Lost horse turns up a decade, hundreds of miles later
It was nearly 10 years ago that Michelle Pool, 40, of Eureka Springs, Ark., realized her beloved horse, Opie, had been stolen from her father's pasture where the horse had been staying. A clipped fence was about the only clue the horse-nappers left, but a neighbor had seen someone with a horse trailer that night and thought it was Pool picking up her horse.
“We knew he was gone,” Pool told Today.com. After reporting Opie missing to authorities, Pool started her own investigation. She made fliers and went door-to-door in search of information. Nobody had seen the Saddlebred Pinto with white and tan markings.
“I kept looking, kept looking,” Pool said. “I had posted him on Stolen Horse International the same week he went missing. I stayed on that computer nonstop looking at lost horses, stolen horses, recovered horses, anything I could find.”
Fast-forward 10 years and Pool's hopes for finding Opie had long since diminished when she got a call from Debi Metcalfe, the woman behind Stolen Horse International.
“We found your horse,” Metcalfe said. She was “150 percent” sure the horse was Opie, she said.
The horse had been listed for sale on craigslist.com in Dayton, Texas. Deanna Bordelon was in the market for a horse for her teen daughter and went to look at the horse she'd seen listed.
After hearing what seemed like a fishy story of how the person had acquired the horse, Bordelon became suspicious and went to the Internet for information. She found NetPosse.com, the website for Stolen Horse International.
“I clicked on it and there was a list of stolen horses, and all of a sudden I see a thumbnail of Opie and look at the photo I'd taken of him on my cellphone.” It was an exact match.
Bordelon called Metcalfe and told her the story.
Pool headed to pick up her long lost friend, Opie. She was worried that after so long, he wouldn't recognize her, but their reunion, which was caught on video, was a joyous one with tears of happiness from Pool and nuzzles of recognition from Opie.
“There is hope,” Pool said. “You can get them back.”
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