Inspired by "Nahgua" (a proud Arabian stallion down on his luck and his climb back to glory), the book sold out its first printing. At one point, almost every school library had a copy.
Filming took place in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, where the famous stallion was reported in the news as "One of Lancaster County's most celebrated residents" upon his death in November of 2006. With production under way, a search was made for the right horse to portray him. As fate would have it, a young stallion was found in Michigan, the very state where Nahgua was once named Arabian Race Colt of the Year.
"As soon as I saw him, I knew Selket Louchiano was the right choice to play Nahgua," says Hevener, who caught up with the stallion at the US National Arabian Horse Show, in Kentucky. "He's a look-alike for the illustrations in the novel. He's unusually tall, exotic and he loves people."
Immediately, Louchiano was taken off the national show circuit and put into training for the film.
With the TV documentary complete, Louchiano is happily grazing in his new paddock and getting ready for special public appearances and horse shows again.
"Somewhere out there," says Hevener, "I've got a funny feeling that Nahgua is smiling."