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A top racehorse and a close friend, Cody Dorman, pass away at the age of 17


Cody Dorman, who gave his name to Cody’s Wish at the Breeders’ Cup in Southern California last weekend, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday at just 17.

Cody suffered from Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, an uncommon genetic disorder that causes delayed growth, intellectual disability and seizures. His death occurred due to “a medical event” while traveling home from Santa Anita Park in Acadia for the Breeders’ Cup; according to family statement he underwent over 40 medical operations during his lifetime.

cody dorman horse
cody dorman horse

Cody was unable to walk or speak and suffered frequent seizures before visiting Gainsborough Farm in Kentucky with the Make-a-Wish Foundation to meet one of its horses.

Parents said Cody formed an incredible connection with one young horse. Farm manager Danny Mulvihill described him as being “nice, quiet and laid back”, telling America’s Best Racing last year: “it was very important from my standpoint to see if we could place a foal close to Cody as it knew he was wheelchair bound.”

Cody was connected with an unnamed horse from Curlin’s lineage; Curlin won two Preakness races and two Horse of the Year awards during his time as Preakness winner and two-time Horse of the Year winner. Family and workers on Cody’s farm described an immediate and intense connection between Cody and this new friend.

Cody returned to visit his horse again in 2020. According to Cody’s father Kelly in an NBC video: “Immediately when the horse emerged from its barn, it was like nobody was around but Cody and Cody alone; when Cody laughed deep belly laughs like I have only ever witnessed once or twice in my entire lifetime” “That deep belly laugh can only come once every few months”

His mother, Leslie, commented: “From that day forward, he was different. Everything changed.”

Godolphin Racing, owned by the Maktoum royal family of Dubai and named in Cody’s Wish in his honor. Since then it has become one of the top racehorses in America.

Last year, news outlets published articles and videos detailing Cody’s tale as his horse Cody’s Wish won the race at Keeneland Racecourse in Kentucky – with Cody present along with his family The journey culminated when Cody made it out alive.

“Your dream has come true, Cody” exclaimed race announcer Larry Collmus as Cody crossed the finish line first.

Cody’s Wish had another stellar year and culminated with another Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile victory on Saturday, which his owners believe may be his last race. Once more, Cody and the Dorman family were there.

Cody’s Wish concluded his racing career with an impressive 11 wins out of 16 starts.

Cody was diagnosed at birth and, knowing this day would come, his family has made every effort to ensure he leads an exceptional life for as long as they had him. “[We were] determined that Cody should live his best possible life during his brief lifespan,” according to their statement.

He is survived by both of his parents and his sister Kylie.

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