Some people’s dream retirement is somewhere on a beach in Florida. But for retired grand prix horses, the dream is a snowy mountain in central New York.
Madden Mountain is home to some of the sport’s biggest names: Cortes C, Authentic and — of course — John and Beezie Madden.
HH Carlos Z, the former ride of McLain Ward recently moved in to his retirement home in Cazenovia, New York. The 15-year-old gelding claimed victory in his last performance in the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final at the Washington International Horse Show.
Despite his winning form, Ward decided Carlos had more than earned his retirement. He completed three laps of the arena to rapturous applause.
A matter of weeks later, Carlos walked off the truck to kick his hooves up in the snow.
Since arriving, Carlos has been sharing a field with some of Beezie’s greats, Simon, San Remo and Authentic. The group live out their days at the Madden’s retirement facility which also houses a rehab program.
The facility was expanded in the last year and now is home to scores of horses just being, horses. Looked after daily by a dedicated caregiver, the horses live in small herds, running and playing, stopping only to snack on heaping piles of hay.
From the grand prix ring to the quiet country life, it looks like Carlos has found himself a little slice of horse heaven.
Check out more photos from Madden Mountain below: