Our Story

Our Story

 Fantasia del C and owner Sarah C. Shechner @ Fiesta California, 2008.  Photo: Paco Rey

Fantasia del C and owner Sarah C. Shechner @ Fiesta California, 2008.  Photo: Paco Rey

Origin P.R.E. is a small but highly specialized breeder of P.R.E. horses in the United States. Our focus is on quality, not quantity, and on carefully matching the very best stallion for the individual mare by taking their individual strengths and weaknesses into consideration. Conformation is of the utmost importance, yet function absolutely must follow form. Our goal is to breed P.R.E. horses that can compete at the highest levels in morphology (conformation) and dressage.

Origin P.R.E. is the lifelong dream of Sarah C. Shechner. Sarah purchased her first PRE in 1993 and has been a very active participant in shows, clinics and education ever since. All horses bred by Origin P.R.E. will carry the suffix SCS (Sarah's initials).  Although Origin P.R.E. was officially started in 2008 with the purchase of our foundation mare Fantasia del C, the seeds were sown back in the 1980's.  

Sarah had her first experience with the Pure Spanish Horse fairly early on.  It was the 1980's and she hadn't quite reached her teenage years, so of course, horses were her LIFE. One day she was asked to help cool out a lovely Pure Spanish gelding because his owner needed to ride her other horse and was running late. Fifteen minutes later Sarah was SOLD on the breed. Even though they mostly walked (Sarah snuck in a quick - and AMAZING - trot when she was out of sight), she knew this was the breed for her.

This was the only Pure Spanish Horse that Sarah saw up close for many years thereafter. But the breed kept gnawing at the back of her mind.  Eventually she decided that she HAD to have one, no matter what the cost, or how long it would take. Sometime around 1991 Sarah started researching the breed in earnest, learning about bloodlines, and visiting breeding farms. A little over a year later, she finally felt informed enough to purchase her first P.R.E.  Even after emptying her savings account and all the bonds she had in her safety deposit box, Sarah could still only afford a weanling.

 Tesoro Vistoso - 1 month, 1993.

Tesoro Vistoso - 1 month, 1993.

Sarah's first P.R.E. was a colt she named Tesoro Vistoso.  Tesoro was sired by the multi National Champion stallion Teodoro, and out of a high school trained, heavily Terry mare named Legendaria de Hur.  Sarah and Tesoro shared a wonderful relationship and Sarah practiced resistance free and classical training techniques with the young colt.  

Unfortunately, when Tesoro was only 4 years old and just getting started under saddle, Sarah had to sell him.  She moved from her hometown of Buffalo, NY to new career opportunities in Baltimore, MD and didn't have the resources to make the move with a young stud colt in tow.  Fortunately, Sarah found Tesoro Vistoso a wonderful new home with dressage instructor Suzanne Marshall at Patewood Farm in New Jersey.  Sarah still visits her boy whenever she can, and loves to ride him on the trails.  

Sarah moved to Baltimore, Maryland in 1997 shortly after selling Tesoro, and re-started her involvement with the P.R.E. breed.  Sarah rode for Spring Fever Farm and Milagro del Corazon, both breeders of Pure Spanish horses in Maryland.  Sarah attended clinics, shows, and started perfecting her mane trimming skills.  She was a regular show groom and occasional handler at the ERAHC show in Virginia.  Sarah continued her dressage training through lessons and by auditing and riding in clinics.  She deepened her knowledge of the breed by continuing to visit breeders far and wide, attending morphology clinics, through many visits to breeder websites, and through the E-Iberian mailing list.

In 2004 Sarah made the biggest move of all and moved 3,000 miles from home to the sunny pastures of Los Angeles, CA.  Aside from the fantastic weather and increased number of riding days per year, another bonus of her move to LA was the number and proximity of many of the top P.R.E. breeders in the country.  Sarah immediately took advantage of everything Southern California had to offer with respect to the P.R.E. breed.  Sarah religiously attended every show, seminar, and clinic humanly possible to expand her knowledge even further.  Sarah has attended seminars by many breed experts, including Juan Carlos Altamirano, Dr. Alberto Rojas, Juan Llamas Perdigo, and Vaughan Smith.  Sarah visited top breeders and spent hours picking their brains for every golden nugget of P.R.E. knowledge.

