There's a hush this afternoon. A hush throughout the horse world. It's an emptier, less interesting horse world from this moment.
I have just received word from Joanie Morris at the US Equestrian Federation that Karen O'Connor's darling of a sport pony, Theodore O'Connor, died today as a result of an accident at home in The Plains, Virginia.
"Teddy" was the USA's top hopeful for a gold medal in Hong Kong at this summer's Olympics. But more than that, he was a crowd favorite and brought interest to the sport of eventing at a time when most stories about the sport are dark and depressing.
The 13-year-old eventing super pony defied odds and gravity throughout his career. Standing only 14.1 hands, the Shetland/Arabian/Thoroughbred cross gelding was the reigning Team and Individual Gold Medalist from the 2007 Pan American Games and had top six finishes at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2007 and 2008. He was the 2007 USEF/Farnam Horse of the Year and recently had been named to the USEF Short List for Eventing for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Ridden by three-time Olympic veteran Karenhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif O'Connor, ?Teddy' made friends and picked up fans everywhere he went. Seeing was believing with Teddy as it seemed impossible to imagine that a pony of his size could do his job with such tremendous ease.
Thoughts and prayers are with Karen and David, Teddy's groom Max Corcoran, all of his owners in the Theodore O'Connor Syndicate and everyone associated with this remarkable pony. And that's most of us.
To send thoughts to Teddy's connections please email: Teddy@usef.org. The USEF will make sure your email gets to the intended recipients.
Just two weeks ago, Team O'Connor lost Tigger Too, another top international horse, when he fell on cross-country at an event in New Jersey.
Links to previous stories on THE JURGA REPORT about Teddy: