11 August 2012
Houston, TX August 10, 2012 - Michelle Pool knew it from the first time she looked into the 16-month-old colt's eyes in 2000. He was special, she said, a beautiful horse she just had to add to her stable.
The bright-eyed, spotted American Saddlebred she nicknamed Opie made himself right at home at Pool's spread in Red Oak near Dallas, galloping around and making friends with everyone.
"He was doing real well," said Pool, 40, an accountant and horse trainer who now lives in Eureka Springs, Ark. "He learned how to swim and do ground work and was just about to learn his leads."
Three years later, the unthinkable happened. While Pool was recovering from March spinal surgery, Opie was stolen from the pasture at her father's home in San Antonio.
"My dad went to feed him, and he wasn't there," Pool said. "He looked all over. He went across the street, and a sheriff's deputy and neighbor said he had seen a trailer and thought it was ours. The fence had been cut, and there was poop in the road. They took him, and he was gone."
Heartbroken, Pool reported her loss to authorities and to Stolen Horse International, a Shelby, N.C., organization that connects owners with missing or stolen equines. She also posted fliers throughout San Antonio and the surrounding area.
Back in Arkansas, Pool said her legs began to shake when Debi Metcalfe of Stolen Horses International informed her Aug. 4, 2012 that Opie had been located.
RESOURCE: The Houston Chronicle. article Friday, August 10, 2012, Friday, http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Horse-owner-reunited-10-years-after-theft-3778570.php