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.
Lisa Pragg is a busy woman, but between her normal day job and competing her own 19-year-old Thoroughbred Impeccable she still prioritizes time to volunteer - both at horse trials and as a volunteer firefighter. Pragg understands the importance that volunteers play in the eventing community and makes sure to give whatever time she can back as a fair gesture.
Attention USEA members! Registration for the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is now open! The convention will be held in person on December 7-11, 2022 at the Hyatt Regency Savannah Hotel in Savannah, Georgia.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is proud to announce the selected Young Rider athletes for the Emerging Athletes 21 Program (EA21) national camp, now that the EA21 regional clinics have concluded. Twelve riders were accepted into each of the five regional EA21 clinics, taught by USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) instructors, and now riders have been selected from the regional clinics to participate in the inaugural EA21 national camp this winter.
Ninety percent of training a horse is getting the horse to understand exactly what you want them to do. In general, horses are generous and willing creatures who want to please us; very seldom do they behave badly on purpose. Horses don’t come out and say, ‘Let’s make Mom’s (or Dad’s) life miserable today by going as poorly as possible - most prefer to do the right thing, as long as they know what that is.