• Majik Arabians

The Story of Catalina Princess

This time of year I am always reminded of the incredible mare CATALINA PRINCESS (Sahara Prince {The Real McCoy x Sahara Queen} x Skierre {Pierre of Aldachar x Skiloj}) - who we lost on Superbowl Sunday a number of years ago. Lena was the dam of my beloved MAJIK TSYMPHONY (by Bey Tshah Majik), and was a foundation mare for Majik Arabians.

Lena produced ten foals in her lifetime, I had the great pleasure of knowing the last four (and owning one of them!).

Catalina Princess with newborn daughter Majik Tsymphony

Lena was Telesha's absolute pride and joy - a horse she worked very hard to acquire... I will share that part of the story in another post.

My first ever visit to Majik Arabians was in June of 1994, which was also when I was introduced to Merlin and Telesha Hochstetler (who quickly became and are still to this day two of my dearest friends!!!). Upon my arrival we started the "farm tour" in the mare and foal pasture.

My eyes instantly focused on one particular foal - a pumpkin-colored chestnut with chrome adornments – who was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen! Not only was she flashy but very sweet and curious, with loads of personality. It was hard for me to walk away from her and her beautiful, flea-bitten grey dam as I had already fallen head over heels for this dream filly. This chestnut/platinum treasure was Majik Tsymphony and her dam none other than Catalina Princess (Tsym was Lena's 8th foal). There were some other incredible foals in the pasture as well, but I only had eyes for THIS foal!

I was then introduced to the entire herd, one by one, and the grand finale was meeting the Hochstetler's home bred foundation stallion Bey Tshah Majik (Ivanhoe Tsultan x Bey Sharina by Bey Shah+). It was a "majik"al day and one that changed the course of my life forever. Before the day came to a close, I inquired about purchasing the spunky blonde filly that had filled my thoughts the entire day. To my HUGE disappointment she was the only horse on the place NOT for sale. To say I was disappointed doesn't come close to describing how I was feeling - more like heartbroken! But I was a girl in love, and a determined one at that!


One of the main reasons Tsym was not for sale was that she was the only daughter Telesha had to perpetuate Lena's line in her breeding program. Lena was getting older and there were no promises of any future fillies from her.


But I couldn't get the pumpkin colored filly with silver mane and tail out of my head! As a consolation, the Hochstetler's offered me the opportunity for Tsym come to me after weaning so I could work with her on all the basics (standing tied, bathing, clipping, trailering, etc) and begin preparing her for showing in halter. I jumped at the chance!


So at weaning Tsym left Majik Arabians and traveled an hour to live with me in Missoula. It was like a dream come true - I spent every waking moment with Tsymphony and we developed an intense bond. We did absolutely everything together, even going for walks around the neighborhood! But as wonderful as it was having Tsym with me, a dark cloud loomed over my heart as I knew that at some point she would have to return to Majik Arabians and my heart would be broken.


Majik Tsymphony with Shannon Edney

In time, the weight of that dark cloud became too much to bear. I was so attached to Tsym and knew the longer she was with me, it would only be that much harder to let her go. So as winter arrived I took the proactive step of sending Tsym home. I was DEVASTATED! All I could think about was Tsymphony and how much I missed her. I managed to stay away from Majik Arabians for five long, torturous days before going to see Tsym.


After that first visit, I drove an hour each way nearly every day – even on emergency travel only road conditions in the winter months – to spend time with Tsymphony. Days turned to weeks, and weeks to months, and I remained hopelessly attached to this filly that was not for sale.


Even after Tsym returned to Majik Arabians our bond continued to deepen, and it became obvious to anyone who saw us together, including Telesha Hochstetler. Tsym's dam Lena was again in foal to Bey Tshah Majik for a full sibling to Tsym, and Telesha gave me the most incredible hope by telling me that if Lena had another filly, she would sell Tsym to me. I was overjoyed!


I monitored Lena's pregnancy as if she were my own mare, and when she was close to foaling I drove the hour drive every day, watched her on the foal cam all night, then returned to Missoula to attend my college classes and part time job the next day. I was living on a couple hours of sleep each day, if that. This went on for a couple of weeks, and exhaustion set in. But my vigilance remained.


The night finally came when Lena foaled. She had a difficult labor and the foal was not presented normally. The vet was called and rushed to the ranch to help save mare and foal. The foal had been breach and the vet had to turn it into a better position in order for Lena to have a successful foaling. After what seemed an eternity, with the assistance of the vet Lena produced a HUGE, absolutely spectacular foal. Before we could even think of checking the foal's gender, Lena demanded our attention as she was bleeding badly and failing quickly. The vet urged us to milk her to get as much colostrum as we could for the foal before she slipped away. It was all hands on deck trying to save this beloved mare and her highly anticipated foal. By some miracle Lena survived!


When things calmed down, my suspicion was confirmed that Lena had given us a colt. I had suspected as much based on his size, but had been hoping against hope that I was wrong. The dream of calling Tsym mine was now a dream that would not come true.


Before I continue with where we left off, I wanted to circle back to the part of the story that describes how Telesha acquired Lena in the first place.


Prior to owning Arabians, Telesha's experience with horses was cultivated over many years while working on a racing Quarter horse ranch, a cutting horse ranch, managing a Thoroughbred ranch, and by working with and showing both Tennessee Walkers and Saddlebreds. When she moved from Texas to the Rocky Mountains in Utah she didn't have any horses at the time. Telesha saw a sign advertising horses for sale, and the idea of having a horse to ride while enjoying the fantastic country she was living in was so tempting she decided to stop and see what they had.


