Equine Rescue

‘From Wild to World Champion’: A New Song About Cobra the Mustang

Story by as published on Horse Nation

A country song telling the true story of how a three-strikes mustang became a dressage champion, with a music video starring the actual horse and trainer themselves? YES PLEASE!

“Although we would prefer to have seen Cobra live out his life, naturally, on his rightful range it warms ones heart to see someone take a chance, step forward and save this ‘3 Strikes’ pony from further abuse and possible slaughter.  A true love story and a definite tissue alert is warranted.  Thanks to all who made this tribute to a magical rescue possible.  May God bless.” ~ R.T.

As someone who is attempting to bring a mustang up the levels in dressage, one of my biggest inspirations is Marsha Hartford-Sapp and her mustang Cobra. After being returned to the BLM three times, he was deemed unadoptable: a three-strikes horse. In 2010 Marsha selected Cobra as her Extreme Mustang Makeover horse after seeing a 15-second video of his lovely, uphill movement.

Cobra turned out to be a dressage natural, winning Adequan/USDF All-Breed Award Reserve Champion title for First Level in his first year of competition. He has gone on to achieve great things as a dressage horse, most notably 2015 all-breed champion for Prix St. George. 2015 was also the year he discovered western dressage and earned western dressage champion for level 1 freestyle and level 1 test 1.

Cobra’s story inspired country artist Peter Prince to write a song telling the tale of how this unlikely horse went from wild to world champion. If this song and the accompanying music video doesn’t give you the feels, you’re a monster.

Go Cobra! Go riding!

8 replies »

  1. After posting this video, and story, I found that Cobra has his own Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/cobrathemustang/ and his guardian wrote this most delightful post:

    “I don’t even know how to begin this post but to say how amazing the universe is sometimes…

    Imagine getting a call out of the blue saying that your story has inspired a famous songwriter…. imagine hearing a song about your story…

    Several months ago I did received such a phone call from a number I did not recognize, from a man I did not know. The man was Peter Prince, a county music writer. Mr. Prince had been on a bass fishing trip/visit with my father Dana (Colleen Hartford) and the topic of discussion was my horse Cobra and his being made in a Breyer collectible. Mr. Prince was so enamored with the story he did some research on his own of the horses history….and….. wrote a SONG about Cobra. And went to ACM records in Nashville and had Ronnie Kimball perform the song for recording. He called me after the song was complete…. to my utter surprise.

    I honestly could not believe it until I heard it play… I think I played it 100 times!

    To honor Mr. Prince and his amazing work my assistant trainer Ashley Mancuso ( Ash Equine Productions) created this amazing music video for this special, original song.

    It’s amazing and surreal. Thank you Mr. Prince and Ashley. Your talents are an amazing gift indeed!”


  2. RT Thank You for sharing this amazing horse and owner with us. This shows, one again how amazing the Mustangs are and when the are saved by amazing people they outshine us all!


  3. I went to Cobra’s facebook page and learned a couple of things.
    He was captured in the wild when he was 6, so he remembers the terror of
    being captured.
    He remembers the holding pens, the castration…all that goes along with capture and captivity.
    His only experience with humans was Fear and Pain.
    NO wonder he was “hard to handle”.
    THANK GOODNESS he ended up in the hands of a trainer who understands Horses and who had the skill and patience to work with him so that he could learn to trust a human
    You can tell that he is very comfortable with his.

    These are my results from the DNA Ancestral results from my mustang Cobra. I found it very interesting!
    He is from the Buck and Bald Mountain range

    Cobra was wild until age six, but now this remarkable Mustang is winning in both the traditional and western dressage arenas.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, this story sure does tell how adaptable & wonderful these horses are. BUT the fact remains that is how they are and could be in the wild where they deserve to be – left alone! This gal did such a lovely job teaching and training this horse – I’m sure at 6 years old & living thru a roundup(possibly more than one) and the subsequent surviving & handling in the pens – he certainly should have been “hard to handle”. How could any of these captives be anything else? It appears that so many individuals have no conception of what it means for a WILD animal to be removed from their home , family & way of life & be confined. Especially a PREY animal. I think that even people who are knowledgeable of domestic horses just assume (and state) that because these animals are “feral” (yet another misunderstanding) its just like dealing with a domestic horse! That seems to be the mindset, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

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