Sarah's daughter, Logan (age 11) and four-year-old thoroughbred, Glory.
When Kim decided to create a racing kit for ultramarathon cyclist Sarah Cooper, it seemed like a natural fit to incorporate her adopted racehorse into the design. Sarah and her family took in a four-year-old thoroughbred named Glory in the fall of 2016. The horse broke its pelvis in a starting-gate accident and needed a ‘forever home’ after veterinarians determined she could never race again. The Cooper’s fell in love with the horse and adopted her through an organization called HART (Hope After Racing Thoroughbreds.)
Below is a Q & A with Sarah about her family’s adopted horse and what it’s like to nurse an injured thoroughbred back to health.
Q. How would you describe Glory to anyone who hasn’t met her?
A. She is a four-year-old, small, rather plain looking bay mare. If you see her from a distance, she looks like nothing special. But when you meet her, you see that she has a heart and a personality far bigger than her appearance. She loves people, and she loves attention. She is very smart and eager to work, but if you bore her, she’ll be a complete stinker. She’ll lay her ears back and threaten to bite your leg. We must set up an obstacle course in the arena to keep her brain challenged and busy so she doesn’t get into trouble. If she is learning and working, she is content to work as a team with my daughter and a delight to ride.
Q. Why did you decide to adopt this horse over any other horse?
A. My daughter and I met her this summer while she was recovering from her injury. Even in her worst moments of suffering, you could see her delightful personality shining through. My daughter fell in love with her, and wanted her for her own. We weren’t sure at the time of adoption if she would recover to be a good saddle horse, but decided we would at least be able to provide her with a loving forever home. My daughter has a heart for animals; my whole family does really. We have a cat and two dogs that we have adopted from various rescue groups, so why not a horse that needed some special care? It’s been a bit of an adjustment for the horse. She’s gone from pampered race horse living in a stall to being a horse in a herd that lives outside in a pasture, but she seems to really enjoy her new life.
Q. How close is your family to this horse?
A. We love her, and she seems to enjoy our company too. When we come to the barn, she comes to the gate when we call her. We never need to go get her. If we miss a day or two, she comes running and nickers like we’ve been gone for weeks. It's a delight for my daughter to have an animal that so obviously loves her.
Q. How long will you have her?
A. Her entire life. She is part of our family now.
Q. Are there any traits in Glory that you recognize in yourself?
She was bred to be a worker and have a job and a purpose. If her brain is not engaged, and she’s not challenged by what you are asking her to do, she is not happy. I think that is probably our greatest similarity. We both enjoy a good challenge, and a purpose gives us joy.
This Road to Glory special edition jersey is now available on the Velorosa website. $40 of each jersey sold will go to support Sarah’s 2017 RAAM effort.
The Road to Glory jersey is available now for pre-order in both men and women sizes and retails for $100. Forty dollars from every jersey sold will help Sarah pay for her crew and the resources she needs to compete in this year’s RAAM. Pre-ordered jerseys will deliver in early April. The Road to Glory jersey coordinates with the Plains Cycling Shorts and the Range Cycling Shorts as well as other pieces in our new Road Warrior Collection.
Velorosa Cycling was founded in 2015 by business partners and cycling friends Kim Hopkins and Lisa Carponelli, both of Des Moines. Hopkins began designing jerseys for her race team in 2008. The partners sell the race-inspired apparel online and at pop-up locations to meet the needs of women looking for unique, great-fitting, high-performance cycling clothing.