It was a month before Christmas up at Nonning Station, when a little Shetland pony went in search of recreation.
Friends had all gathered at the homestead with care, in hopes that cheeky Cheeto would be found somewhere.
Less than two weeks ago, Cheeto the 10 hand high Shetland pony moved to Nonning Station ready for new owner, Lila, 10 months, to meet him on Christmas Day.
But after a whirlwind first week, where he quickly became a local celebrity, Cheeto decided he needed a break.
"We got him about four days earlier, and he'd been to the pub already and made lots of friends," Nonning Station's Sarah Filmer said.
"He was already very popular, everyone loved him straight away and he might've picked up a taste for adventure that night, because the next day everything changed."
On Thursday afternoon, Sarah noticed her granddaughter's Christmas present was not where she had left him and what came next was a full scale search.
"I had to go to Whyalla in the afternoon, so I had him on the tennis court where I thought he'd be secure and I couldn't let him out in the garden because he'd eat too much," she said.
"While we were gone, he made a hole on the tennis court and escaped - mind you, my big horses were there for seven months with a bad injury and they didn't get out, so it's definitely a pony thing.
"He made his escape and off he went on a big adventure."
Once the family realised Cheeto was missing, they immediately started heading south from the homestead - as if he had travelled north, he would've met up with the station's horses and been safe.
The search continued into the night and then onto Friday morning, but there was still no sign of Cheeto.
That day, neighbours came to join the search, where they covered just a small portion of the 4000 square kilometre property.
Sarah said there was still no trace of the missing pony and she was set to attend a wedding the next day.
"I couldn't go to the wedding because I was just so distraught over Cheeto," she said.
"He could've been caught up in a fence somewhere and he wouldn't have long if he was stuck without food or water.
"That's when I decided I had to post something on a 'Kimba and surrounds' Facebook page to ask people to keep an eye out for him, as he might've walked into town."
The post was then shared close to 1000 times, with people from across the state offering their support and ideas.
One suggestion was an animal communicator, who told Sarah on Sunday morning they were confident Cheeto was safe and happy at a dam on the property.
"I just knew we were going to find him Sunday morning," Sarah said.
"I woke up that morning and asked for a sign and not long after Sue and Richard Murray from Quorn rang and said they could help.
"It's a three hour drive down from Quorn so we quickly saddled up the horses and started the search again."
Sarah said the Murrays soon noticed tracks on the main road, indicating Cheeto had gone around a grid and through a gate.
The pony was then tracked travelling south along the boundary of Siam Station before heading west along a creek.
"With one million acres it was like finding a needle in a haystack," Sarah said.
"We didn't know where to look, but luckily Sue and Richard are expert trackers and they were getting close.
"They were travelling with my husband Bill and our neighbour James Kerr, and James saw what he thought was a fat goat down by Valley Dam but it turned out to be Cheeto!"
Sarah said Cheeto immediately made his way over to the group, but when James joked that Cheeto would have to live in a cage to stop him from escaping, Cheeto walked away in a huff.
Luckily, the dam is fenced in, so the group shut him in the yard until Sarah was able to arrive with the float to take him home.
"There isn't a track to that dam, so he must've smelt the water on the wind and walked all the way there," Sarah said.
"He was having a great big adventure and his little legs had taken him about 40km from where he started.
"When they found him he'd been drinking and swimming and camping under the black oak trees for the whole weekend, from what they could tell, so I think he was having a pretty good time."
After three days of stress and little sleep, Sarah said she was relieved the ordeal was finally over and was grateful for the support of everyone along the way.
"We can't thank the community enough," she said.
"If it wasn't for everyone sharing Cheeto's story on Facebook, we might still be looking for him today.
"The family we got Cheeto from said they always knew Cheeto would be popular, but they never knew he'd reach as many people as he did this weekend and neither did we."
The adventure even inspired a poem written by family friend John Villis in the style of The Man from Snowy River.
"There was movement at the station for the word had past around that the bloody manager left the gate open and his wife began to frown, for the grandkid's Christmas present was no longer around.
"All the stockman gathered keen to show their skill, but a very special tracker was on the pony's heels."
With her children growing up with horses from the age of three, Sarah said it was important for her to give her new granddaughter a similar experience by buying her first pony and Cheeto was the perfect pick.
"My father did the same for his grandchildren, he swapped bull semen for five ponies from a stud in Dubbo, some of them were in foal and our kids ended up with two of them," she said.
"He did that when they were little so by the time they were broken in and trained the kids would be ready for them.
"Ponies and horses teach kids responsibility, resilience, perseverance and just so much about life.
"Cheeto's only five and he was a stallion until 18 months ago, so we'll train him and soon Lila will be ready for him and he'll be ready for her.
"The right pony is like a little diamond and we knew Cheeto was the right one for Lila. Even though he's a bit cheeky he's got a lovely, quiet nature and he'll be a beautiful pony."
Now kept in a more secure yard, "cheeky Cheeto" may think his adventure days are over, but Sarah says his biggest adventure is yet to come, with Christmas Day not only his first introduction to Lila, who will visit from Cherry Gardens, but also three other young children and their extended family, who she says will be eager to spend their Christmas break playing with him in the garden.