Bally Cor, a daughter of steeplechaser Cormac, was bred by Dr. Charles Reid. Reid's friends, Harden Crawford, III and his wife Ailsa, bought a half interest in her as a youngster. "She was wonderful, all the way from the time we broke her," Harden said.
After getting her started as a three-day horse, Reid and the Crawfords loaned Bally Cor to the USET, where she was eventually partnered with a 21-year-old Tad Coffin. "She looked like she had something in her and we decided to give it a shot," Harden explained. "It worked out OK."
A bit more than OK, actually. Bally Cor and Coffin were incredibly successful, winning team and individual gold at the 1975 Pan American Games, team and individual gold at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and team bronze at the 1978 World Championships at Lexington.
At first glance, many wouldn't have expected such achievements from the unassuming mare. But what she lacked in flash, she more than made up in heart and tenacity, and she was solid in all three phases. As Harden pointed out, "she was somewhat short-strided, so she didn't have much extension in dressage, but if the going on cross-country was trappy, she was perfect."
After being retired from competition, Bally Cor went on to her second career, motherhood, and one of her successful descendants is the 2001 USEA Mare of the Year, Ballymar.
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