"A Horse of a Different Color" features horses and ponies that have been successful in the sport of eventing while representing a unique breed. Do you have a horse that you think would be a great feature subject? If so, email [email protected]
From his golden coat to his larger-than-life personality, Pegasus Pure Gold seems to take his Horse of a Different Color status to heart. A 14-year-old eventing veteran, “Cosmo” is one of a small number of palomino Thoroughbreds, with bloodlines going back to Milkie, the first Jockey Club-registered palomino.
Cosmo was bred and trained by Anne Kaufman, who also competed him through Preliminary level while he sired a number of athletic offspring at Pegasus Farm. In 2011, he was gelded and began his career as a full-time riding and competition horse.
When Tesla Parker spotted Cosmo’s sale ad, she had just sold her OTTB to a young rider and was mainly focused on completing grad school.
“It’s hard not to look when you don’t have one of your own anymore,” Tesla said. “I wasn’t actively looking to buy a horse.”
All of her best laid plans were thrown out the window when she traveled to West Virginia and jumped Cosmo for the first time. He was the exact type of ride she wanted. Though Cosmo’s color wasn’t initially a selling point for Tesla, “all the pieces just kept falling into place” and she soon found herself with a flashy golden cross-country machine.
“He’s quite talented in dressage and show jumping and could probably do either as a career successfully, but cross-country is where he really shines,” Tesla said. “I joke at home that he works too hard, but out cross-country it comes through as all heart.”
While channeling Cosmo’s forward-thinking energy can be a challenge, Tesla trusts his quick-footed self-preservation to keep them safe when things get hairy.
“He doesn’t often take over complete control unless he really needs to save my butt,” Tesla joked. “He’s such a good teammate that way.”
Tesla says that the biggest challenge of owning a horse that stands out from the crowd is that Cosmo gets lots of attention during their warm-up.
“It can be a bit disconcerting,” she said. “I’m not used to being able to tell that I’m being watched by more than my coach! I guess in a weird way, it’s a good way to learn how to really handle pressure. A huge benefit from his color is that my coach, friends, and family can keep track of us through the whole course, even in the woods. Cosmo’s tail is a brilliant white flag behind us!”