After agreeing to jump an out-of-shape Thoroughbred over fences for a sales video, a diehard Warmblood owner who’d previously sworn up and down she’d never own a Thoroughbred felt the tables turn in a flash of instant T-Bred karma.
Suddenly Jennifer Carney knew, as the coppery horse carried her higher and higher over jumps larger and larger, that the beautiful horse she rode more naturally than her own was the one for her.
“After we finished making the video I was sitting in the saddle and I joked, ‘Do you want to trade?’ And a couple days later my trainer asked me if I was serious about trading my Warmblood and I said, “Yeah, I’m very serious.’ ”
And this was how Tennessee equestrian Jennifer Carney wound up swapping her elegant Warmblood for ex-racehorse Thoroughbred Cosa Rojo (Jockey Club: Ready to Strike), at the time a 14-year-old who was literally pulled out of a field, brushed off, and ridden as though they were made for each other.
Ready to Strike
Sire: Ward off Trouble
Dam: Foolish Myrtle, by Foolish Pleasure
Foal date: April 24, 1997“Before I took that first ride, my trainer warned me that he wasn’t riding very well, and he had the lowest expectations for the video,” Carney says. “And I never wanted a Thoroughbred. When I was shopping for a horse earlier, I kept telling everyone I didn’t want a hot Thoroughbred, and I was set on a Warmblood.”
But she never could get the rhythm with the Warmblood. “I had zero eye on the Warmblood and could not find the jump to save my life,” she says. “But on Rojo, suddenly my eye was there, and it sort of feels like home.”
The trust was so strong that the first day she rode him she jumped higher than she ever had.
“I was pretty nervous. The highest I’d ever jumped before that day was 4 feet and we jumped 4-foot-6 that day.
The feeling was incredible as I felt him going up and up and up,” she says. (Please see video below)
Since Rojo “fell into her lap” that day, Cosa Rojo, whose name translates into Red Thing, has been unfailingly careful as they climb the Jumper ranks, and as loyal as a dog in their off hours when she carts around her 2-year-old niece on his back.
Though their showing has been limited by financial and time constraints, the pair has moved up steadily from 1.10 meters to 1.25 meters, which they’re showing at now. In April the pair won a small mini prix, but that’s not as important to Carney as the instant bond she felt, and continues to feel, with a red Thoroughbred who met and surpassed every expectation. “It was love at first ride,” she says. “He is my perfect match!” (Please see their first ride, below). ♥