16.2 hand, Thoroughbred stallion, deceased 12.04.04, Jockey Club registered as Witty Boy
Sired by Anticipation (BOLD RULER), out of Miss Witty (BETTER BEE)
|The Story of
The Original "Teddy"
For 18 years I knew this stallion to be an animal with sometimes-maddeningly bottomless stamina, incredible sweetness and an almost-kamakaze degree of determination. It was only at the end of his life that I actually understood why.
In the 25th year of his life and just before his death, veterinarians at North Carolina State University, struggling to discover what was causing his frequent colics, discovered through ultrasonography that Teddy's heart and spleen were much larger than average--just like his uncle, the great Secretariat.
A ladies man to the end, Teddy would have a fit if you didn't keep a mare parked under his nose 24/7. And Teddy's "fits" were the stuff of legends. He would race around hour after hour after hour, black with sweat, streams of white froth dripping from his flanks, eyes wide, hot and red as the devil's...and not once in all those years of knowing him and frustratingly watching him pound himself into the earth did I ever see him
STOP DOING IT!!!!!!
That was Theodore O'Connor's dad. Not the kind of horse you'd want as a pleasure horse: Teddy was a stallion, through and through. Moreover, his
|sons, when left ungelded, became exactly the same type of stallion. Thankfully, I learned my lesson and have made sure that son Theodore II (Kevlar) is never allowed to grow attached to any one mare.
But don't let Teddy's mania turn you off of this extraordinary stallion's offspring, because his GELDED sons, including the "new" Teddy (Theodore O'Connor), also inherited his equally legendary degree of sweetness and enthusiasm for life.
The sons, daughers, grands and greatgrands of Teddy have been, like their progenitor, extraordinarily people-oriented horses and ponies: trusting, generous, quiet--albeit classically "Thoroughbred sensitive," full of joie de vivre and the cockiness that tends to go with it. Teddy walked out of his stable like he owned the world and loved his place in it.
His sense of humor showed up at sometimes annoying times (like when you needed to catch him quick), but even a novice could tell when he was joking. Examples?
|** Pick up the longe whip as if to punish him for playing hard to catch, and he'd stand like a rock and let you walk right up to him, whip in hand--and then proceed to yank it out of your hand with his teeth and off he'd go!
** Stand your ground instead of following him and he'd come right back (sans whip, though), drop his head into your chest, and let you lead him in.
** Stand by his chest and he'd arch his neck over your shoulder and give you a hug.
** Longe him more than twice over the same jump or combination, and by the third time he'd start ad libbing, standing way off, over jumping or trying to get in a bounce instead of a stride.
** Park a few babies under his nose and he'd stand all over them all day, his face the picture of gentle amusement.
|Yes, I loved this horse and miss him terribly.
He wasn't perfect, he wasn't easy, but like his son Teddy, this Teddy was special.