Thwaites Brewery Bring Back Famed Shires for Deliveries

The world famous Shire horses of Thwaites Brewery
are back in harness.

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Thwaites, the oldest surviving brewery in Lancashire, England started brewing in 1807 and are celebrating over 200 glorious years.

The British brewery has decided to go back to using horses for deliveries within a few kilometres of its brewery.

The giant shire horses used for promotional work for the Daniel Thwaites brewery are back in harness in Blackburn and delivering ale to local pubs.

“We are always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint,” said the brewery’s transport operations manager Emma Green.

“It is great to see the Shires out again on the roads around town.”

Horses have not been used in the delivery of beer by the brewery for five years. The Thwaites horses have spent the last few years winning awards on the show circuit and doing promotional work.

Their public appearances will continue, but the company hope the shires will also be able to do their day jobs in between.

“We are aiming to get them out delivering within a mile or two’s radius of the stables when we can fit it in to their busy schedule,” says Emma.

“Deliveries by horse-drawn dray finished about five years ago when we moved distribution off-site.”

Thwaites ended horse deliveries in the 1920s when the company switched to motor transport. They were reintroduced in 1960’s.

It was a decision that has become a major landmark for the Brewery as the fame of the Thwaites Shires has spread throughout the country, embodying the traditional values that are such an important part of the company’s heritage.

The brewery has even more reasons to be proud of its horses. They swept the board at the recent National Shire Horse Spring Show, taking four titles and six trophies.

THE world-famous Thwaites Shire Horses emerged triumphant at another prestigious national competition….to win plaudits from none other than HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip made the official presentation when the Thwaites’ team took the top honours at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

The Thwaites horses, Classic, Royal, Daniel and Star, were voted outright winners in the heavy horse class at the event staged to honour the 100th anniversary of the British Food and Beverage Industry.

The success followed hot on the heels of Thwaites being named Champions of England at the National Shire Horse Spring Show in Peterborough – for the fourth time in six years.

After winning the four-horse Team Class, Thwaites’ stable stars went on to claim the overall Heavy Horse Turnout Championship.

The shire horses are kept very busy and are in great demand at shows, carnivals and promotional events all over the country. They can be seen regularly in the town centre delivering to pubs and exercising in addition to their busy schedule.

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Link: About the Thwaites Shire Horses

News Link:

Video: Thwaites Shire Horses

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Summer Scene: Early Start for Future Champion

Original Upload:  Photographer: Colonel Killgore

Published in: on August 8, 2008 at 10:25 am  Comments (5)  

Farewell Teddy …

 

Teddy
~~~
Rest In Peace

~~~

Sadly, Teddy, the little horse with the big heart that inspired and amazed us all was euthanized as a result of an injury in an accident at Karen and David O’Connor’s barn at The Plains, Virginia.

The O’Connors, in a brief statement, said: “Teddy got frightened and bolted. He slipped running back to the barn and suffered a severe laceration to his hind leg, severing the tendons and ligaments.

“Doctor A Kent Allen was on the scene immediately and it was determined after examination that the injuries were catastrophic.

“Everyone who knew Teddy is devastated.”

Teddy was a hot propect to attend the Olympics. The 13-year-old eventing super pony had defied the odds and gravity throughout his career.

Standing at just 14.1 hands, the Shetland/ Arabian/ Thoroughbred-cross gelding was the reigning Team and Individual Gold Medalist from the 2007 Pan American Games and had top-six finishes at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2007 and 2008.

He was the 2007 USEF Horse of the Year and had recently been named to the USEF Short List for Eventing for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Ridden by three-times Olympic veteran Karen O’Connor, Teddy developed a huge fan base.

“Seeing was believing with Teddy as it seemed impossible to imagine that a pony of his size could do his job with such tremendous ease,” the USEF said.

