Cobra

Photo courtesy of Kim Chason (www.chasonphotos.com)
(2004 – )
Owned by Marsha Hartford-Sapp, Marsha Hartford-Sapp
Inducted: 2019

Photos

Photo courtesy of Kim Chason (www.chasonphotos.com)
Photo courtesy of Kim Chason (www.chasonphotos.com)
Born wild in the mountains of Nevada, Cobra was rounded up as a stallion at the age of six. After the Bureau of Land Management deemed the Mustang unadoptable, Cobra was branded on the hip with a number. That number was 4057.

In the summer of 2010, number 4057 was given his lucky break when he joined a group of 200 horses that were eligible for the Extreme Mustang Makeover. It was there that a strange twist of fate paired him with his current trainer and owner, Marsha Hartford-Sapp of Tallahassee, Florida. An equestrian her entire life, Hartford-Sapp chose Cobra for the Mustang Makeover event because he was the most regal and noble horse of the bunch. She saw great potential in the wild Mustang and remained devoted to her vision for Cobra as she proceeded training with caution and respect for the gelding's instincts. Soon, mutual trust and admiration created a bond to carry both through the rigors of competition. Although Cobra did not make it into the top 10 of the Mustang Makeover that year, Hartford-Sapp knew he had talent and heart and wanted to continue to work with him well after the Makeover. Cobra rose to the occasion, showing the nation what heart a little mustang can have.

Cobra has become a trailblazer for Mustangs and rescue horses. His versatility in both classical and Western dressage is apparent, as he has won over eight national honors across the two disciplines.

Starting in classical dressage, Cobra sported his distinctive brand in USDF competition, winning 2013 USDF Adequan All Breeds reserve National Champion for 1st level, and in 2014 was the National champion for the USDF Adequan All Breeds for 3rd level. The same year he was a Reserve World Champion in Western Dressage.

In 2015, Cobra captured his first World Championship title: Level 1 Freestyle Western Dressage World Champion. As one of the founding horses of United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Western dressage competition, Cobra was one of the first recipients of the 2015 Horse of the Year awards in that discipline and has continued to collect numerous accolades ever since. The same year Cobra was competing at the FEI level in classical dressage, winning the 2015 USDF Adequan All Breeds National champion for Prix ST George.

In 2017 Cobra was inducted as a Breyer model horse in Lexington KY for his success in the showring, highlighting his rise from the wild. It was owner, Marsha Hartford-Sapp proudest moment to have her gelding made into a covented Breyer model! Not one to let the fame slow him down, Cobra received the 2017 Horse of the Year award for Western dressage level 3, and was the reserve Champion for level 2 in the Nation.

Continuing his success in 2018, Cobra and Hartford-Sapp were third in the Western Dressage Association of America's (WDAA) Western Dressage World Championship Level 4 Test 1 Open, won the Level 4 Test 3 Open, and were reserve champions in the Level 3 Test 3 Open and Western Dressage Musical Freestyle. Rounding out another great year Cobra was the 2018 USEF Horse of the year recipient for Western Dressage level 4, again blazing the trail for the new level 4 released that year.

Cobra was also the 2018 UDSF Adequan All Breeds National Champion at FEI Prix St George. To round out the already impressive year, US equestrian nominated Cobra the National Horse of Honor for 2018, and he was also voted the 2018 "National Horse of the Year", the highest honor a horse can receive for USEF!

"Having a mustang be nominated for, and then win, the USEF National Horse of the Year was a big accomplishment! He has definitely had a lot of 'firsts' for Mustangs, and for the underdog, and I am so proud of what we have accomplished as a team. I never gave up on the stocky mustang, and he never let me down. I think we dreamed it into reality!" said Hartford-Sapp on Cobra's achievements.

Today, numerous event organizers have invited Cobra for special appearances to promote his inspirational story. His larger than life personality continues to touch the hearts and lives of anyone that comes in contact with him. Regal, noble and goofy are just a few words to describe this resilient gelding. Cobra remains in Tallahassee, Florida with Harford-Sapp where he spends his days smiling at anyone that stops at his stall, hoping for a treat! From the wild 4057 to the award-winning dressage horse, Cobra is truly a Horse Star!