Sloopy (Two Davids x Nearly Sloopy), an off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding ridden at the four-star (now five-star) level by John Williams, has passed away at the age of 28.
Under the name Sloopy’s David, Sloopy started on the track 43 times between his 3- and 6-year-old years, earning more than $50,000. From the track he went to Jan Byyny before being purchased by John Williams in partnership with Ellen Chaney, Bob Boeckman, and Mary Delton as a 7-year-old.
Williams and Sloopy earned top placings at the Preliminary level in 1999 before moving up to the Intermediate level in 2000, winning his first event at the level. He won his first long format two-star at the Camino Real Three-Day Event in November of 2000. In 2001 Williams and Sloopy moved up to the Advanced level, finishing in eighth place in the long format three-star at Fair Hill International in the fall.
Sloopy took his first crack at the four-star level in 2003 at Burghley, where he finished in 18th place. He was 16th at the Kentucky Three-Day Event the following spring, before returning to Burghley in the fall of 2004 to once again finish in 18th place. He was sixth in the short format three-star at Foxhall in 2005 and competed at the Kentucky Three-Day Event again in 2006, finishing in 10th place.
At the end of the 2007 competition season, Sloopy underwent surgery to remove bone chips from his knee. While the veterinarian was unsure if he would return to competition, Sloopy did just that, taking young rider Lizzie Snow to the North American Junior/Young Rider Championships in 2009, where they placed fourth.
Sloopy lived out his retirement in Southern Pines under the care of Ellen Chaney and was pasturemates with Williams’ Olympic mount, Carrick, until his passing in 2017.
"He was a strange one," Williams recalled fondly. "He had a very good work ethic, as a lot of the Thoroughbreds who come off the track do, and his work ethic got him through everything he did. He was afraid of just about everything - you had to be very careful hacking. He was constantly seeing monsters in the woods, in his own shadow, in a line on the ground. If he wasn't on the job all bets were off! But he figured out what his job was quite early and you knew that when he left the start box he would jump everything in his way, and he always tried very hard."
The USEA sends its condolences to all of Sloopy's connections.
Virginia Horse Center Eventing, presented by Capital Square, wrapped up on May 28 after a fun-filled weekend of top competition. The Virginia Horse Center welcomed riders of all levels from Olympic to beginner eventers.
The course updates and world class officials made the inaugural VHC Eventing memorable. The entire VHC Eventing management team and the Virginia Horse Center appreciate all who competed at this weekend's event, and we look forward to welcoming you back in November!
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
The German Training Scale (GTS) is a system of evaluating and prioritizing the way of going of the horse in work and should be used to determine where you start your daily program. The Familiarization Phase of rhythm and relaxation are followed by the Developing of Propulsion Phase introducing connection and impulsion with straightness and collection in the Development of Carrying Power. The clearer the basics of rhythm, relaxation, and connection are established, the easier impulsion, straightness, and collection can be added.
The USEA Classic Series is going strong thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of event organizers who are committed to the thrill of long-format eventing. Dr. Christel Carlson, M.D. is one of the biggest champions of the program. A former competitor, she continues to contribute countless hours to the USEA as an organizer, judge (R), volunteer, and member of multiple committees. She is the owner of Spokane Sport Horse Farm in Spokane, Washington, which hosts two USEA recognized events each year. The facility’s fall event, which closes out the season in Area VII, includes Classic Three-Day divisions at the Beginner Novice, Novice and Training levels.