__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

A Gift of Love Words by Beth Ellen Hunziker, photos by Beth Ellen Hunziker, Elvis Giughera, Ferdinand Huemer, Gigi Grasso painting by Karina Peacemaker


A Gift of Love This is a story of new love and enduring passion, of family and friendships, of wishes and dreams. It is a story of a very special Arabian mare who, like the sun, is at the center of it all - her name is Batistah - and this is how she became a gift of love...

On a soft spring morning, friends gathered at La Movida Arabians to share their grand passion for Arabian horses. As small groups mingled here and there, they spoke in hushed tones, as the hour was still early. They were waiting for their host, Ferdinand Huemer, to announce the beginning of an informal presentation of some of his farm’s mares with their young foals at side. While they waited, guests were free to roam the spotless aisleways of the charming stables. One of the stables was empty except for two visitors who stood at opposite ends of the aisleway, each in their own world. The first person, an older woman, was enjoying the solitude of the stable and the soft sounds of the horses munching their breakfast hay. She noticed but did not look up at the young boy who entered the stable and walked to the first box. She wanted him to be able to enjoy the sweet solitude as well.

The woman’s view of the young boy, who was no more than eight or nine-years-old, was unobstructed. She pretended to not notice how he shyly stood in front of the box reading the engraved name plate. He stepped closer and ran his fingers over it. He looked at it with intensity, perhaps trying to understand the pronunciation. He bent down and selected a carrot from a basket by the box and held it behind his back. He stepped closer and standing on tiptoe; looked over the wall at the big, bay mare whose back was to him. He made a small sound to get her attention - nothing. He tried again. This time the mare heard him. She turned to face him and stood for a minute with her attention focused on him. The boy made more little sounds, coaxing the mare to him. She finally cooperated and as she reached the box door, she extended her head toward the boy who was so overwhelmed at her nearness, he took several steps back. And so, they met.


The mare looked at the boy with her huge, dark eyes. She stood quietly, watching, waiting. The boy stepped towards the mare and again she extended her head over the box and lowered it to him. Her nostrils flared as she breathed him in. He smelled of innocence, fresh air, and sunshine. She exhaled and the fragrance of her sweet hayscented breath embraced him.

Š Elvis Giughera

True love sees not with the eyes, True love sees with the heart She was now close enough to touch The boy hesitated a moment and then slowly, gently, raised his hand to stroke her silky neck. They stood together in a world of their own - the big, bay mare and the small, shy boy. And although the woman watched from the far end of the stable, it was plain to see from the look on his face, and the touch of his hand, that the little boy had just fallen in love for the very first time‌


Š Elvis Giughera


To a knowledgeable horse person, Batistah is a mare of rare quality, substance, and conformation. To a breeder, she is a vessel of hope and the promise of a beautiful future. To a shy, young boy, she is the most wonderful, kind, magical creature who ever drew breath. She is all these things and so much more. Batistah’s story began long before she was born. Every chapter in her story was written by a breeder with a dream, a vision of their ideal Arabian horse. Batistah is the realization of those visions - those dreams. However, for those dreams to come true, Batistah needed a catalyst, a person of passion, imagination, and vision - she needed Ferdinand Huemer of La Movida Arabians, a breeder whose circle of friends would come to know and love Batistah. In turn, she would change their lives forever. In 1990, Ferdinand Huemer purchased several horses from America including the stallion El Perfecto, bred by Bru-Mar-Ba Arabians, Bruce Clark and Gerry Alexander. Although born in America, El Perfecto’s pedigree is straight Spanish. Both his sire, Vallehermoso, and his dam, Example, were bred in Spain and imported to the United States. El Perfecto contributed greatly to the La Movida breeding program. Later, Ferdinand’s dear friend Marieta Salas leased El Perfecto and then purchased him for her farm, Ses Planes, on the Island of Mallorca, Spain. Also, among the horses Ferdinand imported, was the straight Spanish mare Baraquessa (Aram x Abha Batista). Baraquessa’ s dam, Abha Batista, was bred by Marieta Salas’s father, Don Pedro Salas. After some time at La Movida, Baraquessa was purchased by Ferdinand’s friend, Annemarie Auinger, a small, devoted breeder also in Austria. Baraquessa had nine foals including a gorgeous bay filly, Batistah, by El Perfecto. Annemarie says that from the moment Batistah was delivered into her arms, she was extraordinary. Although, Ferdinand had sold Baraquessa to Annemarie, he followed her progress. He was so impressed with her filly, Batistah, that he asked to lease her and eventually purchase her. It was a difficult decision, but Annemarie had two daughters from Batistah as well as her full sister. Annemarie knew Ferdinand would give Batistah the home of her dreams and help the mare to achieve her full potential. Ferdinand immediately bred Batistah to the great Marwan Al Shaqab. For his faith in her, Batistah gave Ferdinand a gem - a beautiful chestnut filly he named Bali El Marwan. This daughter of Batistah and Marwan Al Shaqab, Bali E Marwan, has become a supreme broodmare for La Movida Arabians. She is the dam of the spectacular daughters Berta El Jyar and Binta El Jyar, both full sisters are sired by Jyar Meia Lua (RFI Maktub x Jiullya El Jamaal), owned by La Movida. The extreme beauty, quality, and character of these fillies are testaments to their breeding. While all these events were unfolding like a beautiful flower, the stars were aligning in the heavens, and the universe was setting into motion a series of events, which would change a family’s life... In 2001, Marieta Salas hosted a fantastic open house at Ses Planes. People came from around the world, including her dear friends Gigi Grasso and Elvis Giughera. When El Perfecto was presented, Elvis became mesmerized by his beauty and power, and even more by the kind and gentle nature he pass on his daughters. This was the horse of his dreams! From that moment, a spark ignited a fire in his soul, and he made a silent vow to himself to one day own an El Perfecto daughter.


