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Arabian Wins 2002 Purina Mills Super Senior Horse Search

The 10-day-old Arabian colt that was Carla Connor's wedding present is now her 35-year-old dearly beloved companion and the winner of Equine Senior's 2002 Super Senior Horse Search. Purina Mills chose Daurief (Daufin x Aarief) over more than 2,000 horses nationwide based on Connor's essay and a photo showing him in excellent body condition as he cantered effortlessly across her pasture. Purina awarded the pair 40 bags of Equine Senior, a $2,000 gift certificate and is featuring them in an Equine Senior ad campaign.

Connor was a 20-year-old bride when her husband generously offered to buy her an Arabian horse with their wedding money. When Connor saw the little *Raffles-bred colt at the Mekeel Ranch, a renowned breeder of fine Arabian horses, "He grabbed my heart," says Connor. "He was a little imp and just kept nibbling at my shirt, and he had these big doe-like brown eyes that were so caring."

Shortly after Daurief arrived at her place, Connor found out she was pregnant but she continued ground schooling him. "He was such a good, sensible colt and except for getting into mischief occasionally, he always took care of me," says Connor who recalls how his common sense averted a potentially dangerous situation. "He was 6 months old when I found him hung up on a nylon hay bag. He never panicked but waited patiently while I removed his leg."

She also remembers Daurief playing "Houdini" at a boarding stable. "There had been incidents of someone breaking into the stalls and letting the horses out. One night, the barn manager decided to sleep in the hayloft to catch the intruder. Upon hearing noises, he peered down to see Daurief opening his own stall door and freeing four of his buddies."

Connor loved showing Daurief and today has a room full of championship trophies and ribbons. "His animated, floating trot and lovely conformation stole many a judge's heart. He even won High Point Arabian at a Class A show due to his brilliance in English pleasure, western pleasure, halter and sidesaddle. I always showed him as an amateur owner and was proud to say I trained him every step of the way."

After a tendon injury, he became her trail horse, parade horse and constant companion. In the early 80s he starred in a Jordache commercial, running along a Florida beach with a young girl in Jordache jeans.

Today Daurief lives on a five-acre farm in Loxahatchee, Florida. "Age has gotten the best of his teeth so he's been on Equine Senior for the last 10 years, which keeps him fat and sleek," says Connor. "His back may have dropped a little bit, but he still has his old fire and mischievous look in his eye that I saw 35 years ago."

AHA is a 40,000 member equine association that registers and maintains a database of more then one million Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses. It administers more than $4 million in annual prize money, produces national events, maintains official event records, recognizes more than 400 Arabian horse shows and distance rides and provides activities and programs that promote breeding and ownership. For information about Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses, call 303-696-4500, e-mail or visit


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