Giltedge was a 17 hands (68 inches, 173 cm) Irish Sport Horse that was ridden by American David O'Connor at the international level in the sport of eventing.[1]

BreedIrish Sport Horse
SireGlenbar (Irish Sport Horse)
GrandsireBahrain (Thoroughbred)
DamAwkward Brief Mare
Maternal grandsireAwkward Brief
FoaledApril 25, 1986 in Ireland
DiedSeptember 3, 2015 The Plains Virginia (age 29)
CountryUnited States
ColourDark bay, off hind sock
OwnerJacqueline Mars, Stonehall Farm
TrainerDavid O'Connor
Medal record
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 1996 Atlanta Team eventing
Bronze medal – third place 2000 Sydney Team eventing
World Championships
Bronze medal – third place 1998 Rome Team eventing
Gold medal – first place 2002 Jerez Team eventing
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 1999 Winnipeg Team eventing
Silver medal – second place 1999 Winnipeg Individual eventing

Giltedge, formally known as Giltex, was bought by Jackie Mars from Irish eventer Eric Smiley as a mount for American rider David O'Connor. Although described by his rider as being less inherently gifted when compared to some of his stable mates (such as Custom Made), Giltedge's work ethic helped him to succeed.

Giltedge's first three-day in the United States was the 1994 Fair Hill. The event ended in disaster when a misjudged take-off distance from the obstacle resulted in a fall for O'Connor. During the pair's second three-day, the gelding caught his leg on a fence and flipped, leading to a punctured lung for his rider. It wasn't until their third three-day, at the 1995 Fair Hill, where Giltedge showed his ability, finishing second by 0.1 penalties. After that event, the horse would never be out of the top ten placings.

Giltedge was selected for the United States eventing team for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. A good dressage test combined with a clean cross-country and stadium round, helped the team to clinch the silver medal by two penalties—the country's first eventing team medal in an Olympics or World Championship in 12 years. Giltedge also competed four years later at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, as part of the bronze medal team.

Giltedge's final three-day was the 2002 World Equestrian Games held in Jerez, Spain. The gelding was the first American horse on cross-country, and the course was found to be quite slick. A lack of traction due to studs that were too small, resulted in O'Conner's decision to slow down, so as to prevent a fall. Unfortunately, the pair finished with 30.40 time faults. However, a clear stadium round, one of only 5 in the competition, helped the United States capture a long-awaited team gold.

Giltedge was retired at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day in 2003. He enjoyed his retirement at Stonehall Farm, and gave demonstrations with the O'Connors.

Major Accomplishments




  • National Performance Horse Registry Silver Stirrup Award, Adv. Level Eventing Champion
  • 1st Rolex Kentucky CCI****



  • Team Gold, Individual Silver Pan American Games, Winnipeg, Canada
  • 1st North American Beaulieu CIC***


  • Team Bronze, 6th World Equestrian Games, Rome, Italy


  • National Performance Horse Registry Silver Stirrup Award, High Score Horse
  • 1st, Fair Hill CCI***
  • 3rd, Punchestwon CCI***


  • Team Silver Olympic Games, Atlanta, Georgia


  • 1st Fair Hill CCI***


  1. ^ "Olympic event horse dies aged 29". Horse & Hound. 8 September 2015.