Telesha immediately fell for with a bay Arabian mare with 4 stockings and a blaze. She was bred, and broke to ride. Telesha purchased her and started riding her in the mountains. The mare was sure-footed, courageous, and loyal. One day when Telesha was riding down the trail in a deep valley, she got off to pull a large branch off the trail. She had been riding alone but there was another horse in the distance that was whinnying to Telesha's mare. Telesha accidentally dropped the reins and the mare trotted off toward the horse. Telesha looked up to see her mare already some distance away, and called to her. The mare looked back over her shoulder at Telesha, then turned around and came back for her. The horse had chosen Telesha over the other horse! At that moment, Telesha fell in love with the Arabian breed and knew it would be the only breed she would want from then on.


The next spring when the mare foaled, Telesha absolutely adored having a baby to raise and realized breeding was something she wanted to pursue. In planning for this, Telesha recognized that although her mare had really good structure, she did not possess the beauty and class she aimed to breed. So before long, Telesha sold her and bought a new mare. This mare was very pretty and was wonderful to ride in the mountains, but lacked the quality of structure that her first Arabian mare had. Telesha knew that before she started her breeding program, she would need to find a horse that had both.


Telesha had a friend who had a friend in Idaho Falls who was having an event where their horses would be presented. Telesha was invited to help with the event and accepted. The horses being presented belonged to Joe Dawkins. Prior having his own breeding farm, Joe had worked for Wrigley's Arabians (the same Wrigley's who owned Wrigley's chewing gum) for 30 years and was a judge at Nationals and Scottsdale - he was someone Telesha held in high esteem and considered a mentor. While helping to prepare for and working at the event, Telesha got to know Joe and his horses.


Telesha absolutely loved Joe's horses - they were of much higher quality than the mare she owned and they possessed the structure, beauty, and class she desired for her own breeding program. When Joe had retired from Wrigley Arabians, they gave him four select Arabian mares as a thank you for all his dedication and hard work over the years - these mares became the foundation for his own breeding program. There was one of Joe's mares in particular that stood out to Telesha above all others - a flea-bitten grey with amazing structure - she had size, substance, good bone, and incredible beauty. She possessed every quality Telesha desired in a foundation mare for her own program. This horse was none other than CATALINA PRINCESS - one of Joe's prized Wrigley mares.


Lena was in foal to a Naborr son at the time, and although Telesha was in awe of her and now knew exactly the mare she needed to start her breeding program, she also knew there was no way she could ever convince Joe to part with Lena nor could she ever afford her if he would.


Joe and Telesha developed a friendship and she confided in him her passion to breed quality Arabian horses. She also shared with him stories of her adventures riding in the mountains and told him what an incredible trail mount her current mare had turned out to be. Joe liked the idea that Telesha's mare was broke to ride and had so much trail experience, and much to Telesha's surprise and delight, he agreed to take her as a down payment on Lena. To help pay for Lena, for an entire summer Telesha cut down Lodge Pole Pines and on the weekends would haul them from Salmon, ID (where she was now living) down to Idaho Falls for Joe to use for fencing. Finally, after another year of making payments, Telesha was able to pay off the balance on Lena. This incredible mare was now hers!


Telesha sold the foal Lena had been carrying when she purchased her for more than the total amount Lena had cost her! Lena was worth her weight in gold, as an individual but even more so as a producer. Telesha was elated - she now had just the right mare and could finally start her own breeding program.


Back to our story...


Even though I was disappointed that Lena had produced a colt, I could hardly be disappointed by HIM, as he was one of the most magnificent things I have ever laid eyes on! He was born looking like a one-month-old. He was well over 100 pounds and covered with natural muscling. Given the circumstances of his birth, he was a miracle baby! I adored Majik Tsage (Lena's colt) but he was not Tsymphony.

TSYMPLY MAJIK (Bey Tshah Majik x Jasar Princes by The Egyptian Prince)


Merlin and Telesha knew I was heart-broken, so tried to soothe my sadness by sending me Tsym's younger paternal sister, Tsymply Majik (Bey Tshah Majik x Jasar Princes by TheEgyptianPrince) to work with. I had a blast with Tsima and enjoyed showing her to several Junior Championships. Tsima was an incredible filly - we bonded instantly and I seriously contemplated purchasing her. But I realized that if I did, she would always hold second place in my heart and that wouldn't be fair to her. Thus in time, she too returned to Majik Arabians.


All the while I had maintained my visits to see Tsymphony. During one of those visits, Telesha asked if I could come up to the house before leaving. I was nervous, thinking they were uncomfortable with my coming so often to see Tsym and would be asking me to come less often. However, I was greatly mistaken!


The conversation started with Telesha having a grave expression on her face. She told me that her and Merlin had been giving this deep contemplation and prayer - then tears began streaming down her face - they had decided to sell Tsymphony to me! We were all crying and laughing, hugging as a group and having an emotional celebration. I could not have been more thankful or ecstatic!


Thus my journey officially began with Majik Tsymphony! How serendipitous that Telesha had longed for and did everything she could to acquire Catalina Princess, and I had done the same to finally acquire Lena's daughter Majik Tsymphony!


To be continued.... only now it will be MAJIK TSYMPHONY's story and not her dam's.


Visit Us:

Telesha & Merliin Hochstetler

552 Wilcox Lane

Corvallis, MT 59828

Talk to the Breeder: 

(406) 370-6220

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