By Christie DeBernardis
Cozmic One (Bernardini), the first foal out of the great Zenyatta, did not inherit his dam's talent on the racetrack, but he has proven to be am excellent show horse and a wonderful ambassador for the off-the-track Thoroughbred. Young equestrienne Isabela de Sousa, daughter of Hidden Brook's Sergio de Sousa, partnered with Jerry and Ann Moss to guide Cozmic One through his new career, which included competing in last year's Thoroughbred Makeover at the Kentucky Horse Park.
The TDN team first met with de Sousa and Cozmic One about this time last year, which resulted in an Eclipse Award-winning multimedia piece published in the July, 2018 edition of the TDN Weekend. Associate Editor Christie DeBernardis returned to de Sousa Stables recently to check in with Isabela and Cozmic One. They discussed the Makeover, his current status and future plans in the following video and Q&A.
TDN: First, tell us how the Makeover went.
ID: The makeover went really well. We had a lot of people come out and support us, which was one of our main goals. It was really cool to see all of Cozmic One's fans come out and watch him. I think he was one of the most-watched horses at the Makeover. At his stall, we had a bunch of fans coming up to him, and getting photos with him, and getting pictures, and hanging out with him. He really enjoyed all the attention.
And, at the end of the day, it did what we wanted. We wanted to bring more publicity to the Makeover and more awareness for the retired racehorses. At the end of the day, I think we did that. There were a lot of people who came out to support him and the other thoroughbreds and watch us and the Makeover.
It was also really cool because (Zenyatta's owner) Ann Moss, came out and supported the cause. She got to see him go, and she got to see what the Retired Racehorse Project is about. For Zenyatta Day, they had auctions for prizes like Zenyatta's shoes or halter, and they donated the money to the Retired Racehorse Project. We're really grateful for Ann and their support, and it has raised way more awareness to retired horses and to what they can do in a second career.
TDN: You turned him out this winter and just let him be a horse.
ID: Every winter we turn our thoroughbreds out. My dad's horse still goes out every winter, and he's 14 and is one of the best thoroughbreds we've ever owned. We think it's really good for them because time heals everything, or most things. And it's good when you're taking their shoes off and putting them in a field, letting them get a hair coat, and letting them be a horse. It really helps their mind, it helps their body. This year this horse has more hip than he did last year, and his build is very different than last year. It's a great detox from the track and I think it really, it really helps their mind and I think they really enjoy it and it does wonders for horses.
TDN: So now you're just coming back from working with him. How has he been?
ID: He's been great, he's very happy to be back, he's very happy to be the center of attention every day now. He remembers almost everything I taught him last year, and we're going to keep building on that and we'll just, we'll see where it goes. But he's been great. He loves to work and he loves being in the barn.
TDN: Any plans yet or goals for him for 2019?
ID: We really want to have fun with this horse. We really enjoy him and his personality and we think he's very talented. Hopefully we'll go to the Horse Park and once we get him back, and we'll show him in some of the thoroughbred classes and see what he wants to do.