Keeping Diamante In Our Hearts

/ Featured, Herd Wilbur Cruce

Photo credit: Norma Fries

Keeping Diamante In Our Hearts

Diamante was a striking, blue-eyed pinto Colonial Spanish mission stallion from the Wilbur Cruce herd. He was born in January of 1997. Diamante was truly a medicine horse and had a generous spirit.

On August 8, 2018, Diamante said goodbye to this world. He had survived a severe colic earlier in July. Thanks to many of our generous donors, Diamante was able to have surgery right away and seemed to be doing very well. He returned from the clinic and was getting stronger. But early in the morning on August 8, he was down again and in a lot of pain. We rushed him to the clinic and they could not get him comfortable so he went into surgery to determine what was happening. Unfortunately he had a segment of his small intestine that was displaced through a small hole in his abdomen. Known as Epiploic Foramen Entrapment, it is one of the most common forms of internal hernia in horses.

Diamante (DeeDee), touched so many of us with his beauty and grand spirit. We miss him very much.

Diamante was a perfect example of the horses brought over by Padre Kino in the 1600s.  With his headquarters, The Mission Delores in Sonora Mexico, Kino was responsible for creating 27 missions in the Southwest. Padre Kino was known as “The Priest on Horseback” and for bringing high quality livestock over from Spain including horses.

In 1885, Dr. Reuben Wilbur bought a small manada of horses (25 mares and one stallion) who lived on his ranch in Southern Arizona until 1990. They were left to roam the Cruce ranch therefore being exposed to the process of natural selection.  In 1990, his great granddaughter Eva Cruce, sold the ranch and dispersed the horses with the help of equine geneticist Dr. Cothran, Dr. Sponenberg and the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

Many went to Robin Collins, Heritage Discovery Center (HDC). In 2002, HDC reached out to Neda DeMayo for help with the conservation of these horses whose DNA showed they go all the way back to the Caspian horses.  A small herd was purchased privately by the DeMayo family and they have served as Ambassadors of the original Spanish Mustangs enriching RTF’s educational programs.

If you would like to make a gift in memory of Diamante, please click here. We are grateful to Diamante for all that he gave to our staff, volunteers, and visitors alike. He will truly always have a special place in our hearts.