Saturday, May. 25, 2024

Throwback Thursday: A Horse Of A Lifetime And Two Broken Arms At WIHS



Candi Powell Weddle definitely remembers competing at the 1971 Washington International Horse Show (District of Columbia), not only because she was riding her horse of a lifetime, but also because she was riding with two broken elbows.

“You can’t tell in the photo, but I was showing in that class with two broken arms,” Weddle said. “My grandfather had just bought me the saddle that’s in the photo. Walking down to the barn one day, I was carrying my brand-new saddle, and I was trying to be so careful. But back in the ‘70s, we wore bell-bottoms. I went to step across a little puddle, and my toe caught in my bell bottom, and I fell on the cement apron around our barn and broke both my elbows.

“We’d already entered and paid the entry fee for the Washington International, and I had a few weeks before the show. I had these casts that I could take off to straighten my arms, but it was painful. For the show, I wrapped my arms in Ace bandages. In the photo my jacket is riding way up my arm because it kept catching on my bandages. I was in so much pain riding, but I was like, ‘I’m doing this.’ ”


A pair of broken elbows didn’t stop Candi Powell Weddle from competing at the Washington International with Two-Tone. Photo courtesy of Candi Powell Weddle.

Weddle showed her Two-Tone in the junior hunters in 1971, during the the show’s years at the National Guard Armory, and the photo is from the appointments class. Her sandwich case and whip were on loan from Edna Lytle because she didn’t have her own.

Two-Tone was an Anglo-Arabian gelding who stood just 14.3 ¼ hands. “He had the heart of a lion. Whatever you pointed him at, he’d jump it,” Weddle recalled. “He loved the big outside courses; he’d gallop and jump. He was an exceptional jumper. I evented him some, but he didn’t like the dressage. He liked to run and jump. We did a lot of Gambler’s Choice classes, and he excelled in those. He wasn’t big, but he was mighty.”

In fact, in 1972 Weddle and Two-Tone returned to the Washington International Horse Show and showed in the junior jumper division.

Weddle bought Two-Tone when she was 14, and he the same age. “He was marked so great—there was a line right down the middle of his face, and one side was brown, and one side was white. He had one brown ear and one white ear,” Weddle said. “He was so versatile. People would get mad because we’d win a hunter class, then I’d go to the next ring and win the jumper class. Because he was part-Arab, I took him in a park hack class once, and he won that too. A man walked up to me once and told me, ‘If you throw a Western saddle on that horse, I’m going home.’ But we stuck to English!


“He was my heart horse of all horses ever. I’m 63 now, and I still haven’t found one that would come close to him,” she said.

For Weddle, who grew up in the Poolesville, Maryland, area and rode with the Muldoon family, the Washington International was a big part of her childhood.

“We went every year as kids,” she said. “Papa Joe [Muldoon] used to drop us off at the show, and we’d spend all day there. He’d give us wristbands and say, ‘Y’all be good!’ We stayed down in the tack rooms, and the parents didn’t worry about us. We had our Halloween candy, so we were good to go.”

Weddle remembers roaming around the barn area, watching the big-name riders and trying to sneak into the crowd shots while the movie “The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit” was being filmed at WIHS in 1967. “That show was a big part of our life. We have such great memories from there,” she said.

Weddle, who now lives in Frederick, Maryland, taught riding for a while after she graduated from her junior showing career before working as a school bus driver for 35 years. She eventually focused on breeding and showing miniature horses but tries to keep one riding horse on her farm.




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