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Theodore O'Connor

Theodore O'Connor
File:Karen O'Connor and Theodore O'Connor Rolex CCI**** 2008.jpg

Karen O'Connor and Theodore O'Connor at the 2008 Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event

Breed 3/4 Thoroughbred, 1/8 Arabian, 1/8 Shetland
Sire Witty Boy
Dam Chelsea's Melody
Damsire Honest Turn
Gender Gelding
Foaled 1995
Country 22x20px United States
Color Chestnut
Breeder P. Wynn Norman
Owner The Theodore O'Connor Syndicate

Medal record
Pan American Games
Gold 2007 Rio de Janeiro Team eventing
Gold 2007 Rio de Janeiro Individual eventing

Theodore O'Connor (1995-2008), nicknamed "Teddy," was a 14.1-3/4 hand pony (though of horse phenotype) who competed internationally at the highest level of eventing. Ridden by Olympian Karen O'Connor, he performed exceedingly well at such events as the Rolex Kentucky Three Day and the Pan American Games. His success and small stature earned him the nickname "Super Pony."[1][2]

  • Color: Chestnut
  • Markings: star
  • Height: 14.1 3/4 hh
  • Sex: Gelding
  • Breeding: by Witty Boy (TB) by Anticipation; out of Chelsea's Melody by Honest Turn
  • Breeder: P. Wynn Norman
  • Owner: The Theodore O'Connor Syndicate
  • Riders: Nicole Villers (2002-2003), Christian Trainor (2004-2005), Karen O'Connor (2005-2008)



Theodore O'Connor (or "Teddy") was by the 16.2 hh Thoroughbred stallion Witty Boy, who finished his racing career with a record of (40-5-1-3) and earnings of $50,518. Witty Boy went on to sire more than 300 horses in the United States, including winners in-hand, hunters, eventers, endurance horses, jumpers and dressage horses. Notable progeny include the show hunter I Don't Know (2000 USAEq National Champion) and the Anglo-Arabian VSF Otis+/ (completing 100-mile endurance competition).

Theodore O'Connor was out of Chelsea's Melody, a 13.0 hh 1/2 Thoroughbred, 1/4 Arabian, and 1/4 Shetland Pony mare. The sire of Chelsea's Melody was a racing Thoroughbred by the name of Honest Turn, a great-grandson of Bold Ruler. Her dam, Esker Electra, was by the stallion JR Lyraff, who was strongly linebred to the extremely influential Arabian stallion Raffles, son of Skowronek.[3]


Pedigree of Theodore O'Connor
Witty Boy
br. 1980
b. 1971
Bold Ruler
br. 16.0 1954
Miss Disco
Marking Time
ch. 1963
To Market
Very Witty
br. 1968
Better Bee
dkb 1954
S. Bee
Miss Witty
b. 1955
Lord Putnam
Quick Retort
Chelsea's Melody
b. 1992
Honest Turn
15.3 hh 1981
Honest Pleasure
dkb/br 1973
What A Pleasure
b 1975
Best Turn
Esker Electra
11.3 hh ch. 1980
JR Lyraff
b 1975 Arabian
Asil Lyra
Esker Eclipse
Shetland Pony
Happy Hour Supreme
Arbor Acres Eileen

Competitive career

Theodore O'Connor was started at three-years-old by his breeder, and began his competitive career as a show hunter, later showing a bit as a jumper. He began eventing when he was six, and continued up through Preliminary under rider Nicole Villers, before Christian Trainor rode him on through the Advanced level and finished in 8th place at his first CIC**. Olympian Karen O'Connor then rode him at the Advanced level, eventually taking him to his first CCI**** at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day where he finished an impressive 3rd, with only 4.4 time faults cross-country. He then qualified for the Pan American Games, as part of the US Eventing Team, where he won not only the team gold, but beat out several more experienced horses to also win the individual gold. He finished 6th at the 2008 Rolex CCI****, and was short-listed for the Olympic Team.




  • 1st The Fork CIC***


  • 7th at the Poplar Place CIC***
  • 9th at the Jersey Fresh CCI***
  • 7th at the Fork CIC***


Theodore O’Connor was humanely euthanized on May 28, 2008 as a result of an injury sustained at Karen and David O’Connor’s barn in The Plains, VA. The attending veterinarian stated:

"He spooked at something while being ridden and bolted. The rider came off and the horse ran toward the barn. He got into a freak accident and slid into the side of the barn and lacerated his right hind leg about 4 inches above the fetlock on the back of the leg. It looked like a knife cut it; he severed the superficial and deep digital flexor tendons, ligaments, cut both branches of the arterial blood supply, and nerves. My experience with injuries like this are that the chances of reattaching the vascular supply and nerve supply and reattaching the tendons and ligaments is almost zero. Even if there has been a 10% chance of us being successful to recover him (from surgery) ... but with the nature of the injury, that wasn't going to happen," said Allen sadly. "Karen would have done anything for that pony."[4]


  1. "Karen O'Connor and 'The Pony' Theodore O'Connor Wow The Crowd, Finishing Third" Accessed June 21, 2007 at http://www.horsesdaily.com/news/eventing/2007/07rolex/04-29-oconnor.html
  2. "Little Teddy O’Connor Wows Them with His Jump" Web page accessed August 30, 2007 at http://www.horsesdaily.com/news/tour/2007/07panam/derosa/07-22-dd1.html
  3. Pedigree of JR Lyraff
  4. Brown, Kimberly S. "Vet Calls Theodore O'Connor Euthanasia 'The Right Thing to Do'". The Horse online edition, May 28, 2008

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