He will be greatly missed by all of his many admirers.

~~~

Earlier Post:   Super Pony With The Heart Of A Winner

News Link:

Mind Your Manners And Your Attire At Royal Ascot This Year

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip
at Royal Ascot Races

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With the Royal Ascot Races only a month away, the word is out.  It seems things have gotten out of control in the recent past as to what some have chosen to wear to this event and the Queen and her authorities will have none of it.

So, select your outfit carefully.  Visitors to Royal Ascot this June must adhere to a strict dress code if they want to be allowed in.

First, one needs to be reminded that for centuries admission to the Royal Enclosure was a statement of belonging to the social elite.

Traditional morning dress for gentleman has always been mandatory.

Equally suitable formal attire was expected of proper ladies, which, of course, included hats. 

This year, just in case any newcomers were in doubt of how exclusive the honour is, those who transgress the code will be turned away on the orders of Her Majesty’s representative, the Duke of Devonshire.

While gentlemen have not posed a problem, organisers believe that the lines of what is — and what is not — appropriate for ladies have become confused of late.

~~~

There will be no strapless dresses,
with hat or without.

There will be no exposure of undue amounts of skin.

In other words, keep it covered.

So, ladies, mind those shoulders,
check the front and the back. 

At Royal Ascot this year,
it will require more than just a hat.

~~~

Royal Ascot Website

 

What If Your Horse Is Stolen?

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Debi Metcalfe reunited with
her stolen horse “Idaho”.

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If your horse is stolen go directly to:
Stolen Horse International at
NetPosse.com

~~~

A Shelby, North Carolina  woman
has made it her mission to find stolen horses.

Debi Metcalfe and her husband, Harold, lost a family member. Their horse, Idaho, was horse-napped, in broad day light from their pasture.

A year later, they found Idaho in Tennessee.

This is how Stolen Horse International and NetPosse.com was born and has now celebrated over 10 years of success.

The website has Idaho Alerts which are similar to AMBER Alerts for missing children where members are alerted when a horse, tack or even trailers are stolen.

An estimated 40,000 horses are stolen each year in the United States.

During the Metcalfes’ search, someone set up a Web space for the couple and after finding their horse, they decided to help out other people on the Web. That’s how her site NetPosse.com was started.

“We got so much help, I thought I owed it back,” she said.

Since founding her organization, Debi has written a book and been part of television news stories, newspaper and magazine articles and her expertise was used on Fox’s “America’s Most Wanted” in August.

She appeared as the cover story on The Gaited Horse magazine in an edition that sold out and was most recently featured on “Weekend America,” a Public Broadcasting radio show.

We do a lot more than stolen horses,” Debi said. “That’s how we were started, but we do so much more now.”

Her priority is working with people whose horses are missing first. That comes ahead of fundraising and other functions.

“We try to stress that even if the horse is not found alive and well, it’s better to know than have questions,” she said.

Inspiration … Debi has empathy for the people she helps.

On the NetPosse site is a list of stolen or missing horses across the United States. Also included are photos, dates and current status.

Below are just two of the many horses that have been stolen. 
For complete listings:  Click here:

~~~

Stolen:  LPS Mr. Jalapeno
Bay Morgan Gelding Missing in California suspected to be in Arizona – Feb. 6, 2007

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Stolen:
Valentino
Fleabitten Grey Arabian Gelding Stolen after dark from Therapy Progam in Newton County, Georgia – Feb. 3, 2008

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If you have a horse that has been stolen or strangely disappeared, do not hesitate.  Contact NetPosse.com immediately.

If you recognize the horses pictured above, click on the name of the horse for more information.

It takes everyone working together to keep our horses safe and in their own homes.

 

About The Budweiser Clydesdales

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Budweiser Clydesdale Eight Horse Hitch

~~~

Frequently Asked Questions

When did Anheuser-Busch acquire the famous Budweiser Clydesdales?
They were formally introduced to August A. Busch Sr. and Anheuser-Busch on April 7, 1933, to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition.  August A. Busch Jr. wanted to commemorate the special day.

To his father’s delight, the hitch thundered down Pestalozzi Street carrying the first case of post-Prohibition beer from the St. Louis brewery.

August Anheuser Busch Jr. was a master showman and irrepressible salesman who turned a small family operation into the world’s largest brewing company.

What are the qualifications to be a Budweiser Clydesdale?
To qualify for one of the six hitches (five traveling and one stationary), a Budweiser Clydesdale must be a gelding at least four years of age.

He must stand 72 inches, or 6 feet, at the shoulder when fully mature, weigh between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds, be bay in color, have four white stocking feet, a blaze of white on the face, and a black mane and tail.

