Bracket Battle of Event Horses: ROUND 1

After a weekend break, the Bracket Battle resumes today with the 3 vs 6 seeds from the O’Connor Region and the British Isles Region.  A major popularity contest is expected between Giltedge and Theodore O’Connor, though I would encourage you to judge them on their merit not just rabid fanaticism.  Across the pond, the successful stoic King William faces Murphy Himself and his crazy athleticism.  Vote for your favorite to send them on!  Sing your praises or grunt your grumbles in the comment section…noteworthy comments may be rewarded with extra votes toward a horse of your choice.

An anonymous commenter left a lovely note about Molokai, earning him an additional 10 votes.

Having had the luck to work a bit with Dorothy when I was a young rider, Molokai has to be one of the hungriest cross country horses I’ve ever seen go round — just watching him gallop by, you could tell he just wanted to eat that course up. We used to walk courses and joke that something was a steady three stride, “or a Molokai two.” Definitely gets my vote! Mo is one of a kind.

We kind of felt sorry for Kibah Tic Toc, so despite this insightful comment from retreadeventer, we decided not to award extra points to Charisma.  However, we’ll publish it on the front page anyway:

I was up close to Charisma at the 1984 Olympics in LA and we, by we I mean the Australian chef, and his groom, and a few other Aussies standing around in the barn area shedrow, LAUGHED out loud at the denotation of 15.3 hands in the press handout. Why, he’s not a lick over 15.2 and that with high heeled shoes on, someone said. Standing up next to him that was the truth and most of that withers. He had to have the stall guard reset lower for his stall. I do remember that. What a horse.

We really enjoy your stories and memories of these great horses, so please keep sharing them!


Despite the 10 bonus votes, (7) Molokai could not overcome the greatness of (2)Eagle Lion, falling by the score of 154-75.  (2) Charisma completely smashed (7) Kibah Tic Toc in by far the most lopsided battle of the tournament, 226-5.



For most of his stellar career with David O’Connor, Giltedge suffered from the “always a bridesmaid, never the bride” syndrome.  He was a steady, successful horse in his own right, but “Tex” was a bit overshadowed by the glory of Custom Made and his flashy victories.  Finally, Tex achieved that elusive Big Win at Rolex in 2001.  Aside from that crowning moment, he was a constant presence on the US eventing team: Olympics in 1996 (team silver) and 2000 (team gold), WEG 1998 (team bronze) and 2002 (team gold).  He also won team gold and individual silver in the PanAm Games in 1999.  In 2002, he was named Horse of the Year by Chronicle of the Horse.   



Inspiring pint-sized athletes everywhere, the “Super Pony” took the event world by storm during his tragically-brief career.  Eventually paired with Karen O’Connor, Teddy finished 9th at his first three-star in 2006 at Jersey Fresh.  The next year would see him dominate the US scene, winning the Fork CIC***, finishing 3rd at Rolex, and winning individual and team gold at the 2007 PanAms.  The Pony ended up 6th at Rolex in ’08, was short-listed for the Olympic team, when an unfortunate accident resulted in fatal injury.  His short glimpse of greatness proved to all that “pony power” was a force to be reckoned with.  



King William delivered Mary King her first of two Badminton wins in 1992.  That win sparked an run of 5 years that included 9th at the Barcelona Olympics, two British Open Championships, individual 4th at the ’94 WEGs, 12th at the Atlanta Olympics, and during this stretch King William broke the record for the highest ever British Eventing points total.  As the story goes, King William was such a popular horse that a fan once addressed a letter to just “King William, Devon” and it reached the farm just fine.  King William was put down in 2002 due to a laceration on his hoof and pastern.



The athletic Murphy Himself began his eventing career with Ginny Leng, and the pair won Burghley in 1986.  Due to the gelding’s strength on XC, Ginny decided to trade horses with Ian Stark in 1988 (for the horse Griffin), and Ian Rode Murphy Himself for the remainder of the horse’s career.  With Ian, Murphy Himself delivered countless extraordinary XC rounds, completed Badminton multiple times including second in 1991, placed second at the Stockholm WEGs in 1990, and competed for the British Team in 1992 at the Barcelona Olympics.  Click here for a video including Murphy Himself.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments