Jun 27, 2022

Steve and Vicki Sukup Prove that You Always Win When You Bet on the Rider

Vicki Sukup, Elisa Wallace, and Rick Sukup pose with Riot Gear and Simply Priceless. Photo courtesy of the Sukup family.

What happens to a dream deferred? Steve and Vicki Sukup wouldn’t know, because frankly, that’s not their style. Steve is the president and CEO of family-owned Sukup Manufacturing, and also happens to be the co-owner of another Iowan delight—Mo Donegal, the Belmont Stakes winner who was dressed in white carnations earlier this month. Steve and his wife Vicki also have another equine connection who is pretty well known in the eventing world: Elisa Wallace.

Wallace's mount Simply Priceless, aka Johnny, was about to be sold out from under her several years ago but when Steve and Vicki caught wind of this potential pickle, they got right to work brainstorming ways to help keep the partnership possible. “Little Ricky”—Rick Wallace, Wallace’s dad—is the one who made the call to the Sukups. His sister Laura and Vicki go way back to junior high school and in a lot of ways, they’ve remained each other’s chosen family over the years.

“We were dumbfounded—what should we do, what can we do?” recalled Vicki. And then Rick mentioned putting together a syndication. A horse owner syndication is when a group of people comes together to purchase a promising horse for a professional event rider. Though syndication was new to Steve and Vicki, they didn’t shy away from the opportunity and knew they had to have the majority shares of Simply Priceless. “Elisa’s dream was to train a horse and bring it to the five-star level, and we knew what she did with mustangs and we were enthralled with that so we just said, ‘Take Simply Priceless and do what you do to mustangs and do that with him,’” said Vicki.

And Wallace did just that, representing the United States in England at the 2015 Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials and finishing 29th out of 110 starters, and then finishing 8th at the 2016 Rolex Kentucky International Horse Trials. Together, they completed 17 FEI events and soared over the biggest tracks in the world while attending five-star events.

“We ended up going to Europe with him and it was amazing—we didn’t care if it rained on us—we were just happy to be part of the family,” said Vicki. Growing up as an Air Force kid, Vicki learned to love small animals, namely toy breeds like Toy Poodles. Owning a larger animal, such as a horse, wasn’t possible with frequent and big moves. Vicki fondly recalled their Goldendoodle being in the stable with Johnny, joining him in his stall. It was the merging of two worlds that we all know well—our past and our present.

“After Johnny had an injury Steve said, ‘She needs more horses,” said Vicki. She lowered her voice and admitted that they were bitten—bitten badly—with the eventing bug and watching Wallace’s steady incline of success. When Johnny was retired at the ripe age of 20, Wallace brought home Riot Gear who also came with spring-loaded upper-level potential. After tragically breaking his neck in a stable accident, the search was back on for Wallace and her family—the Sukups included.

“We were in the thick of it with Mo Donegal,” said Vicki, describing that their investment with Mo was really an investment in their good friend Jerry Crawford—a co-owner of Mo. “A ninth-grade teacher, Mr. Kratina, was big on the Derby. He said, ‘Always bet on the jockey.’ I told that to Steve and he didn’t understand it until this last [race] with Mo. And we invest in Elisa just the same. Whatever she chooses, we’re ok with that. She’s the expert. Same with that jockey on Mo.” Vicki also said that it is her dream, one day, to get more into the racing scene and then have Wallace pick out an eventing horse since so many Thoroughbreds have extreme athletic potential when placed in the right hands.

Piggybacking the Belmont win excitement, Steve and Vicki are now championing Wallace through another syndication with her new mount from Europe—the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding Renkum Corsair (Renkum Chapot x Renkum Colitas), aka Caz.

“Her dream is her dream, and if someone gets in the middle of a dream, that’s sort of not ok. And if we’re able to, in any way, help that dream along the way, we welcome them as family,” said Vicki. “Family is important. It’s not always blood family but you choose your family also."

Dec 02, 2022 Convention

Awards Presentations and Special Functions at the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention

The 2022 United States Eventing Association (USEA) Annual Meeting & Convention in Savannah, Georgia is a time to celebrate the incredible achievements and memories made by our members throughout the year. During the convention, the USEA will shine a spotlight on the national awards winners, grant recipients and eventing legends during three separate events: the USEA Year End Awards Luncheon, the USEA Annual Meeting of Members Luncheon and the 8th edition of the USEA’s Eventing Hall of Fame Gala. With so many celebrations taking place in one packed weekend, it may be hard to decide which you want to attend. Keep reading for all you need to know to on these three uniquely special events!

Dec 02, 2022 Sponsor

Ride iQ Renews Partnership with the USEA

The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is pleased to announce the return of an official USEA Educational Collaborator, Ride iQ. Ride iQ is a mobile app that allows riders to take audio lessons with top coaches while they ride, an opportunity that hasn’t existed before. In 2023, the USEA will partner with the company to offer exclusive content in collaboration with the USEA’s Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) and the EA21 program, as well as creating other unique educational opportunities.

Dec 02, 2022 Sponsor

STRIDER Returns as USEA Educational Partner

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is delighted to announce a renewed partnership with STRIDER for 2023. STRIDER will return as an ‘Official USEA Educational Partner’ to enable unique educational benefits and professional opportunities for eventing enthusiasts.

Dec 01, 2022 Convention

Rebecca Farm Returns as Gold Sponsor of the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention

The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is pleased to announce the renewed partnership with Rebecca Farm, as they return as a Gold Level Sponsor of the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention and the Official Sponsor of the Annual Meeting continental breakfast. The 2022 Annual Meeting & Convention will take place next week on December 7-11 at the Hyatt Regency Savannah Hotel in Savannah, Georgia.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Real Estate Partner of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA