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.
Preparing for your first horse trial and not sure what is expected of you at each level? Over the course of the next few Rule Refreshers, we will be diving into each level and the performance expectations of each phase. Want to better prepare yourself or your students for their first competition or a move-up? The USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is a free resource to all USEA members that outlines clear and consistent guidelines for riders and trainers to refer to when navigating their way through the competition levels. You can access this guide by logging into your online services account.
I’m not one for the spotlight. As the voice of the Association, you don’t need to know my personal views, political, eventing, or otherwise. So despite my byline appearing on thousands of articles on the USEA website and magazine, this is probably only the second time I’m writing about myself (the first was about my love for lessons, and reading it now makes me laugh as I am still 100% addicted). But as I am now just a USEA member I thought I would share a bit of my journey to add to our member spotlight series, Now on Course.
You’ve likely spent some time scouring the USEA Calendar to line up your 2022 competition schedule. Now that spring has sprung, it’s time to plan some cross-country schooling outings to make sure you and your horse are as ready as possible. If you own or manage a facility that welcomes guests for haul-in schooling, you’ve likely noticed horses and their humans showing up in droves to get their practice in. A successful off-site schooling day has many, many moving parts. From paperwork and payment to safety, these best practices for hosts and guests will help everything go as smoothly as possible.
US Equestrian is pleased to announce the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the CHIO Aachen CCIO4*-S at CHIO Aachen World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, from July 1-2, 2022. The team will be led by Chef d’Equipe Bobby Costello.