Popular eventing pony Theodore O’Connor (pictured, photo by Shannon Brinkman) has been put down after being injured in an accident at rider Karen O’Connor’s barn.

The injury occurred after the pony was spooked while walking to the arena for a morning workout.

“Teddy got frightened and bolted. He slipped running back to the barn and suffered a severe laceration to his hind leg, severing the tendons and ligaments,” said the O’Connors in a statement.

“Dr. A Kent Allen was on the scene immediately, and it was determined after examination that the injuries were catastrophic. Everyone who knew Teddy is devastated.”

The 14.1hh eventer won himself a huge fan club on both sides of the Atlantic when he defied his tiny size to finish third at Rolex Kentucky in 2007 and sixth this year.

The 13-year-old also won team and individual gold medals at the Pan American games last year and was on the short-list for the American team at this year’s Olympics in Hong Kong.

“Seeing was believing with ‘Teddy’ as it seemed impossible to imagine that a pony of his size could do his job with such tremendous ease,” said the United Equestrian Federation’s (USEF) Joanie Morris in a press release.

“Thoughts and prayers are with Karen and David [O’Connor], Teddy’s groom Max Corcoran, all of his owners in the Theodore O’Connor syndicate and everyone associated with this remarkable pony.”

To send thoughts to Teddy’s connections please email Teddy@usef.org and USEF will pass on messages.