“Really” may seem like a strange name for a horse, but there’s a good reason for it. Really is named for the reaction everyone at Lane Change Farm had when they witnessed his fantastic jump for the first time. Really?!? Really.
Current owner Michelle Cobb had the same reaction, only it was to Really’s video. “He had me at the first jump,” said Cobb of the 10-year-old black roan warmblood gelding. “I was looking for a hunter and had looked at hundreds of videos. When [Seahorse Riding Club trainer] Devon Gibson sent me the video of him from Lane Change Farm, I texted back within minutes. I just knew that he was the one.”
Really wasn’t at Lane Change (Florida and Kentucky) long before Cobb purchased him and brought him to Seahorse Riding Club in Rolling Hills Estates, California. He was soon making a name for himself on the West Coast, earning top placings in the high performance hunter division with Jenny Karazissis in the irons.
Since then, he’s continued to impress and is a regular entrant in USHJA International Hunter Derby competitions. He’s won derbies at the 2018 Blenheim Spring Classic IV (California) and the 2019 Showpark Ranch & Coast (California) and has three second-placed finishes to his name. Most recently, Karazissis piloted him to the win in the $25,000 WCHR West Coast Hunter Spectacular held during the Blenheim June Classic I in San Juan Capistrano, California, on June 9. But when he’s not showing off his perfect jump in the big ring, he’s just a normal horse, albeit one who knows he’s special.
• Really is the consummate professional and would be a businessman if he were human. “He’s a total workhorse. I always say he comes out in his suit and tie, carrying his briefcase and just ready to do his job,” said Cobb. “He’s very serious and all-business when it’s time to show.”
• One thing he doesn’t consider part of his job description? Jogging for ribbons. “He needs a treat in order to go in,” said Cobb.
• While he looks solid black from a distance, up close you can see that he’s actually a black roan. Really’s coat is dotted with silver that looks like specks of glitter.
“He has a thin coat that never needs clipping,” said Cobb. “And his skin is very sensitive, so he uses Head & Shoulders shampoo.”
• Really pulls double duty as international derby horse and amateur ride. “He can go from derby horse one day to taking care of his amateur nervous mommy the next day,” said Cobb, who rides him at home along with assistant trainer Gabriella Pattinson. “He’s just a good boy who is very sweet.”
• While groom Ivan Alvarado didn’t admit it directly, we got the feeling that Really is Alvarado’s favorite. “He’s one of those horses you like to have around because you know he’ll try his best,” said Alvarado. “He also knows that he’s special. When someone shows up with carrots he is the first in line.”
• He has many young fans, including Michelle Cobb’s daughter, Joie Cobb. “All the kids at the barn love him, and he’s so good with them,” said Michelle. Joie explained that Really particularly appreciates carrots as well as horse cookies that contain peppermints.
• Every so often you may see Really in the open jumper ring. “Sometimes we literally let his hair down and let him play in the jumpers,” said Michelle. “He loves it, and it keeps things interesting.”
• Another thing that keeps things interesting for Really are butterflies. The HITS Coachella (California) showgrounds was swarmed with migrating butterflies for a few days during the circuit this year, and Really had some strong opinions. “He got into a huff trying to stomp on them,” said Michelle. “He wasn’t afraid, just indignant they were taking attention away from him!”
• Butterfly-stomping aside, Michelle couldn’t be happier with her choice to buy Really. “He’s the perfect horse. I’m just so lucky to have him.”