I believe it's been 28 years since I first barged into Michele's life at Cechele Arabians. Her former farm in Scottsdale. I was merely a regular visitor, but every chance I got I would sweep, rake, roll polo's and pitch in wherever there was a need. Finally after a few months of my unasked for help, she offered me a position to work for her, and I gratefully accepted.
I grew up having Arabian horses, but it was under Michele's direction and guidance that I grew up in the Arabians. Not only does Michele have an impeccable eye for breeding beautiful Arabians, it is her passion for their care and well being that drew me to her. I admired her knowledge and I soaked up as much as I could from her. And still do! Since that time, life has brought many changes to us both. Yet, she and I have been blessed to stay intertwined at some capacity throughout. Of the things that have stayed constant in our long-term friendship;
It is Michele's continued, unfaltering passion for breeding beautiful, correct and athletic Arabian horses that I love the most! She's never bred for just the flavor of the month. Michele is always hands on, carefully choosing bloodlines and conformation that are most beneficial to better our breed. Should you be fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Michele and her farm, you will find her stalls filled with beautiful horses that have purpose.
"In my many years in the equine industry I have visited hundreds of farms and ranches all over the world. With sincerity, I must say that Michele’s “Rising Hearts Ranch” is one of the most soothing and spiritual farms I have experienced. The moment I arrived at Michele’s property, my heart lifted and I felt at peace snuggled between the mountains. When mentioning this to Michelle she shared with me that those feelings were the compelling reason behind naming the property “Rising Hearts Ranch”. She believes those who spend time on the farm will leave with a sense of well-being and wholeness.
After having known Michele for over thirty years, I watched as she has gained knowledge, refined her skills and built a phenomenal Shellbird breeding program. Michele is articulate and patient, forthright and genuine. The safety and wellbeing of the horses are her greatest priority and this is what I love seeing considering my profession. And not to be forgotten is Michele’s wonderful eye for a beautiful Arabian horse. I consider knowing Michelle a blessing; anyone who is lucky enough to know her will be grateful for the opportunity."
Kimberly M. Jarvis
"Michele has owned some of the most beautiful and influential horses world. She has an eye for quality and understands what a horse needs in order to succeed in the show ring. Of the horses I have ‘met' in the years I have known Michele, there are two mares that hold a special place in my heart; HL Infactuation+ for her incredible quality and outstanding ability to produce quality foals time and again and Verastrella. ‘Vera’ is an example of a mare that breeders dream about in that she exemplifies every good characteristic in both her famous parents, Versace and JJ La Estrella. For me however, her extreme quality was secondary to her beautiful loving spirit. Michele’s drive for quality has put her in a position to be involved with truly great horses and I am thankful for the exposure of those horses due to my relationship with her."
Riyan Holte of Riyan PR
We have known Michele for many years and throughout that time she has consistently shown her kindness and compassion for the animals in her breeding program while striving to improve her horses' pedigrees and qualities. We are proud to have taken many photos and videos highlighting the production of Shellbird Inc. over the years. It is amazing to watch the quality and consistency of her breeding program year after year improve and grow. Her non-wavering belief in her vision of the Arabian horse is evident by the success she has had in the show ring as well. Quality, Type, Consistency and Good Temperament are the strong points of her breeding program and her compassion and dedication make Michele an asset to the Arabian Horse industry .
Lori & Victor Ricigliano Marketing Mafia Productions, Inc . Equine Photography & Videography
"I've had the pleasure of knowing Michele for most of my career here in the states. Her passion for the Arabian breed has been amazing and I'm happy to have been a part of that over the years. Michele has also acquired and bred some of the top horses in the world. Her passion for the breeding and buying the best horses has also inspired me to strive for more when I breed and show horses. Michele is a true asset to the Arabian horse community."
Ricardo Rivero of Rivero International
"I have been a long time friend of Michele's and have had the privilege of helping her in a professional design capacity as well. Michele's nurturing demeanor & caring nature are second to none. Her life is dedicated to her horses, dogs, cats and family - and that shows by the pack of creatures that always follow her around the farm! The horses of Shellbird, both those owned by Michele and those who are boarded and in training there, are treated like royalty. The horses come first at Shellbird, always! I was visiting Michele's last year while she had a mare due to foal. While at dinner we had the laptop at the table watching the mare get more & more restless. Needless to say, dinner was put on pause while Michele jumped up, ran to the barn & helped her client's mare foal out a perfect little filly. Even with a full staff, Michele is hands on with all the day to day farm opperations. Michele's lifetime commitment to the animals (starting with as a child on her Dad's farm) comes with an invaluable wealth knowledge and experience. To match the bright past of Shellbird is an equally bright future, I look forward to being a part of it as a friend, confidant & supporter of Michele and Shellbird Inc."
"Having Michele as a friend is an excellent example of friendship in itself. From the first time we met her, we could sense this was going to be a life-long relationship. We recently bought a mare from her that was in foal, The mare stayed at her ranch till it was time for her to foal. Michele spent well over three weeks closely observing our mare until she delivered her foal. Her foaling services and the use of the latest technology from start to finish were exemplary. This was far better than most universities that we have used. In addition, Michele was professional, knowledgeable, honest, and genuine throughout the entire purchase and foaling process. Nothing ever seemed to be too much trouble for Michele, and we were made to feel unique, never feeling that we were just one of many horse owners. That far exceeds any other horse acquisitions that we have dealt with in our 30 years in the equine business. Michele has a wonderful sense of humor, she’sadventurous, and her life experiences have given her the ability to see any situation in a positive sense. Personally believing that ‘people come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime’, we know Michele is a lifetime friend."
Mike and Jill Curiel
"Michele Pfeifer, big word in a little package! Being in the Arabian horse industry the past 40 years I've had a lot of experiences, but none as enjoyable and rewarding as being friends and doing business with Michele. When coming to her farm 25 years ago she taught me so much about the Arabian breed, the industry and how it works. Michele took the time to expose me to a whole other world of showing and breeding, her professionalism and expertise were very valuable to me and I will cherish it always and use it today. Michele is extremely passionate and caring, very smart on what to look for, and what not to, which is very important. She has helped me find what I need, that fits me, to my advantage, I have been very successful in the ring because of her expertise and guidance. Michele's breeding program has always been top notch, her drive and motivation for producing top foals, exceptional mares and exquisite stallions have put her on top. She doesn't believe in mass producing a product, but believes in taking the time to personally put her mark on a exquisite champion. She takes pride in perfection, match that with top of the line vet care, equipment, facilities and staff, make her a force to be reckoned with. Always a pleasure to do business with, Michele always seems to take the worry out of things and gets them done. Michele is a very special person and I am so fortunate to have her in my life."
"My first interaction with Michele, was quite a while ago; she called me to ask for my professional services to inseminate a mare. My answer was that I do not perform any breeding and it would be unfair to offer her that service and charge for it. She was unsuccessful at convincing me otherwise and so we did not meet until later. Then, I right away loved working with those beautiful, sensitive, and very smart horses of hers, loved Michele’s professional and passionate attitude, and was incredibly pleased that she decided to call me again, and again, and again.... and again, to provide her horses with the veterinary care we both considered the best according to each particular situation.
Not only do I love working with all the horses at her Ranch; I additionally soon realized what a great person Michele is, how much we both cared about the horses, and how much our expectations, goals, and senses of humor corresponded. She now is an excellent client, and furthermore a great friend, and she has a place in my heart. I am looking forward to continue working for her and her horses for many more years to come!”
Silvia M. Stocker, DVM