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How much food and water do the Clydesdales need?
Each hitch horse will consume as much as 20 to 25 quarts of whole grains, minerals and vitamins, 50 to 60 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water per day.

Where are the Budweiser Clydesdale hitches located?
Five traveling Budweiser Clydesdale hitches are based in St. Louis, Missouri; Menifee, California; San Diego, California; Merrimack, New Hampshire; and San Antonio, Texas.

The Budweiser Clydesdales can be viewed at the Anheuser-Busch breweries in St. Louis, Merrimack and Ft. Collins, Colorado.

The Budweiser Clydesdales also may be viewed at Grant’s Farm, the 281-acre ancestral home of the Busch family, in St. Louis and at the following Anheuser-Busch theme parks:
Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, and Tampa, Florida, and at the SeaWorld theme parks in Orlando, Florida; San Diego, California; and San Antonio, Texas

Where is the official home of the Budweiser Clydesdales?
The official home of the Budweiser Clydesdales is an ornate brick and stained-glass stable built in 1885 on the historic 100-acre Anheuser-Busch brewery complex in St. Louis.

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The building is one of three located on the brewery grounds that are registered as historic landmarks by the federal government.

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Who travels with the Clydesdales?
Expert groomers travel on the road with the hitch. They are on the road at least 10 months every year. When necessary, one handler has night duty to provide round-the-clock care for the horses, ensuring their safety and comfort.

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How do the Clydesdales get to all of their appearances?
Twelve horses, the famous red, white and gold beer wagon and other essential equipment are transported in three 50-foot tractor trailers.

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Cameras in the trailers (with monitors in the cabs) enable the drivers to keep a watchful eye on their precious cargo during transport.

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The team stops each night at local stables so the “gentle giants” can rest. Air-cushion suspension and thick rubber flooring in the trailers ease the rigors of traveling.

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Is driving the hitch a difficult job?
Driving the 12 tons of wagon and horses requires quite a bit of strength and skill. The 40 pounds of reins the driver holds, plus the tension of the reins, equals 75 pounds.

All hitch drivers are put through a rigorous training period before they are given the reins.

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Can you describe a Budweiser Clydesdale’s harness?
Each harness and collar weighs approximately 130 pounds. The harness is handcrafted from brass and leather. Pure linen thread is used for the stitching.

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The harness is made to fit any horse, but the collars come in different sizes and must be individually fitted like a suit of clothes.

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Do the Clydesdales have names?
Duke, Captain, Mark and Bud are just a few of the names given to the Budweiser Clydesdales. Names are kept short to make it easier for the driver to give commands to the horses during a performance.

How big are the Clydesdales’ horseshoes?
Clydesdale horseshoes measure more than 20 inches from end to end and weigh about five pounds – more than twice as long and five times as heavy as the shoe worn by a riding horse.

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A horse’s hoof is made of a nerveless, horn-like substance similar to the human fingernail, so being fitted for shoes affects the animal no more than a manicure affects people.

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Why does a Dalmatian accompany the hitch?
Dalmatians have traveled with the Clydesdale hitch since the 1950s. The Dalmatian’s original purpose was to guard the hitch (and protect the beer) as the driver made his beer deliveries.

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The Dalmatian breed long has been associated with horses and valued for their speed, endurance and dependable nature.

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Dalmatians were also known as coach dogs, because they ran between the wheels of coaches or carriages and were companions to the horses.

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Today, the Dalmatians are perched atop the wagon, seated next to the driver.

What kind of wagons are used?
The wagons are Studebaker wagons (circa 1900) that were converted to deliver beer.The wagons have two braking systems; a hydraulic pedal device that slows the vehicle for turns and descents down hills, and a foot brake that locks the rear wheels when the wagon is stationary.

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How many horses travel as a team?
Groups of ten Clydesdales travel together as a hitch team. Eight Clydesdales are hitched together to pull the wagon. Two horses travel as alternates.

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What determines the placement of each horse?
The physical ability of each horse determines its position in the hitch. Wheelhorses (the pair closest to the wagon) must be large and strong enough to start the wagon’s movement and to use their weight to help slow or stop the vehicle.

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The body (second position) and swing (third position) pairs must be agile to turn the wagon. The leaders (the pair in front, furthest from the wagon) must be the fastest and most agile pair.

