My Diamond In The Rough

By Kandice Heal • January 28, 2015

My Diamond in the Rough.

Ever since I was little, I had always dreamt of owning an Andalusian. I loved everything about them, their movement, their loyalty, their build, their presence, everything. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever be lucky enough to own one.

On the 21st of March 2010, along with our good friends, we attended an auction at the Mundijong Saleyard in Perth, Western Australia.

The RSPCA had organised the auction to sell some horses from a herd called “The Rainbow Herd” that had been seized from a very neglectful owner.

It was a huge effort to remove over 50 horses from the property, some were sent to the RSPCA to be rehabilitated, a few were put to sleep and the remainder, who had low body scores but were otherwise "okay", were auctioned off.

We walked around the yards hoping to find the perfect horse for me.

We did have a reasonable amount of money to buy a horse; however mum had paid a friends vet bill the day before, so we didn't have as much as we would have liked.

The horse had to be a mare and she had to be a Thoroughbred, a Quarter Horse or a Paint so that if I ever lost interest, she could become part of my Mums Paint and Paintbred stud.

The yards were full of patchy horses, Bays, Chestnuts, Blacks and Greys. Mum isn’t a huge fan of greys but she was constantly being drawn to this one grey mare.

The mare’s information card said that she was a Thoroughbred, so we decided to bid on her.

We were bidding against the dogger at first and thought for sure we had her!

Then they trotted her out. Her movement was to die for! The bidding took off and soon surpassed our limit. So we just sat there and waited to see who the lucky winner was going to be.

There were two people bidding on her. One bidder was on the far side of the ring and the other was behind us. The hammer fell and the person behind us was the lucky new owner. We were devastated! We turned around to congratulate them, only to realise it was our friends! They handed Mum their bidding number and said “there you go, there’s your horse”. We were speechless to say the least!

So we loaded her on the float (she self-loaded) and headed home. A large storm was brewing so we decided that her name would be Stormy.

That was almost 5 years ago. In that time we had tried numerous times to find out her history and who she was but had failed. Then, by chance, we asked our vet to scan her for a microchip, turns out, she has one! Armed with just a Microchip Number, we began the major task of trying to find out any information about her that we could. We checked the Thoroughbred data base but it came up with nothing. Many friends had told us that she seemed more like an Andalusian, or at least had some Andalusian blood. So we sent an email with the Microchip number and all the information we knew to the Andalusian Horse Association of Australiasia. We got a reply asking if we could wait as they were running their National Show then their AGM. Things happened, and the AHAA didn’t get back to us, so it was put on the back burner. We were fine with that, we knew they were busy.

In 2013, our amazing friends gave us tickets to Cavalia as a Christmas present! Seeing the show reignited our desire to find out who Storm is. After seeing the Cavalia Andalusians, we were convinced more than ever that Stormy was indeed an Andalusian.

So the next day, we went on the AHAA website and we emailed everyone we could, including a wonderful lady called Margaret Cala.

Margaret emailed us back and thanked us for our email. As it was Christmas the National Office was closed and as much as she didn’t want to make us wait any longer, the office was not due to re-open until the New Year. We told her that we had waited almost 4 years, so a few more days weren’t going to hurt.

On the 31st of December 2013, Mums inbox was full of emails from both Margaret and the national secretary telling us that they had found her!!!! As it turned out, Margaret and her daughter Nina were actually her breeders and they had lost track of her in 2007. Within a few hours we knew everything about her, had copies of her registration papers, photos of her as a foal, and even what shows she had competed in. It was mind blowing and the email we received from Nina bought us to tears! It has to be one of the most heartfelt and honest words we have ever read.

So as it turned out my little “Thoroughbred Rescue” is actually a very well-bred and highly educated second cross Andalusian! She’s 75% Andalusian and 25% Arabian, her sire is the well-known Andalusian stallion, Formantero III and her dam is the beautiful Jacaranda II.

We were privileged to meet Nina and Margaret at the 2014 WA State Championships! They are such beautiful people and they were so happy to see with their own eyes how loved and truly treasured Storm is.

Stormy truly is my soul mate and it really is a dream come true!

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