EquiSearch Olympic Hall of Fame – Giltedge

David O’Connor riding Giltedge and ponying Custom Made | © Nancy Jaffer

Stable Name: Tex
Stats: Irish Thoroughbred, by Glenbar out of Kitty, foaled 1986, bay, 17 hands
Owner: Jacqueline Mars, Stonehall Farm, The Plains, Virginia
Rider: David O’Connor
Major Accomplishments:
2003 Official retirement at Rolex Kentucky CCI**** with Prince Panache
2002 Horse of the Year, Chronicle of the Horse
2002 Team Gold World Equestrian Games, Jerez, Spain
2001 National Performance Horse Registry Silver Stirrup Award, Adv. Level Eventing Champion
2001 1st Rolex Kentucky CCI****
2000 Team Bronze Olympic Games, Sydney Australia
2000 8th Foxhall CCI***
1999 Team Gold, Individual Silver Pan American Games, Winnipeg, Canada
1999 1st North Ameircan Beaulieu CIC***
1998 Team Bronze, 6th World Equestrian Games, Rome, Italy
1997 National Performance Horse Registry Silver Stirrup Award, High Score Horse
1997 1st, Fair Hill CCI***
1997 3rd, Punchestwon CCI***
1996 Team Silver Olympic Games, Atlanta, Georgia
1995 1st Fair Hill CCI***

Favorite Treat: Mrs. Pastures Cookies–will consume copious amounts, along with a few good carrots, and just recently, his poor unsuspecting groom’s just perfectly ripe peaches!

David O’Connor on Giltedge: “Tex became a great favorite of mine in a lot of ways. I like to say that he always shows up for work, and he’s done what he’s accomplished with less native ability than some other horses have. He’s not as naturally talented as somebody like Custom Made, so he has to work harder at it, and he knows he has to work harder at it. Mark Phillips called him a “useful” horse. But he won two three-stars and a four-star, and ended up with six medals to his credit. That’s pretty good for not being “the most talented.” Biko, Eagle Lion, Out And About, and Custom Made were the stars who were supposed to bring home the big medals for the team during the mid- to late 1990s. Well, every time you turned around, Tex was the highest-placed American horse on the team, and he just kept doing it. That’s why his victory at Rolex Kentucky in 2001 was such a big emotional win for me–because it was Tex being the star at last.”

Excerpted from Life in the Galloping Lane, by Karen and David O’Connor with Nancy Jaffer, published in August 2004, by the Equine Network. To order, visit www.EquineNetworkStore.com or call 800-952-5813.

Stonehall Farm stable manager Sue Clark on Tex: “He is always the consummate professional about his work, always showing up in his Armani suit ready to work and do his best, no matter how hard he has to try. In the barn, however, he has his little quirks. You definitely need to earn his respect and trust before he ‘allows’ you to touch him, and not just anybody can dress him! He can be very humbling, but once he knows you, he remembers you for life. I do believe that he has let his guard down with his older age! There are far more kisses and snuggles coming from his direction, but certainly don’t let him know that I told you that.”

“His life at the moment consists of being turned out with Tailor (something that we could not do when they were competing), going for trail rides, being used as a lesson horse, and doing demonstrations. Of course he still gets lots of grooming and plenty of attention and has the No. 1 stall in the barn. Spoiled? No, not at all! We all love him, as well as the other famous ones in the barn, and we all will always have very special places in our hearts for them. They are the types of horses that you will always be proud that you had something to do with their careers, not matter how big or small. They are truly unforgettable and we are all better people for knowing them.”

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