Foaled in April of 1991, Dundee was by Steel Test out of Tender Gold Skipette. The 7/8 Skipper W colt was bred by Bill Devito and was intended to be his next show horse and eventually breeding stallion. Sometimes plans change.
He was a rank 10 month old stud colt (soon to be a gelding) when I bought him. We spent the next year continuing his ground work and showing in halter at Penn Jersey Horse Show Association’s monthly show, where he did quite well.
At 2, he was big enough to start riding. My (non horsey) husband at the time wouldn’t let me break him so he was handed back to Bill for 60 days of training. Shortly after he was started, he threw Bill and broke 4 ribs. It was no fault of Dundee’s, but rather Bill trusting his colts too much and not paying attention as much as he should have. A few months delay in his training while Bill’s ribs healed, I got him back ready to ride on the fall of 1993. In the meantime I continued to show him all summer at Penn Jersey. He was so tall and leggy I switched to hunter in hand.
Winter came and riding ceased. It was so icy all winter horses could barely get out and riding was out of the question. Spring finally came, the ground thawed and we could start riding again. At almost 3 years old, Dundee was 15.1h. He grew quite a bit over the winter and turned into a very nice looking horse. I lunged him several times before I started riding again to get him back into his work routine, but there was no need. He had a good work ethic and it’s like he never had a day off.
At that time my husband and I were renting a house at an old Girl Scout camp that had been closed for years. Rent was cheap and we had 65 acres to play on, a creek for fishing, hunting and skating. We were having a blast. While we were saving for a house, we weren’t saving as much as we should have. Just as I was really getting back into riding after a long icy winter, a letter from the Girl Scout Council came in the mail. They decided to sell the camp and we had 60 days to move out. We didn’t have enough saved for a down payment on a house and couldn’t find anything suitable to rent. His parents offered to lend us the rest of the down payment, but the toys had to go. He was forced to sell his mud truck and dirt bike and Dundee had to be sold. I was heart broken. The horse of my dreams would no longer be mine. At not quite 30, I had to suck it up once more and be an adult, put my priorities straight and sell my horse in a hurry.
Quite a few people looked at him, but he wasn’t what any of them were looking for. We found a house and the offer we put in was accepted. A settlement date had been set and was approaching rapidly, as well as the date we needed to be out of the house we were living in. Dundee still didn’t sell. We were down to the wire. I had no choice but to take him to the sale. He was run through the Hamburg sale. He sold for far less than he should have, but I kept my commitment to my in-laws and sold the horse. I signed the transfer report took my money and left as quickly as possible without even knowing who bought him.
A few months later we were settled into the new house and I had some time on weekends that didn’t include painting, organizing and putting things away. My Mom asked me to meet her at Green Lane Park for the National Trails Day lunch. We had a nice lunch. I got to visit some of my horse friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile. Then I saw him. the horse of my dreams was being ridden by someone else. I was crushed, but I wanted to see Dundee again. It turned out that he was purchased by a local horse dealer at the sale. It took everything I had to walk up and introduce myself as his previous owner. I rubbed Dundee’s forehead, kissed him on the muzzle and walked away. I quickly went to my car and left.
I never saw Dundee again. From his AQHA records, he’s registered to a lady in West Chester, PA, but I could never find any contact information for her. I’ve often wondered over the years how he was, what he turned out like and if he had a good life.