Yesterday, the horse world lost two of its own: Don Little, who passed away late Wednesday afternoon following injuries sustained at WEF, and Davy Jones, former lead singer of the Monkees and lifelong equestrian.
–Don Little’s horse fell while jumping a fence during the Masters Classic on Sunday. Little was in his late 70s. In a Winter Equestrian Festival press release, Little’s wife of 57 years, Judith, was quoted as saying, “Don died doing what he loved. He was loved and respected by so many people, including his fellow competitors, partners and team members in the horse worlds of polo, field hunting, show jumping and thoroughbred racing as well as in all other aspects of his life.”
Don was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and spent most of his adult life as a resident of Ipswich, MA. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and was an avid pilot and a U.S. Air Force veteran where he was the youngest aircraft commander in the Strategic Air Command. He was also captain of Myopia Hunt Club Polo for 18 years, past president of the United States Polo Association, current Master of the Foxhounds of the Myopia Hunt Club, and Founder and Chairman of Centennial Farms which raced winners of many stakes races, including the Belmont Stakes in 1993 and the inaugural Breeders Cup Dirt Mile in 2007. Professionally, he was a highly successful broker and investment manager at UBS and its predecessor companies, PaineWebber and Kidder Peabody. ” [WEF]
–Davy Jones passed away in Florida as the result of a heart attack at age 66. While most people know Jones as the former lead singer of The Monkees, he was also a keen horseman throughout his life. He was an apprentice jockey before being snatched up by stardom, and he returned to his equestrian roots afterwards, winning his first race at age 50.
Jones was reported on Davyjones.net as saying: “I’ve always thought if all the show business success hadn’t happened, I’d have been a world champion jockey. It’s in my blood. I’ve always dreamed of going back to England–riding a few winners.”
He once said: “I made one huge mistake. When The Monkees finished in 1969/70, I should have got away from Hollywood and got back into the racing game. Instead, I waited another 10 years. Everyone makes mistakes in life and for me that was the biggest.” [Horse Talk]