Occasionally, there comes a horse that brings the crowd to their feet, not just because of its speed, or its turns, but because of its presence. When Teddy Terrific comes down an alleyway, people take pause, and some cheer, and when he crosses the timer line after a run, a collective gasp comes out of the crowd. It’s because of horses like Teddy that we run – be it poles, barrels or anything else – just for the chance to maybe, someday, have a Teddy.
A lot of the feedback The Barrel Racing Blog received in the last week on Teddy’s story centered on that theme – the idea that readers were awed at Teddy’s excellence and would love to just once have a horse like that.
Jessie Ford, one of the Ford siblings that runs Teddy, called Teddy that once-in-a-lifetime horse, and that really captures it, I believe. For Jessie to have the foresight to say that Teddy is a once-in-a-lifetime horse says something for her family’s character, too. Teddy isn’t just a horse of theirs that’s been good to them, he wasn’t just a futurity prospect, or a good senior horse, he was their big one. While everyone would love to have a barn full of Teddys for years and years, it takes humility and respect for a horse to appreciate what that once-in-a-lifetime horse is.
For many of us, our big one might be the horse that we win a saddle with, a local series, a few rodeos or even the NFR. But it’s the constant search for our own Teddy that drives us.
I’m struck by the love the Fords have for Teddy, and for the care they’ve given him. With a horse that fast, that good, it would be tempting for some to stick a needle in his neck to see just how much more he could give with just a little dose of something. But, the Fords weren’t even tempted – they recognized what is best for Teddy, and they have taken impeccable care of him. His one injury in 2002 came at the Quarter Horse Congress when he fell during the Pole Sweepstakes and suffered a soft tissue tear to his bladder. Because of the Fords careful treatment of his injury, the next year at the Congress Teddy came back with a vengeance to win the Senior Horse Poles, his first Congress title.
Again, The Barrel Racing Blog would like to thank the Fords for what they’ve done for barrel racing and pole bending alike by letting us all get to know Teddy and what an amazing animal he really is.