Gunny's incredible story
Gunny, as he is affectionately known, first arrived at Sundancer Stables in May 2010. He had been taken to a show in California by a former trainer, and afterwards he disappeared along with the trainer. His previous owner, Howard had frantically tried to find Gunny for some time and after about 6 weeks tracked him down to a racecourse in California where the trainer had dumped him and left him to starve to death. Howard had him brought back to Arizona to a facility in Apache Junction where he was not doing well.
Sundancer Stables had just opened for business in March 2010 and when Howard moved Gunny to Sundancer Stables in May 2010 he was our second client horse. We really did not expect him to survive as he was just skin and bones, with every bone in his body sticking out and the state of his feet was appalling. The cruelty cases on television just did not compare with the state that Gunny was in at that time. We really thought we were going to lose him. We spent the first week watching him around the clock as he was too weak to stand (the state of his feet wasn't helping until his feet recovered) and we were worried he would lie down and not be able to get up again. The vet advised us on what and how to feed him and amazingly he started to show small signs of recovery by the end of the second week. It took several weeks before we really felt he had turned the corner sufficiently for us to think he was going to survive.
By July 2010 Gunny was well on the road to recovery and Howard asked if we could use Gunny as a lesson horse. He was a great jumper so he became our lesson horse for jumping. He was leased initially then Sundancer purchased him from Howard in November 2010 and he remained as our jumping lesson horse until September 2011 when Nathalie joined Sundancer and she asked if she could use him as her dressage lesson horse, so Gunny's career started in dressage as a lesson horse.
In late September 2012 it was decided to put Gunny in full dressage training with Nathalie to see what he could really do. On November 25, 2012 Nathalie and Gunny showed at Training Level at the Arizona Dressage Association schooling show at the Dale Creek Equestrian Center. In their first class together they came second with a score of 67%. In their second class of the day they scored an awesome 73%.
At the end of November 2012 during a conversation with Nathalie, Sundancer discovered that Howard had changed his original registered name to H Gunther. AQHA was contacted the following day and we were told his original name. His registration has now been switched back to his original name which is ZEVIS Private Jet.
ZEVIS Private Jet - Gunny is our 2001 Appendix, who has gone from being lucky to survive a terrible ordeal to being a very strong and handsome horse with a wonderful personality. He is very smart and is picking up dressage cues very quickly. He is a solid 3 foot jumper and he still enjoys jumping from time to time but he requires a strong hand.
Interestingly since getting his original name reinstated, we have been approached by a number of people from different parts of the USA who knew Gunny by his original name in the past and who had been wondering what had happened to him. One of them, it turns out is even a client of Robert Smith, who knew Gunny and his Mom and had been trying to find Gunny for sometime. The funny part is that he had even toured our facility and walked past Gunny several times but had not realized who he was! What a small world!
From a very rough start, to hunter/jumper lesson horse, to dressage lesson horse, to now being a dressage horse - Sundancer Stables is extremely proud of Gunny. In November 2013 after only 1 year of dressage training - he not only qualified to compete in the ADA State Dressage Championships at Training Level but he went on to take Reserve State Championship title (out of the 7 who qualified). In November 2014 after only 2 years of dressage training he was placed 4th in the AZ State Dressage Championships at First Level (out of the 7 who qualified).
In 2015 ZEVIS Private Jet spent several months in training with Ashleigh Luca-Tyson up at Los Cedros in Scottsdale (more of an equine spa/holiday camp for horses than he was used to!). He then returned to Sundancer Stables where he started training with Rachel Weatherly. In 2016 he showed at Second Level and has also started to show at 3rd Level.