With very heavy hearts, we said goodbye to Costa Rica Z on Thursday (1995–2021).

There have been a handful of horses in my life who have really touched my soul and Costa was definitely one of them.

It is so much more than the fact I could jump 1.60m classes with her and win ribbons. She was a part of my family, she gave me her heart and would have done anything to make me happy. My Mom and Dad both loved her and what she would do for me.

Amy Millar and Costa Rica Z accumulated seven Grand Prix victories and over 60 top 10 Grand Prix finishes over their career. Photo courtesy of Millar Brooke Farm.
The charismatic pair were leading rider and horse combination in the 2007 Kubota Cup Eastern Conference and twice won the Jump Canada Series title (2007 and 2008). Photo courtesy of Millar Brooke Farm.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, Lily, Costa used to smell my belly and patiently waited for me to be able to ride again. She was the first horse Lily sat on and I had no doubt Costa would take care of her with all her mare instincts.

Amy, Lily and Costa’s long-time groom, Danny Ingratta. Photo courtesy of Millar Brooke Farm.
Lily and Costa. Photo courtesy of Millar Brooke Farm.

In her retirement, she became one of my husband Brad’s favorite horses. Anyone who got to work with her loved her, she was kind, she was funny, she was strong and her heart was the biggest part of her body.

I’m forever grateful to Chuckie Waters for bringing us together. Thank you to Deanna Kirchman for helping us purchase her, and to Karen Sparks and Ann Matthews for helping me keep her. Thank you to Dan Ingratta and the others who cared for her during her career, and to those who looked after her for the past eight years as she enjoyed her retirement.

Her home team included my husband Brad, Patty Markell, Kendra, Linda and the others at home who always made sure she lived her best life.

Photo courtesy of Millar Brooke Farm.

Costa found love in retirement so I also have to thank Monty (Montgomery) for loving her. He was her boyfriend in the field. He gave her life over the past two years and he will miss her as much as we will.

Thank you Costa Rica, you gave me so much and I hope I gave you enough back.

RIP. You will be missed and always loved.


This story originally appeared on the Team Millar facebook page and is reprinted here with permission.