During her lifetime, New York-based eventer Kimberly “KC” DiCostanzo has ridden flat out over great stretches of fields to jump frighteningly solid obstacles, with two major advantages:
First, she has trained with the some of the best riders, including Olympic Medalist Michael Page, Carol Kozlowski, and US Eventing Chef D’Equipe Capt. Mark Phillips.
Second, across every ditch and water obstacle, and over every jump on dozens of grueling cross-country courses, she has trusted her safety to the American Thoroughbred.
The Thoroughbreds she says “Are great, and brave and talented.”
At the height of her career, DiCostanzo and her off-track Thoroughbred Midnight were ranked 22nd in the country for eventing.
After her champion died in late December 2009 of colic, DiCostanzo purchased Zeus, who raced under the name Kinfolk Moonshine, from CANTER New England.
In a relatively short time, she has remade a green ex-racehorse Thoroughbred into a budding eventing star, sending him forward in several events and hunter/paces in just this past year.
Race name: Dotpower
Sire: Austin Power
Dam: Aristar’s Prospect
Foal date: April 28, 2006
Career earnings: 15,558Quickly, he has learned the ropes. And when something has initially stymied him—he wasn’t very sure about water at first—Zeus figured it out and has steadily improved.
He finished 9th overall at the Kent Horse Trials in Open Beginner Novice in October, and DiCostanzo is betting that he will one day be as competitive as any imported Warmblood.
While Zeus continues to blossom under DiCostanzo guidance, she has also cast her experienced eye over some CANTER New England sale horses who, she says with the authority of one who has spent her career riding Thoroughbreds, can be great.
The major standout being a 15.2 hand mare named Dotpower.
DiCostanzo started working with Dotpower in August and was immediately struck by the mare’s beauty, poise and cooperative personality. “I was gobsmacked!” she says.
“She has beautiful, ground-covering, floating gaits,” DiCostanzo says. “She’s very sure-footed and steady. She would be smashing as a trail horse right now.”
She bases this assessment on the first ride the two had, on a blustery day, and on a wide-open field.
“She never bolted. She didn’t spook. She’d never been in this particular area of the farm before and it didn’t faze her,” she adds. “She just seemed to be really pleased to be in a different part the (foster) farm.”
Built a little like a Quarter Horse with a full barrel that takes up a lot of leg, the mare has moved in both directions with surprising balance, she says.
“She canters well in both directions. The first time out, she took longer to pick up her right-lead canter, but after a couple of attempts, she picked it up right away and sustained it,” she says. “It was even better the second time I rode her.”
Dotpower has been fostered in an upstate New York barn since she retired from Suffolk Downs in 2010, enjoying turnout and soaking up the fawning attention of her foster owners.
She seems to love attention, DiCostanzo says, noting that she stands as “quietly as a lamb” on the cross ties while several people pull her mane, brush her, and pick her hooves.
“She has no vices. She does not nip, pin her ears or swish her tail,” DiCostanzo says. “She is as good as a horse can get, and if I didn’t have a full barn, I’d take her.”
She adds that her legs are very clean and that she has a gorgeous, balanced body.
“Dotpower would be ideal for an experienced teenager who has had lessons for a couple of years or an adult amateur who wants to create their own horse,” DiCostanzo says. “Dotpower has the potential to do anything!”
Anyone interested in adopting Dotpower may contact a volunteer at CANTER New England.