Missing Horse Turns Up In Ukraine

A thoroughbred racehorse that was meant to be a stud in Australia was accidentally sent to the Ukraine, in a mix-up that has resulted in a batch of illegitimate foals being fathered by the mystery horse sent in its place.

Champion stallion Dubai Excellence was bought by West Australian Turf Club chairman Ted van Heemst for an undisclosed sum to service mares at his stud farm during the breeding season.

But DNA tests have confirmed that Dubai Excellence, half-brother to racing great Dubai Millennium, was mistakenly shipped to the Ukraine instead, reports said on Tuesday.

The mistake, believed to have occurred when British shipping agents confused Dubai Excellence with a similar-looking horse, was only discovered months later.

A spokesperson for the Australian Stud Book said that attempts were being made to have Dubai Excellence sent to Western Australia.

"I think there's a fair few threads to untangle before they can actually get it back," spokesperson Michael Ford told the ABC. "But I would say Ted (van Heemst) wants this horse to come to Australia for next year."

It is not known whether van Heemst will seek compensation over the mistake.

"The rumours from the beginning were that there were two horses and one went into quarantine to go to Australia and the other one went to Europe," Ford said.

"It's very rare, but here you've got two horses that look very much alike."


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