Touching video shows the moment a woman is reunited with her horse a DECADE after he was stolen
By LAURA COX
This is the moment a tearful woman saw her beloved horse for the first time in ten years, after he was stolen from his pasture ten years ago.
In a heartwarming tale of reunion, Michelle Pool told the Today Show how she thought she would never see her beloved white and tan Saddlebred Pinto, Opie, after thieves broke in to her father's pasture and made off with him.
Opie had been staying on the Texas ranch while Pool recovered from back surgery and she was devastated to learn of his disappearance.
Reunion: Michelle Pool's horse Opie was stolen ten years ago
The thieves had dragged him out through a hole in the fence and loaded him into a trailer, fleeing down Interstate 10.
Desperate to get him back, Pool walked up and down nearby roads knocking on every door to ask if they had seen her horse.
The 40-year-old posted fliers and appealed for help finding Opie on horse recovery website Stolen Horse International, scouring the internet for any sign of him but to no avail.
'I had to explain to my kids that there are people in the world who take things that don’t belong to them,' she told the show. 'They were scared one of the other horses was going to get taken.
'I said, "We’ll find him, we won’t stop looking".'
In the ensuing years Pool divorced, moved to Arkansas and was forced to deal with the reality that she might never see her horse again.
Touching: Pool broken down in tears as she saw her horse again
She had had him since he was a 'sweet as can be' 10-month-old foal and his loss had hit her hard.
'My old horse lived and died on my property at 30-years-old,' she said 'I keep them for life. They’re mine. They’re my four-legged children.'
All hope seemed lost and Pool had all but given up when a few weeks ago she was called out of the blue by Debi Metcalfe, the woman behind the Stolen Horse International website.
Miraculously, she had located Pool's horse, a decade after he was taken.
'We found your horse, I'm 150 per cent sure,' Metcalfe told a joyous Pool, who broke down in tears as she saw a picture of Opie for the first time since in ten years.
Metcalfe had been contacted by Deanna Bordelon, who had gone to see Opie after he was advertised as being for sale on Craigslist, his name changed to War Bonnet.
Heartwarming: Pool hadn't seen Opie in a decade
Alarm bells rang for Bordelon after she was told a long and complicated story of how the ad poster, Della Brade, had come to own him.
Brade claimed she had been given the horse by a pastor eight years ago, the pastor having allegedly found him wandering on I-10.
Bordelon Googled Opie's story, skeptical about what she had been told, and came across the Stolen Horse International site.
'I clicked on it and there was a list of stolen horses, and all of I sudden I see a thumbnail of Opie and look at the photo I’d taken of him on my cell phone,' she said. 'It was an exact match.'
Bordelon contacted Metcalfe who worked with police to confirm the identity of the horse and get in touch with Pool.
Joyous: Pool was worried Opie might not remember her but she needn't have been
'It was a good day when all the pieces of the puzzle fell in place quickly,' Metcalfe said. 'It rarely happens like that.'
On hearing of his recovery Pool got in her car and drove through the night, plagued with fears Opie might have forgotten her.
But she needn't have worried.
The horse immediately remembered his owner, greeting her by resting his head in her arms and rubbing up against her.
'There is hope,' Pool said. 'You can get them back.'