Harness racing horse named for fallen sheriff competes in first race

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SKOWHEGAN, Maine (WABI) - Harness horse races were held all afternoon at the Skowhegan State Fair, with all eyes on one horse in particular.

Corporal Cole was named after Somerset County Sheriff Corporal Eugene Cole who was killed in the line of duty in April of 2018.

One of the Co-Owner's of the horse Mike Cushing bought the horse a little more than a year ago.

That's when he came up with the perfect name, which then led him to a co-owner for the horse.

"I think I'm gonna name that colt Corporal Cole. And Joe Raydeen The Police Officer that bought half, the retired police officer goes. And he'd been thinking of buying a horse goes 'did I hear you say that colt you bought you're gonna name him Corporal Cole' he said he goes 'that's neat, that's neat.' And he calls me about 2 or 3 days later and says 'I think I need to be apart of that," said Cushing.

Cushing was honored and humbled with the opportunity to remember a fallen officer.

And believes his horse, Corporal Cole, shares a few traits with his namesake.

"He had a job to do. It was our job but get to the races, get their for Skowhegan. Be there on time, and serve the community. Well, Eugene Cole did that. It's his first race, hopefully, he can get some experience, hopefully, Mitchell still likes him after and thinks we have a chance in the fall. And hopefully, the Cole family has fun."

Corporal Cole performed well in his first race though, finishing fourth out of eight.

But his impact on the hundreds of community members who came out to watch him was even greater.

"From my perspective, if it brings the Cole family together on a Sunday, go to Skowhegan Fair. Have some fun, and have another chance at honoring their dad, perfect."