Amid the grandeur of the United States Equestrian Federation’s (USEF) annual meeting and black tie gala, Eventing Champion Theodore O’Connor was named the 2007 Farnam® / Platform® • USEF Horse of the Year. Theodore O’Connor was selected from among all USEF breeds and disciplines as the nation’s most exceptional horse for 2007.
Owned by The Theodore O’Connor Syndicate, LLC, Theodore O’Connor is one of the most successful horses in the history of U. S. Eventing – a discipline in which the horse and rider must compete in three equestrian events: dressage, cross-country and show-jumping.
"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."
“In competition this year, Theodore O’Connor showed the world he has a heart of pure gold,” said Chris Jacobi, senior vice president of Farnam Horse Products, sponsor of the awards program. “It is this spirit of dedication and exceptional talent for which this award was established.”
At 12 years of age, Theodore O’Connor was the first pony in history to compete at the Pan American games. Known as “Teddy,” this 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.
With veteran rider Karen O’Connor, the chestnut gelding captured the heart of the eventing world at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, where he placed third in this four-star eventing competition. “The pony” sailed around the cross-country course and amazed crowds as he finished the show jumping portion of the competition without a single rail down. Then, the pair went on to the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he dispelled any ideas that a pony didn’t belong. After finishing the dressage portion of the competition in third place, Teddy completed the cross-country phase at the top of the ranks. With his stellar jumping ability, he navigated the show jumping course with only a single rail down, assuring him and O’Connor the Gold. When the awards were presented, Theodore O’Connor certainly wowed the crowd as he galloped around the arena, inches shorter than his Gold-medal teammates.
The 2007 accomplishments for Theodore O’Connor include: Individual Gold-medal winner and Team Gold-medal winner at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, the first pony ever to compete at the Pan American Games in eventing, Reserve Champion of the USEF National CCI**** Championship (Third place for the Rolex CCI**** in Lexington, Ky.), 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 – presented at the Horse of the Year gala at the Louisville Marriott Downtown Hotel in Louisville, Ky., on Jan. 12, 2008. The trophy – a 39-inch bronze sculpture on permanent display at the USEF headquarters in Kentucky – was commissioned by well-known equine artist Alexa King. Bronze replicas of the trophy were presented to the owners of the winning horse and crystal trophies were presented to the finalists. 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 in an exclusive partnership that propels the ever-popular USEF awards program to a new level of excellence.
Farnam’s Platform® Feeding System products are formulated by expert equine nutritionists using the latest, up-to-date research. The Platform® Feeding System allows horse owners to select an appropriate premium feed and, if needed, targeted supplements to address specific problems without the possible harmful effects and waste of over-supplementation. With the Platform® Feeding System, horse owners can design a feeding program to meet their horse’s individual needs. For more information about the Platform® Feeding System, visit www.platformfeed.com.
Over the past six decades, Farnam Companies, Inc., has grown to one of the most widely recognized names in the animal health products industry and has become one of the largest marketers of equine products in the country. No one knows horses better than Farnam. That’s why no one offers a more complete selection of horse care products. Farnam’s Horse Products serve both the pleasure horse and the performance horse markets with products for fly control, hoof and leg care, grooming, wound treatment, leather care supplies, plus feed and nutritional supplements. For information about Farnam Horse Products in the U.S. call toll free at (800) 234-2269 or visit www.farnamhorse.com.
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