© Elvis Giughera

© Gigi Grasso

© Ferdinand Huemer

...Vessel of hope, promise of the future...


© Beth Ellen Hunziker

For 17 years, Elvis held his dream hidden in his heart. Then, in May of 2018, Elvis and his son Elliot attended Ferdinand Huemer’s annual La Movida open house. Elvis’s company, Arabian Essence, had provided the live feed broadcast of the party and presentation, making it a big international event. The next morning, they all gathered for another small, informal presentation of mares and foals at the farm. When the party was over and guests were leaving, Elvis went in search of his son.

© Beth Ellen Hunziker

There in the silence and solitude of an empty aisle Elvis found Elliot. Normally, his son was very shy around horses. Yet there he was, stroking the neck of a large, bay mare. Elvis looked down at the mare’s name plate on the front of her box… it said, Batistah (El Perfecto x Baraquessa). Elvis looked with surprise at the mare and then at his son. He saw something in the boy’s eyes he had never seen there before… it was a look of pure love. In just a few moments, Ferdinand entered the stables and found Elvis and Elliot together with Batistah and the three of them talked while Elliot fed her carrots. Ferdi also recognized the look of true love in Elliot’s eyes and an idea began to form in his mind - but he kept it a secret.


Š Elvis Giughera

Her eyes are the windows to her soul


The most precious gift of all is the gift of Love...


For months, whenever Elvis and Ferdinand spoke, Elvis always asked about Batistah and her offspring. Then, on October 22, 2018, Elvis’s birthday, he received a call from Ferdinand. He told Elvis that because he had Batistah’s daughter, Bali El Marwan, and also her granddaughters, Binta and Berta El Jyar, he wanted to give Batistah to Elvis and his family. Elvis could not comprehend such an extraordinary gift! Ferdinand explained that he could never sell Batistah. He knew how much Elvis and Elliot cherished her and knew they would treat her like a queen. It was his sincere wish to make them all happy and for them to enjoy Batistah’s final years together…

“When Batistah arrived, she was open. Ferdie encouraged us to breed her again to Marwan Al Shaqab in hopes of getting another daughter like his Bali Al Marwan. We bought a breeding to Marwan, but in the meantime we bred her to ZT Magnofantasy (ZT Magnanimus x ZT Fantmaisa). This spring, in the middle of all the Covid crisis, Batistah produced a gorgeous filly for us. We were thrilled! However, we quickly saw that all was not well…

© Elvis Giughera

Batistah arrived at Le Soleil Arabians in November of 2018. “The moment Batistah arrived at our home, our lives were changed forever,” says Elvis. “She is now the center of our family and she is a part of everything we do. We saw a small part of her character at Ferdie’s farm, but now that she is living with us and we see her every day, we have learned her true character… she is almost human. Elliot is her boy. When he takes her to her pasture, she does not want him to leave. Wherever he walks, she follows him. One day, I went out to the pasture and Elliot was riding her! Since Batistah has joined our family, we have become very close friends with her breeder, Annemarie Auinger. I asked if Batistah was trained for the saddle and Annemarie said, ‘Maybe she had one or two lessons, but nothing for the past 17 years.’ Still, Batistah lets Elliot ride her with or without a saddle and she never says no to him.


Batistah has blessed us with faith, hope, and love and the greatest of these is love...


“The weaving together of friendships, passions, and a shared vision has brought to life a joy unimagined. Today, my dream mare, Batistah, is here with my family, playing in the field with my son, and I believe a new love is forming. Thank you to Ferdinand Huemer for realizing my dream and giving us the opportunity to let Batistah join our breeding program. This is a true gift for me and my family, a gift of love that makes me feel truly blessed.”

© Elvis Giughera

“Batistah had difficulty foaling… It seemed the filly aspirated some of the birth fluid and became very ill. We immediately rushed her to the clinic. We nearly lost the her… Fortunately, the vets there were able to save her. Batistah and her filly, Soleada Le Soleil, had to stay in the clinic for several weeks and we went to visit them every day. It was a difficult time – especially for Elliot who loves them so much. We are grateful they are home with us now and doing well. Today, Batistah is in foal to Marwan Al Shaqab and we pray she will carry this foal and that they will both be safe. We are so happy and proud of Batistah and her filly, Soleada Le Soleil. We have not enough words to express our gratitude to all our friends who made this possible.

Profile for ARABIAN ESSENCE di Elvis Giughera

A Gift of Love - LE SOLEIL ARABIANS  

This is a story of new love and enduring passion, of family and friendships, of wishes and dreams. It is a story of a very special Arabian m...

A Gift of Love - LE SOLEIL ARABIANS  

This is a story of new love and enduring passion, of family and friendships, of wishes and dreams. It is a story of a very special Arabian m...

Advertisement