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 Original Budweiser Commercial
“Here Comes The King”

Video:
Budweiser Horses Up Close

~~~
Check out this post:
About Those Baby Budweiser Clydesdales

Re-written from news and public relations sources

Ponies Thunder Through Farm Show Carriage Races

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Dana Bright (left) and Ann Gardner ride in the
Pennsylvania carriage racing competition.  

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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
January, 2008

Like a modern-day Ben Hur, Miranda Cadwell drew herself erect in her chariot-like carriage and urged her ponies to speed around obstacles.

Rambo and Toby, a pair of Welsh ponies, raced around the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex Large Arena this past January.

They sped around eight barrels, being careful not to knock off the rubber ducks on top, and around eight raised wooden structures at the other end of the arena, leaving the ducks standing.

Then they galloped down the home stretch into first place and into the hearts of 6,000 wildly cheering fans at this unique equestrian event at the 92nd Pennsylvania State Farm Show.

“This was great,” said Cadwell of Southern Pines, N.C. “It’s a real adrenaline rush.”

The Farm Show offers the nation’s only indoor Arena Carriage Racing, said Paul Martin, event organizer and announcer. He said that its usually done outside.

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These Dutch Gelderlanders, “Mickie and Janet”, driven by Ronda Palmer and navigated by Roy Munt, placed second in the Pair Horses division. The husband and wife pair has been involved in numerous competitions all over the world. 
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Drivers sit in the front and control the reins to guide the horses. Navigators ride the back, throwing their weight from side to side to counterbalance the turns.

Bruce Rappoport, another event organizer, said carriage racing involves one or two horses or ponies racing against the clock.

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Sarah Schmitt and Glenn Haskell achieved the second best time to win the Reserve Grand Championship.
~~~

Participants in steel marathon carriages use special harnesses to guide the horses through the tight turns needed to navigate the obstacles and hazards in the fastest time.

Seven teams participated in the two day event.

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Driver Dana Bright and navigator Melinda Russell
blur through the starting line.
~~~

“We love this,” said Dana Bright of Felton, nodding at her navigator, Ann Gardner and her Welsh ponies.

People laughed when they saw Ben and Jerry, a pair of bright pink stuffed toy pigs, on the back of their carriage. People howled when Jerry tumbled off during the race.

The crowd clearly loved Miranda Cadwell and her younger sister, Keady.

Miranda Cadwell last summer became the world leader in the sport, earning the gold medal at the World Pony Driving Championship in Denmark.

On Tuesday, she drove her team as if her life depended on it, leaving rushing air and flying dirt in their wake.

When the race ended, Miranda Cadwell won first place in the pair of ponies division, Keady Cadwell won first place in pair of horses.

“We push each other to do better,” Keady Cadwell said.

A must-see is the video listed below.

~~~

Race Video:  
Carriage Races, Pennsylvania Farm Show

~~~

News Link:   Pennsylvania State Agriculture Site

News Link:   The Patriot News

 

Stacy Westfall ~ Bridleless Bareback Champion

Click On The Arrow To Watch The Video

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Website: Stacy Westfall

Gentle Owner Trains Huge Horses With Great Heart

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Ray Powell of New Castle, Kentucky speaks to a 5,000-pound team of young Belgian pulling horses with the gentleness of a violin teacher on the first day of lessons with a 6-year old.

“They hear a lot more than you think they do when you’re foolin’ with them,” said Powell. “I’ll get awful close to them, and they’ll get close to me. They’ll get to where they trust me, and they’ll pull harder for me than they will for anybody else.”

“You watch this horse here. He’ll set his back feet past where he picks his front ones up,” said Powell, as he drove the 4-year-old team of King and George, who were hitched to a sled.

“Watch him. I like a good long-walking horse, because then when you put him on that big load and he drops in that long walk, he can smoke that sled.”  

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Powell’s eye for good horses and his skillful training methods have been repeatedly proven with hundreds of trophies, a world and international title, and many state titles from Michigan to Florida.
 
The retired longtime sheriff of Henry County, now 70, grew up on a farm near Drennon Springs learning from his father how to handle a team, both in the field and in competition.

His father, Floyd, handed Ray the lines at a horse pull in Bedford in 1948, and the boy was hooked for life.
 
This year, with a hay crop damaged by a late freeze then a lengthy drought, Powell and his sons, Robbin and Rick, realized there would not be enough hay for their herd of Angus cattle and their 16 Belgian pulling horses. So they sold the cattle.

Their horses are part of the family.

Ray Powell has turned much of the competition driving in recent years over to his older son, Robbin, 47, while Ray concentrates on training. “I guess I like it,” Robbin said. “It’s all I’ve ever done.”

Ray Powell is at work nearly every day bringing along future pullers. The young Belgians are bought as weanlings from Amish breeders in the Montgomery-Loogootee areas of Indiana and trained at the Powells’ farms in Henry County.

Two of Powell’s former champions, Rock, age 13, and Bill, 15, are now retired to pasture and stall on the Powells’ farms, where Ray Powell feeds the two every morning and night.

“They’ll both die right here,” he said. “They’ve earned the right.”

