The Barrel Racing Blog asked each member of the Ford Family the same questions about their horse, Teddy Terrific. In today’s section, Jessie, Marc, Bryan and Carl reflect on their first memories of Teddy. Strangely enough, each of them have a different first memory to share of the horse that has so dramatically changed their lives. The family, with mother Peggy joining in, talk about Teddy’s greatest accomplishments – again, their answers will surprise you.
What is your first memory of Teddy?
CARL: He was lazy, not a lot of energy and slow about what you were trying to teach him.
BRYAN: My first memory of Teddy was when he was a 2-year-old — he wasn’t anything more than a plain-looking 2-year-old colt, nothing special. I believe our dad and grandpa traded a riding horse for Teddy and an old stock trailer full of junk.
JESSIE: I was only 5 when my family first got Teddy, so I don’t have many memories that vibrantly stick out to me. I mostly remember my dad and Bryan running him, and watching them show him at the Congress and AQHA World Shows in the early to mid ’90s. The biggest early memory that sticks out to me is Bryan and Teddy being AQHA Reserve World Champions in Junior Pole Bending in 1993. I was 7, and I remember my family standing together to get that photo taken at the World Show. I literally said to my mom, “Teddy really is TERRIFIC, isn’t he?”
MARC: One of my first memories of Teddy was when I was either 3 or 4, and Bryan walked me into the Coliseum on him, to receive a Top Ten placing in one of his classes at the Congress.
Which of Teddy’s accomplishments are you most proud of?
CARL: All three of my kids winning a class at the Congress, whether it has been a Youth, Amateur, Open or Sweepstakes class.
PEGGY: Teddy was the “drive” for Jessie to ride again after her spinal fusion in 2003. She had to wait until April of 2005 before she could ride again. That first time back in the saddle after her surgery was difficult for me. I had to trust Teddy would keep her safe. He did. In October of that year he had given her two Congress wins and an All-Around title.
BRYAN: The main accomplishment for Teddy that I’m most proud of is the fact that he has been competitive for 17 years. I’ve seen thousands of horses go down the alleyway, I’ve seen hundreds of really nice horses and I’ve seen probably a tenth of them that were great horses — you know, “household names.” There has probably been five or six times in Teddy’s career when we have hit a wall with him, and I have thought that he was done, didn’t have it anymore or needed to be retired, but each time he came back, he was stronger than before.
JESSIE: As far as showing accomplishments go, I am so incredibly proud of him winning his 10th Congress championship this past year, at the age of 20. I honestly don’t think you can find another horse that has won that many Congress titles, and/or at that age. My family and I also think he more than likely has to hold some kind of record for being exhibited at as many Congresses as he has — (17) — never missing one and has placed and/or won at each of those. I am also unbelievably proud of his lifetime earnings, which exceed $100,000. Aside from the titles and money won though, I am most proud of his longevity. I have no words to describe his amazing mental and physical health and pure love for his job.
I’d also like to mention that I’m so proud that he runs “clean” when a lot of the horses he’s running against don’t. Teddy does not ever get stuck with a needle, not even for maintenance. We’ve had numerous people over the years question what we give him, and what he “runs on” — and we truly just laugh and say he runs on “air” and his big heart.
MARC: The biggest accomplishment I’m proud of is when Bryan and Teddy finally won the Pole Bending Sweepstakes at the Congress in 2008. It was a long time coming because it was the only class he hadn’t won but tried to for years.
And, just in case you need to see Teddy zip through the poles again, check out the run Marc is talking about in the Pole Bending Sweepstakes at the Congress of 2008: