Zippy ChippyZippy Chippy, a son of Compliance, passed into eternity on April 16, 2022, just four days short of his 31st birthday at Cabin Creek, Greenfield Center, New York. Cabin Creek is a satellite of Old Friends, (thoroughbred retirement center) located in Lexington, Kentucky.
His record of near misses, reluctance to compete and cantankerous refusal to cooperate are legendary, and because of it, in the end, he too, Zippy Chippy, became the stuff of legend. He shared a pedigree littered with many of racing's all time greats, for example: Buckpasser, Count Fleet, Bold Ruler, War Admiral and the famed Blue Hen, La Troienne. While he shared their pedigrees, he shared none of their inclination, dawdling along hearing the slow beat of his own drummer. So dismal were his performances that he was forbidden to run at track after track until he was retired from racing in 2004. His post race career lead to a brief stint as an outrider's pony at his home track, Finger Lakes in New York.
Zippy Chippy training in 1998 at Finger Lakes with Jorge Hiraldo up.
And who couldn't love a horse that devoured junk food, like popcorn, pizza and ice cream. Everyone has a favorite secret indulgence and Zippy's was Doritos and beer, which he is said to have shared with his trainer. Somehow it seems fitting, doesn't it?
His infamous ineptitude lead to his being named one of the year 2000's "Most Intriguing Characters" by People Magazine. His ignominy was chronicled in the William Thomas' book, The Legend of Zippy Chippy: Life Lessons from Horse Racing's Most Lovable Loser. The book was simply a cheap attempt at humor at the expense of the horse. In other words, it was self-aggrandizing.
Zippy at Cabin Creek
Joann Pepper, owner and manager of Cabin Creek, said that Zippy was "...so content, and would not do anything he wasn't in the mood for," yet he was the retirement venues star attraction and "finally found solace with a paddock mate, Red Down South, a chestnut New York-bred gelding.
Zippy and Red South Down
Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen said, "Zippy found his greatest success as a retiree," attracting hundreds of fans each year. "He was finally a star."
Zippy Chippy was never a winner on the track, but a winner nonetheless. Rest easily old boy, those are the gates of heaven opening and not the starting gates. Your race is run. Rest in Peace.
Copyright April 16, 2022 by Loren Schumacher
Credit for all photos belong to the photographer