Help launch “The Idaho Project” to share the story of a horse theft in America


The crime of horse theft is alive and well in America, and Debi Metcalf knows that better than most.

In 1997, Metcalf found her pasture fence cut and her horse, Idaho, missing. With little experience in tracking down a missing horse, the police provided little help, leaving Metcalf and her husband, Harold, to lead their own search. The Internet was still fairly new to most people, and the concept of social networking was unknown. But Metcalf learned to use email to spread her horse’s story to thousands of horse owners around the country. After a harrowing search that lasted nearly a year, Idaho was found and returned home.

After their personal experience with horse theft, the Metcalfs were inspired to begin Stolen Horse International (SHI), also known as When a horse is lost or stolen, SHI helps the owner issue a NetPosse alert, which is then spread across the horse community. This increases the chances that if a missing horse appears at a new barn, at an auction or in a sales listing, there will be someone who recognizes him and can help reunite him with his owner. In addition to the alerts, SHI is a premier source for education on protecting horses and preventing horse theft.

Earlier this month, Metcalf announced SHI’s latest project, a documentary titled “The Idaho Project.” The film will showcase some of the group’s success stories and provide information on horse theft in America. Because the film is being produced independently, SHI has launched a fundraising page on Fans and supporters can donate as much or as little as they choose, and through many small donations, SHI hopes to reach its goal of raising $10,000 to produce The Idaho Project.


Metcalf hopes to begin filming the documentary this fall. Idaho is now 28 and has been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. Because of this, the project is under a tight timeline in order to ensure that the horse that inspired the film and the organization will be included in the documentary.

For more information on the documentary and how to donate to its production visit


For more information on Stolen Horse International, visit

Further Reading
Lost or Stolen Horse Resources


  1. I often go on netposse, to look at all the stolen or missing horses, and wonder if I could help someway. I look at every horse at sales to compare them.

  2. I check out NetPosse every once in awhile, hoping to see that all the horses have been recovered. When I purchased an Arab mare out of a killpen I checked to see if she was a kidnap victim, but she wasn’t. She has a permanent home with us.


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