Theodore O’Connor, ridden by Karen O’Connor at the 2007 and 2008 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event
There are three O’Connors whose names are missing from the roster of the 2008 US Eventing Team for the Olympics in Hong Kong. Multiple medalist David O’Connor has retired from competition, and his wife Karen is an asterisk to the team as a third alternate with her horse Mandiba. To head to Hong Kong without the O’Connors’ experience and talent is a first. It has been decades since neither of them was on the team. Some people reading this blog have never seen an Olympics eventing competition that did not feature one, and usually both, of the O’Connors.
But it’s the absence of the third O’Connor, Theodore, that made international news this week. “Teddy”, aka the bionic pony and Pan Am Games gold medalist, was euthanized after a terrible accident at home in Virginia a month ago.
Among those pausing to remember him and to mourn the O’Connorless team is Sean Gregory, writing in this week’s TIME Magazine. No, Teddy, didn’t make the cover but I can’t remember the last time that TIME dedicated an entire article to a sport or pleasure horse.
Click here to read TIME’s tribute to Karen and Teddy and also to Max Corcoran, Teddy’s groom and best pal. It’s a classy read, and not what you’d expect to see in a newsmagazine full of Presidential election politics, Middle East crises, and economy coverage.
Just like Teddy: not what you’d expect, at all.