Saturday, 12 January 2008

Size Isn't Everything

Almost anyone who rides horses or is interested in horse sports knows about the Rolex 3-Day Event held in Kentucky. Eventing is a tough sport; it separates the man/woman from the regular riding crowd. The cross-country fences are solid and usually wide. Three-Day Eventing originated as training for military horses in Europe, which began declining when motorized weaponry became utilized. Most horses that compete in the sport of eventing are 15.2hh to 17hh, a hand being four inches; and are a variety of breeds or breed crosses.

Recently I came across a video of a pony named “Theodore O’Connor” finishing third at the Rolex in the spring of 2007,

For those unable to view embedded videos see here. This course is difficult for the big horses and this little guy makes it look easy.

and going on to win the individual gold medal in eventing at the Pan American Games in the summer of 2007. Teddy, as he’s also known, is going to the Beijing Olympics after earning a place with the U.S. Olympic Eventing Team. Teddy is only 14.1hh tall, and is exceptionally capable of jumping courses larger horses have difficulty with. This little guy does clear rounds.

The only other pony to have done well at international show jumping was Stroller from England. Stroller was slightly taller than Teddy, standing at just under 14.2hh (which is the cutoff measurement between ponies and horses). I remember hearing about Stroller when I was a child, and thinking it was a wonderful thing a pony could hold its own with the big horses.

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