.  Rick and Janice formed a partnership with Harold Arbeitman, bought all the horses from Ray and moved to St. Louis during the summer of 1988 and started Royal Oak Ranch.

            Rick continued to win National and Grand National Championships over the years, building his show stock from years of breeding knowledge and astute bloodline studies.  In 1993 he was honored by his peers and became, “Trainer of the Year”.  To date, Rick and Janice have accumulated more than 200 National Championships and have trained hundreds of Paso Finos.        

            In 1995, Rick was asked to run for President of the Paso Fino Horse Association because of his first-hand knowledge and understanding of every aspect of breeding, training, showing and judging.  He succeeded and provided that leadership for the next four years.  It was a very demanding four years with a thriving business to manage, a family to take care of, and 6500 Paso Fino Horse Association members to appease.  But it was also an honor to give back something to the Paso Fino, who has given Rick and his family so much.  Rick was also invited to judge the 1997 Mundial in Cali, Colombia and was pleased by their generous hospitality and excited by the quality of the 700 plus horses that competed.

            Today, after 37 years, Rick trains, shows and breeds Paso Finos, teaches Amateur and Youth riders to succeed in the show ring, gives clinics, provides appraisals, consultations, does voice-overs and judges horse shows.  Rick and his family have relocated to Troy, Illinois (St. Louis Metro area) in 2003 where they have a new “state of the art” equine facility.  He is a proud grandpa of three wonderful grandsons and one beautiful new granddaughter! Rick enjoys waterfowl and big game hunting and competes in the Cowboy Mounted Shoots around the country with his wife, Janice.


                         Beth Uelsmann-Figueroa - Vice President

Beth Uelsmann

Beth has been on the back of a horse from as long as anyone can remember! Growing up in the Paso Fino breed, Beth was a regular on the show scene as a Sub-Junior and Junior and has won Nationals in Equitation 5 times and in Pleasure Youth 2 times! This doesn't even count the times she was in the ribbons. Beth went to equine college and rode at the Intercollegiate level, winning Reserve National Intercollegiate Champion in Beginner Stock Seat (Western) Equitation in 1990. It is no wonder that Beth is such a gifted instructor and trainer, a trait that is sought-after in the Paso Fino breed. Beth's own education has lent itself to the natural progression of instructor and her students rave about her patience and the quality of her lessons.

As a trainer, Beth has made her mark on the breed. Shortly after graduating and taking over the management and training at El Tomaria, Beth appeared on the scene with several impressive mounts. She won Reserve National Champion 4yr Performance Schooling Filly on Monsenora in 2001 and in the same year, she trained Oropel de Arroyuelos who went on to win Nationals in Performance Junior Youth. She has set the standard for the style of training at El Tomaria and continues to train and show for the team in addition to managing the farm and its breeding program and instructing. Come by and meet her and see why everyone says she always has a smile!

To contact Beth, you can e-mail her at beth@eltomaria.com, or you can reach her at (573) 934-5352.

Visit her farm website here:  www.eltomaria.com


Katherine "Katie" Martin - Secretary

Katie Martin

Katie is from Minooka, Illinois and has been involved in PFHA since 2004. Her love of horses started at a young age. When Katie was nine years old, her late grandfather bought her first horse: a paint horse. Shortly after Katie was introduced to Paso Finos and has been showing ever since. Katie has been a regular on the show circuit since she was a sub-junior and now shows in Amateur classes. She has earned eleven national titles in Equitation, Performance, and Horsemanship. Additionally, Katie has been on the Youth Mundial team four times in Kissimmee, Medellin, San Juan, and Miami.

Prior to serving on the OEPFHA board, Katie served on the PFHA Youth Committee and the USEF Young Equestrians Board.

Katie completed her undergraduate work in History and Political Science at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. She is currently studying at St. Louis University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri.

To contact Katie, please email her at martinkatherine19@gmail.com



Janice Meyer- Treasurer

Janice Meyer

Janice has been involved with breeding, training and showing Paso Fino horses since 1980. She and her husband, Rick own and operate Royal Oak Ranch in the St. Louis area; which specializes in the Paso Fino Youth and Amateur riders. Royal Oak horses, amateur owners and youth riders have won over 150 National and/or Grand National titles. She was a licensed PFHA Steward for years and has also managed many regional shows in Missouri and Illinois. Janice has volunteered her time on the PFHA National Championship Shows as Chair of the Corporate & Farm Sponsors in 2006, 2007 and 2009. She recently served 4 years as the PFHA Secretary and Marketing Chair.

As a professional show secretary with over 30 years experience, Janice has traveled all over the country which enabled her to meet and visit with a lot of members of Northwest, Northeast, Great Lakes, Mid America, Mason Dixon, California, Piedmont, Georgia, Deep South, Southwest and Ozark Empire regions. Bringing this knowledge home to Ozark Empire; she can relate what works and doesn’t work with other regions.

Janice currently spends her “spare time” competing in Cowboy Mounted Shooting with her husband, Rick and being “grandma” to 4 beautiful grandchildren – who all ride!

To contact Janice, you can e-mail her at janicemeyer@charter.net, or you can reach her at (618) 667-9909.

Visit her farm website here:  www.royaloakranch.com

Greg Miller - Director

Greg Miller

As a lifelong horse enthusiast, as well as a businessman, my family was introduced to the Paso Fino nine years ago, and these horses quickly became our passion. A few years ago we started a boarding and training farm, Ciudad de Viento Paso Finos, near Chicago.  As members of the Ozark Empire Region, we enjoy every aspect of our Pasos, from casual rides to showing and breeding. 

My business career spans over 31 years and I am a partner in the law firm Miller & Ferguson.  I received a BA in Accounting, Cum Laude, from Morehouse College, a JD from DePaul University, and an LLM in Taxation from the Illinois Institute of Technology/Chicago-Kent College of Law.  My practice involves advising clients on new enterprise structure and formation, commercial transactions and financing, and consulting non profit corporations in the development of affordable housing.  

I believe in promoting the Paso Fino horse, and have worked on numerous PFHA ventures over the years, including youth activities at the regional and national level, sponsorship of recreational as well as show activities, and most recently my role as a PFHA President.

Nelson DelValle - Director