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Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Horse" of the Year is a Pony! Teddy Wins 2007 Farnam® / Platform® USEF Horse of the Year


Karen O’Connor’s popular pony “Theodore O’Connor” was selected from among horses representing all USEF breeds and disciplines as the nation's most exceptional horse for 2007.

Owned by The Theodore O’Connor Syndicate, LLC, the pony is one of the most successful horses in the history of U. S. Eventing. "If size truly does matter, Teddy has proven he is a giant and a huge champion in the hearts of all his fans," said Karen O'Connor, Theodore O'Connor's rider. "It is truly a privilege to be a part of his life."

At 12 years of age, Theodore O’Connor was the first pony in history to compete at the Pan American games. Known as “Teddy”, the 14.1-hand Thoroughbred/Arabian/Shetland cross led the U.S. Eventing team to a Gold medal and brought home an Individual Gold, as well. When the medals were presented, Theodore O‚Connor certainly wowed the crowd as he galloped around the arena, inches shorter than his Gold-medal teammates.

The chestnut gelding captured the heart of the eventing world last spring at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, where he placed third in the four-star eventing competition. Teddy's farrier is Hoofcare and Lameness Journal's contributing editor Paul Goodness. Paul, who founded the successful group practice Forging Ahead, is also farrier at Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia, has been farrier to the Team O'Connor horses for many, many years.

Other 2007 accomplishments for Theodore O‚Connor include: Reserve Champion of the USEF National CCI**** Championship, the first pony ever to compete at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day-Event, Winner of The Fork CIC*** and United States Eventing Association Horse of the Year.

USEF Members, media and the USEF Board of Directors voted to select Theodore O'Connor for the prestigious honor , which was presented at the Horse of the Year gala at the Louisville (Kentucky) Marriott Downtown Hotel last night.

Other finalists for the award were: Aequus+//, an Arabian owned by Hazelbank Investments; Esteban, a Friesian owned by Deb Goldmann; Free Willy, a Hackney owned by Blevins Farms; and Sapphire, a Jumper owned by McLain Ward and Blue Chip Bloodstock.

Farnam's line of Platform® horse feeds and equine health supplements sponsors the Horse of the Year program.

(Information from a supplied press release was used in this post. Thanks to Carrie Foote at Farnam for the photo of Teddy and Karen at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day-Event in April 2007.)

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