Last month you may have seen a few pictures of the two new mares we purchased for the program on our social media sites. Amber and her daughter Eva are our first Warlander mares and they’re setting in well. I’m really enjoying getting to know them both.
When they arrived everything seemed to be in order as far as papers and registration forms. The prior owner had not transferred the buckskin mare into his name or registered her filly but he had excellent records and all the original bill of sale and a copy of what we thought was her papers. I put everyone in quarantine when they get here. I do a basic assessment on ground manners, deworm and vet and then call my farrier.
We had to do some pretty serious hoof rehab on Amber and I was really focused on that for a few weeks. I am happy to report that she's made a complete recovery and is comfortable and sound.
I completed Eva‘s registration paperwork first and sent her DNA sample in to Friesian Heritage Horse first. A week or so later I completed the paperwork for Amber and also contacted IALHA to get her transferred into my name. IALHA seemed a bit concerned when I explained the situation and the mare that I had. Amber came from a breeder who ended up having quite the backstory. IALHA asked for a vet confirmed microchip reading to complete the registration transfer. I sent a text to my regular farm vet and unfortunately she did not have a reader for the chip. It went on my todo list but I had decided I would wait and focus on one registry at a time and have her chip read at another time.
About 3 weeks after I submitted the papers to FHH I received a late night email from Kayla at FHH to call her when I got the email, that she would be waiting for my call. I immediately knew something wasn't right. Kayla explained that the DNA was back on Eva and that Amber was not her dam! We talked about the possibility of Eva being confused at weaning, which can happen when you have multiple similar colored foals in a year. I knew this wasn't the case, as their prior owner only had Amber as a broodmare. Panic started to settle in and it became very obvious to me that I did not have the same horse that I had the paper copies for. The DNA of the horse in my pasture and the DNA of her offspring did not match the DNA on file for the registered horse Forever Amber.
So who was in the pasture? The next morning I started calling around to find a vet that could read her chip, IF she even had one. I had started worst case scenario thinking at this point and had pretty much convinced myself I probably had a 30 year old un branded mustang. Don't get me wrong, I love mustangs. Just not as a main broodmare in a Warlander breeding program.
I hauled Amber to the parking lot of my small animal vet, we climbed in the trailer and the chip reader picked up this chip. Not a match. I now definitely knew I did not have the same mare. I called her previous owner, he was just as shocked and worried as I was. I called the microchip company and the chip had never been registered. I called FHH and she did not have record of the chip number in their database. I messaged Warlander Studbook Society but they had no information. We tried contacting the previous previous owner, I sent messages back and forth to the suspected sire owner, I looked through all photos and articles I could find on the original breeder. I felt completely stumped but now more hopeful, at least she did have a microchip.
I called IALHA first thing Monday morning, it took some work and digging through the "basement records" but we found a mare with incomplete registration papers, born the same year with the same sire from the same breeder! Robin from IALHA and Kayla from FHH then started working together for me, they ordered DNA, checked it against the DNA on file with IALHA and then did the parentage test again on Eva. Mystery solved! I have been so impressed with Friesian Heritage Horse registry, the assistance and help that I have received from Kayla was way above and beyond what you would expect. I can't recommend them enough. Once we get all the hard copy papers back from FHH I will get both of the mares transferred and registered with IALHA. Let me formally introduce Eternal Autumn SW(we’re still calling her Amber) and her daughter Eva Estrella SW!
We can only speculate, but our best guess is that when the original breeders herd was sold off there must have been multiple buckskin mares in the group. She must have been sold with the incorrect papers. I am at least her 4th owner and none of the others had completed the transfer for her. I'd love to know more about her past and I am really really curious where the real "Forever Amber" is! Our particular situation was resolved and ended up working out just fine but it could have been devastating to my new program, it was also significantly more expensive to sort out. This is why I will always include a completed registration with all of our foals and mares prior to them going to their new homes.