In just seven days, Team Cosmik – Mikayla Hay ’17 (Russell, Ontario) and retired Thoroughbred Cosmo – will be participating in a special competition at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington designed to highlight the talents of racehorses looking for a second career.
They will leave Wednesday, Oct. 26, and travel to Lexington to prepare for their part in the second annual Thoroughbred Makeover from Oct. 27-30. It will be Cosmo’s coming out party as a jumper after spending 10 months training with Hay. They are entered in the junior division of the Show Hunter discipline.
Overall, the three-day event will showcase approximately 500 horses and trainers at all skill levels in 10 disciplines. All the events are open to the public. Tickets are available online.
Hay, the granddaughter of Frank Stubblefield H’74, an instructor and polo coach in Culver’s Horsemanship Department, was teamed with Cosmo after a chance meeting with Sarah (Strain) Harris ’93 at the first Makeover, which is part of the Retired Racehorse Project, last year. Harris noticed Hay’s Culver horsemanship jacket and introduced herself. She and her husband, Gabe, were volunteering for the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center, a reschooling facility that matches adoptable Thoroughbreds with new owners/trainers.
We’re just perfecting everything we do from this point on.
That initial meeting turned into a discussion about Hay training a Thoroughbred that would be donated to Culver. She was approved to become a trainer and received the OK to use her training as her senior service project. Thoroughbreds enter the program for a variety of reasons, Hay explained. Some simply aren’t fast enough, others are aging out, and others sustain an injury.
Cosmo, a five-year-old dark bay gelding, arrived at Kristina and Sam Hume’s farm near North Judson, Ind., at the end of December. Harris had adopted Cosmo and donated him to Culver with the understanding Hay would train him as a jumper and for parades. She visited Hay and Cosmo over Labor Day weekend to see how they were progressing.
Hay has spent weekends during the school year working with Cosmo. She also lived with her grandparents this summer so she could work with Cosmo twice a day every day. The Humes’ farm is just five miles away from the Stubblefields.
“We are just perfecting everything we do from this point on,” Hay said. “Cosmo is going great, as always.”
Several people are helping Hay with the costs of boarding and training Cosmo. The Humes, who came up with Team Cosmik, discounted their normal changes and the farrier donated his services. The cost of taking Cosmo to The Thoroughbred Makeover will be about $2,000 and Hay is raising funds to help defray some of those charges.
And when they perform in Lexington, Harris will be in attendance.
“I’m looking forward to it,” she said in an email. “They are doing great.”