Sarah began making friends at the shows, and volunteered for different farms and trainers as a show groom, mane trimmer, and stand-in handler.  Some of the fantastic breeders and trainers Sarah has worked with over the years include Barbara Currie of Oak Hill P.R.E., Brenda Gissell (formerly Darland) of P.R.E. Specialty Services, Vaughan Smith, Ellen and John Mooney of El Dorado P.R.E., Terry Waechter of Watchman P.R.E., Raul Bucio of Andaurora Ranch, Jacqueline Suechting of Camass Andaluz, and Lanys Kaye Eddie of Gremlan Farms.  Sarah would like to thank each and every one of these special people for entrusting Sarah with their lovely horses, and for sharing their formidable knowledge regarding the P.R.E. breed. 

While acting as a stand-in handler for Vaughan Smith and Barbara Currie at Celebration in 2006, Sarah had the opportunity to hold a beautiful 2 year old filly.  The second Sarah took hold of the lead rope, she knew this horse was special.  The filly looked at Sarah with these luminous dark eyes, and Sarah was utterly TAKEN with her.  The filly was a bit nervous in the show ring, but was obviously quite intelligent. 

 Fantasia Del C 2011. Photo: Elise Genest

Fantasia Del C 2011. Photo: Elise Genest

Sarah looked over her conformation and had to do a double-take.  Although still tall and lanky, all the angles were correct.  The filly fit within a perfect square, and her body was divided into three equal parts.  Her profile was very gently sub-convex, her eyes perfect ovals within an expressive triangular arch, and her face was sculpted and neat, without excess flesh.  Sarah asked the name of the young filly.  She was very aptly named; Fantasia Del C. 

Sarah visited her breeder, Barbara Currie of Oak Hill P.R.E., with increasing frequency. Sarah helped out whenever she visited, and always helped as a stand-in handler at the shows.  Whenever Sarah visited the farm, she always asked if she could bring Fantasia in from the pasture and groom her.  A strong bond between Sarah and Fantasia began to form, and at the shows if Sarah wasn’t helping she could often be found at Fantasia’s stall just petting her. 

Although Fantasia was never going to be for sale, Barbara Currie began to recognize the bond between the two kindred souls.  In April of 2008, Barbara sat down with Sarah and offered to sell her Fantasia.  With joyful tears in her eyes, Sarah gratefully accepted and by the end of the day, Fantasia belonged to Sarah… or perhaps it was the other way around. 

 Sarah & Fantasia getting ready to go for a ride.

Sarah & Fantasia getting ready to go for a ride.

Sarah slowly and carefully begun Fantasia’s under saddle training.  Fantasia has taken to the training beautifully.  It has given her confidence, and has already improved upon her already impressive gaits.  Fantasia is now a confident,  mature mare, and Sarah enjoys every single minute of owning her. 

To learn more about Fantasia, click here to go directly to her page. 

Sarah and Fantasia have been on what can only be described as a great adventure together.  Fantasia has turned out to be exactly the horse Sarah was looking for; able to go the distance both in the show ring and the breeding shed.  After winning 3 PRE National Champion Mare titles, 2 ANCCE Champion Mare titles, the IALHA National Champion Senior Mare title, multiple Gold Medal Best Movement awards, the 2012 Purebred Andalusian Horse of the Year award, and achieving Qualified (Reproductor Calificado) status with both ANCCE and The Foundation for the Pure Spanish Horse, we're setting our sights on performance from here on out.  Fantasia's offspring will be available via embryo transfer only so that disruptions to her training are kept to a minimum.  Which disciplines do you think you'll see Fantasia competing in?  The sky's the limit!