At almost 21 years old, Teddy Terrific has brought the Ford Family years of success, and with that success has come recognition from across the Quarter Horse industry. The Fords have heard wonderful things said about their great animal, and below they’ll share some of the best compliments they’ve received.
More than the compliments, though, Teddy has brought to his family a degree of closeness that makes the Fords really something special. Working towards the common goal and with the same animal has kept them connected throughout the years.
And, to finish off this series, Carl, Peggy, Jessie and Marc talk about if and when Teddy will retire, and what his life will be like afterwards.
What’s the greatest compliment you’ve ever received about Teddy?
CARL: I’ve had some people say that Teddy should be inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame. (I know that that would not happen until he’s gone and I’m with that as long as it’s a long time from now). These comments are just real nice compliments. I know what he’s accomplished and just proud that I’ve been apart of that, and he has nothing to prove to me or anyone else.
JESSIE: That’s a tough one. There are so many people that love Teddy, and I think the highlight for most of those folks comes every October at the Congress. I’ve seen no other horse have an electrifying impact on that Coliseum and make the crowd go as wild as they do when Teddy runs. People absolutely adore that horse, it’s unbelievable and hard to describe. Some of the greatest compliments would include him being called a “Congress legend”… and some have even said he’s been the greatest pole horse in the world. I think what’s most special, however, is when people say they wish they had a horse like him. We’re very honored and humbled by him.
MARC: I think the greatest compliment I’ve ever heard, was when a lady at the Congress told my dad and I that Teddy should be inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame one day.
How has Teddy affected your family’s connectivity?
CARL: He’s affected everybody in our family, from feeding to bedding to turnouts and workouts. Everyday observation of his behavior is part of anybody’s routine that cares for him. He’s a family member like any of the rest of the Fords.
PEGGY: In the first few years of owning him, there was that possibility of selling him. After a while though, we couldn’t imagine not having him in the barn. Each of my three kids has won Congress titles on him. When Marc and Jessie graduated from their ponies, Teddy showed them what it was really like to barrel race, while keeping them safe.
BRYAN: Teddy is part of the family and he has allowed our family to share in all of the success together, and that is something that doesn’t happen for every family. He gave us a common goal to cheer for — him, the horse, Teddy Terrific.
JESSIE: Teddy is our family. We love him more than anything and in many ways, our lives and schedules revolve around his care and maintenance every single day. His health, soundness, comfort and happiness is of upmost importance to us and we would do absolutely anything for him. He’s been our life for so long because of everything he’s given us. He has never owed us anything, and we expect nothing of him. We truly feel so blessed to not only still be running him, but also just simply to still have him. Regarding our individual relationships with each other, he has definitely had an significant impact. He brings us together when we’re caring or cheering for him, and we’ve all shared wins on him. Therefore, he’s enabled us to be a close-knit unit. A lot of families don’t share such a strong, common love, like him. He’s really like the “rock” of the family. It’s hard to fathom how he’s “still going” but really, he’s the one keeping all of us going.
MARC: Teddy has affected this family’s connectivity because he is part of the family. We look at him like he’s another family member and we would/will do anything in the world for him.
How much longer do you think Teddy will run? Retirement plans?
CARL: Teddy’s not discussed that with me (haha). He’s looking good, acting great and enjoys doing his job. Teddy’s got nothing to prove to us or anybody when he does run. I do know that he likes the lights and the limelight. He will probably spend his retirement turned out and still playing as he always has.
PEGGY: Sometimes I think people who know Teddy wonder why we still show him (at his age). He loves to compete. We keep him in shape. He truly knows when he’s going to a show and he’s bright and happy when he’s loaded on the trailer.
JESSIE: As a family, we have always said that Teddy will have a way of telling us when his time is over and he’s ready to be done. We haven’t gotten any signs quite like that from him yet though, and for now, he still loves his job. We always say if we retired him now, we would affect him more negatively MENTALLY than benefit him PHYSICALLY. He is an athlete who knows he has a job, and enjoys it. If he didn’t get loaded on the trailer or still get taken down the road to do that job, he would feel useless and his mental health would most likely fail. We take VERY good care of him and keep him feeling as fresh and zoned-in as possible, and the vets and chiropractor have been impressed with his physicality, especially the last few years. He has never ran sore or hurt, so as long as he is healthy, sound, and WANTS to still run, we let him have his fun!
MARC: Teddy will keep running until he “tells us” he doesn’t want to anymore. We all know we’ll have a special sign from him.
A HUGE thank you to the Ford Family for agreeing to be part of this series. They spent time answering these questions and reflecting hard on the last 17 years, and The Barrel Racing Blog is completely grateful for their owning and caring for such an amazing animal so that we can tell this story.