New Model Immortalizes a Champion Racehorse & Power of a Wish Granted
Each time the racing gate doors rung open, more than just potential prestige and prize money rode with the Thoroughbred racehorse Cody’s Wish (Curlin – Dance Card x Tapit). The elegant bay stallion, in addition to being a Grade I Champion, shared a special connection with Cody Dorman, a young man with a genetic disorder who met the horse as a foal. Their inspiring story, which captured national media attention and the hearts of people around the world, will now be immortalized in a gorgeous Breyer model horse, allowing fans to own a piece of the unique horse-human connection that has touched so many.
Cody’s Wish and his namesake met in 2018 during a visit to Gainsborough Farm in Versailles, Kentucky sponsored by Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. To everyone’s amazement, one foal walked straight over to Cody and laid his head in his lap. As a result of his genetic syndrome, Cody used a wheelchair and communicated via tablet, but it was clear to see there were no barriers when it came to his connection with the foal. Inspired by this touching event, the horse’s owners named him Cody’s Wish.
As it turns out, that same foal was destined for greatness. In 2021, following a trio of third place finishes, Cody’s Wish won his first race at Churchill Downs with Dorman in attendance. In 2022, the horse was entered in the Grade I Forego Stakes in Saratoga, where he upset the favorite and proved himself a true competitor. But his prowess on the racetrack was soon to be accentuated by his relationship with Cody, who predicted the stallion’s win in his next race, the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. “[He] will win when I’m there in person,” Dorman stated about the stallion’s chances, and when Cody’s Wish passed the competition in the final stretch to win by a head, NBC Sports’ race caller Larry Collmus summed up the finish with: “The wish has come true! That one’s for you, Cody!”
Cody’s Wish received the 2022 Vox Populi Award, which recognizes racehorses whose stories and achievements resound with the public, before kicking off his 2023 season with back to back wins in the Churchill Downs Stakes and Grand I Metropolitan Handicap. Dorman, of course, was in attendance.
“Cody’s Wish is a living example of how horses can change lives and inspire hope,” said Stephanie Macejko, Breyer’s Vice President of Marketing. “In Breyer’s 40+ year history, we have captured many inspiring and special horses, but there’s something about Cody’s Wish and his impact on his namesake that touches something in every horse lover. Every time this horse steps onto the racetrack, everyone knows he is running for more than just a win, he’s running for Cody.”
The journey of Cody’s Wish’s career could not have ended in a more perfect swan song. In a hard-fought battle with Preakness winner National Treasure where he crossed the wire by a nose, Cody’s Wish won his final race before retiring to stud: the 2023 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, where his story had captured so many hearts a year earlier. Cheers, tears, and raucous applause flowed from both thousands of fans and the Dorman family themselves as Cody’s Wish was led into the winner’s circle for the final time with his boy by his side. Tragically, Cody Dorman passed away from a medical issue the following day just shy of his 18th birthday (he hadn’t been expected to live past his 2nd birthday). The unbelievable relationship between Cody and Cody’s Wish will continue to inspire for years to come.
In recognition of Cody Dorman and Cody’s Wish, Breyer is making a $10,000 donation to Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, the nonprofit organization that sparked their connection. Their mission is to grant life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses, and Cody Dorman’s relationship with a champion racehorse began with them. With this donation, Breyer hopes to honor Cody’s memory by making more wishes come true for the children that need them most.
You can find Breyer’s Cody’s Wish model at your favorite Breyer retailer as well as BreyerHorses.com in early December.
About Breyer Animal Creations®
One of America’s most iconic toy brands, Breyer Animal Creations is a division of Reeves International, Inc., a family-owned, NJ-based toy manufacturer and distributor that took home the nation’s Equine Industry Vision Award in 2021. Celebrating its 73rd anniversary in 2023, Breyer has championed the horse and animals for decades. Breyer’s dedication to creating authentic, realistic model horses for play and collecting inspires a vibrant, devoted international community that considers Breyer far more than a brand: it’s a horse-loving lifestyle!
Learn more at www.BreyerHorses.com.
Approaching its 35th year, BreyerFest is a 3-day equine extravaganza bringing more than 30,000 fans together with 200+ live horses and thousands of model horses at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington each July. From model horse shows and hands-on workshops, to real horse demonstrations and equine celebrities, BreyerFest is the hub of the horse loving world —where creative animal lovers of all ages celebrate their passion. A hybrid event with online ticket options, enthusiasts from over 100 countries now livestream BreyerFest virtually from everywhere in the world.
Contact: Stephanie Macejko