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At the age of 82, Wesley Teal went to heaven. He was preceded in death by his only son, Lesley Teal, parents Tommie and Myrtle Teal, brothers Tommie, Claude, and Samuel Teal, Carl Murray, and sisters Linda Teal and Rachel Murray McCrickard. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Rebecca, his four-legged children Levi, Abel, Iris, and Sean Teal, sister Brenda Langley and many nieces, nephews, grand nieces, and grand nephews.
At the age of fourteen, Wesley started working as an apprentice farrier. He worked himself up to a renowned and much sought-after farrier. Many apprenticed under him and learned the trade from the best. Eric Gray, a one-time intern, was instrumental in getting Wesley acknowledged as a certified master farrier. Wesley always valued education and this acknowledgment, in his mind, validated his learning from experience and his life’s work. He could improve any horse by watching it work. With his skill, he helped many horses win multiple world and world grand championships in different disciplines. He made the most beautiful knives, buckles, or anything else that could be forged. If you could draw a picture of it, he could make it!
In 1977, Wesley started training racking horses in addition to shoeing them. He was widely known as a trainer who could figure a horse out and get it’s best. His nickname was Dr. T because of his skill as a trainer and farrier. He was once given a starving yearling and named him Hard Times. He developed him into a world champion racking horse who showed under the registered name of Dr. T. He also was a wizard with flat-shod horses, way before their time. In the Breeder’s Racking Horse Association, he won numerous state and world championships. In 1994, he won the National Racking Horse World Grand Championship.
In 1991, on a trip to Las Vegas, Wesley discovered he loved gambling. He once won TWO jackpots in less than 30 minutes! He was so excited he jumped up and did a little dance. He turned countless lottery tickets into profits. He was a fan of PBR bull riding and attended several bull riding world championships.
In 2004, Wesley was injured shoeing a horse. This led to his forced premature retirement from shoeing and training. This was actually a blessing in disguise as the accident uncovered an untreated health problem. With this problem treated, he was able to live and enjoy another 20 years.
He was good, happy, gentle, kind, handsome, and a great man who loved his family, animals, and friends. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him, most of all his wife. We are all better because he was part of our lives.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, February 2nd at Hightower Baptist Church, 3444 Hightower Road, Ball Ground, GA 30107. Visitation will be from 11:30 AM – 1 PM, memorial service to start at 1 PM.