~~~

Story Link:  For complete story: Courier Journal, Louisville Kentucky

Super Pony With The Heart Of A Winner

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 “Teddy” and Karen O’Connor win the Gold
at 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil

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Good things are said to come in small packages. And “Super Pony” Theodore O’Connor proves it.

Teddy, also known as the Flying Pony is the exciting new star of a tough equestrian sport called eventing.

At 14.1 hands high — a little more than 56 inches at the top of his shoulder — this mighty midget is a hair short of the height of a horse. But that hasn’t stopped him from winning big — really big.

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Teddy thrilled the horse world by winning an Individual Gold Medal and helping the United States win the Team Gold at the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil this past July.

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If he continues to perform at this level over the winter in Florida and into the spring, he and his rider, Karen O’Connor, of The Plains, Va., could make the U.S. Olympic equestrian team next year and travel to Beijing.

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Teddy once again displayed his amazing athletic ability, under the skillful guidance of his Olympic veteran rider, to the delight of their growing throng of international fans.

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Teddy, Karen’s bionic pony partner, is a 14.2h sport pony, bred by P. Wynn Norman. “He doesn’t know he’s small,”   says Karen.

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He has tremendous springs and a huge jump, making even the most difficult combinations look like simple gymnastics.

Teddy is 3/4 Thoroughbred, 1/8 Arabian, and 1/8 Shetland Pony and, with Karen on board, thinks all things are possible!

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Eventing is a demanding three-part test of horse and rider.

Part I is usually dressage. The goal is to make a difficult set of carefully controlled movements look simple. It requires precision, balance and grace.

Part II is usually cross-country, which involves 25 to 40 jumps strung across a course of several miles. Cross-country showcases strength, endurance and smarts.

Part III is show-jumping, which is done in a ring. This measures speed, nimbleness and accuracy.

In all three areas, Teddy makes up for his size with something that can’t be measured in inches: a huge heart.

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“It doesn’t cross his mind that it can’t be done,” says O’Connor, even though Teddy is so small he sometimes can’t see what’s on the other side of a cross-country jump.

As Teddy approaches a jump that might be four feet high and 6 1/2 feet wide, O’Connor’s job is to keep him “wanting to be careful but also brave and confident.”

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Eventing takes a lot of training, which takes a lot of time. Many horses in the sport are teen-agers. Teddy, a chestnut gelding, is 12.

Several trainers passed on a chance to work with Teddy because they thought of him as a kid’s mount. O’Connor saw past his size to his potential. The result is a champion pairing that’s the talk of the eventing circuit.

Teddy comes from a breeder who has been experimenting with a mix of thoroughbreds, Arabian horses and Shetland ponies. Although Teddy is worth $300,000 to $400,000, the group that owns him isn’t looking to make money; it just wants to support his career.

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O’Connor’s husband, 2000 Olympic gold-medalist David O’Connor, compares Teddy to a wide receiver in football or “a 5-7 point guard” in basketball.

Teddy beats much larger competition because he is so quick, intelligent and athletic, David O’Connor says.

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 His wife agrees. “Size is never going to stop Teddy,” she says. “He feels like a giant out there.”

~~~

Update
Farewell, Teddy
May 29, 2008

News Link: Washington Post

Link: O’Connor Event Team

Link:  Photographs from O’Connor Pan Am Gallery