Recently, several areas in the vicinity of Appaloosa Plains have been hit by outbreaks of a mysterious, lethal horse disease. To the dismay of horse owners all over the region, it was discovered that all the affected horses were infected with a new strain of trypanosomes, carried by tsetse flies. The flies were caught in survey traps, and the hunt is on for the source of the deadly disease, which (along with the flies) is native to Africa. While biologists look for the source, and vaccine companies try to pull together a vaccine, Katie Sparrow aims to try a genetic cure - breeding her platinum zebra stallion to as many mares as possible. As a zebra, he is naturally resistant to the disease, and his stripes tend to keep away biting flies of many species. Combined with his unusually friendly nature, Katie hopes to found a line of disease resistant, striped foals, to carry the resistant genes into the local horse populations.
Arriving in Appaloosa Plains, Katie gets an immediate invitation to a Meet 'N Greet, where her pale stallion is greatly admired. "But, you're not likely to get many interested mare owners yet. With an untried stallion, you need to get his name out there in competitions, and probably start by adopting a mare or two so you can show off a few foals to prove he can pass on his traits."
Recognizing good advice, she returns to her apartment over the barn to start planning.
A bit bare, but it covers the essentials. As soon as breakfast was done, she got in touch with the adoption agency - to discover that there were no adult mares available. "With the recent epidemic, we've had a run on rideable horses. However, we have a lot of orphaned foals for the same reason; can we interest you in one of those?"
Katie selected a pinto named Baconbits, and went down to train Electrum while she waited for the foal to arrive. . .This
isn't a foal! Baconbits arrived as an adult - and instantly aged into an elder!