Chalani Donegal was sold to Fiona Waddy, an ex-South Australian resident, now in Victoria. Fiona bought Donegal sight unseen from the details provided by Jeanette Gower and his website photo, trusting his breeding to produce the horse she wanted to ride and her children to ride. Donegal left Chalani as an unbroken rising 2yo on the 1st July 2008 at 10.30pm. He loaded on the Horse Transport truck in the dark without hesitation, after being led by novice horse person Andy Ide, down a 400m long driveway away from other horses.
Below is a transcription of an answer machine message that Fiona left.
"Jeanette – the horse [Chalani Donegal] arrived about 10.30 last night, and at 9.30 the next morning I went out there to Uncle Chris’s to take a look at him, and when I arrived, Uncle Chris was very quietly riding a lovely young horse around the arena, just walking him… And then a canter along the full side, and then walking again. Shortly he came over to the fence, and as he got off, I asked “Has the horse arrived?”
He said “This is it! I don’t think you’ve gone wrong buying this horse, he has the temperament!!!!”
Donegal just stood there relaxed while I took a good look at him, all the while shuffling up to sniff us.
Uncle Chris had asked the float man if he had had any trouble bringing him over, and the reply was ‘mate, he didn’t put a foot wrong the whole way’.
Jeanette, he has the most extraordinary shoulder movement; he just glides out from the elbow, with elevation and impulsion. We are absolutely thrilled with him, and Jack and Marni are going to have so much fun with him. Uncle Chris has had a great deal of experience breaking in horses all over the world, particularly in Japan and the US, and he is so quiet and laid back with them, and confident. He will just do a few things with him [Donegal] this week and then put him out till Spring.
Jeanette, thanks so much for giving us this opportunity – it is not just about us buying this horse, we are reconnecting with his history, the horses in his pedigree that I knew years ago, and reconnecting with our friendship. Now it’s all the more exciting because my kids are going to grow up with Donegal, as I grew up with so many of the horses in his pedigree.
He will be a family horse for us, something really special. He is everything we were wanting. We are just so thrilled."
Jack rode Donegal for the next few years teaching him to accept cattle and other training.
In unfortunate family circumstances, Donegal was sold on. We look forward to hearing of his successes with his latest owner.