Last year, when I went to watch the 2011 Pfizer $1 Million at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, NY, I had a number of riders I was particularly looking forward to seeing. That list included Margie Engle, Todd Minikus, and, of course, McLain Ward. The list did not include Duncan McFarlane. It’s not that I had anything against the man, I just didn’t know who he was. One look at the Order of Go changed my thinking.
“Who is this Duncan McFarlane with Mr. Whoopy? Do you know anything about him?” I asked my friend. She didn’t have a clue either. It didn’t matter. Based on that wonderful name alone, I decided I was now the horse’s number one fan and waited anxiously for his round.
Sadly, my bladder had other ideas. Mother Nature decreed that I had no choice but to visit the loo several rounds before Duncan and Mr. Whoopy were to go. I almost flew across the show grounds (many apologies to the folks I inadvertently shouldered or flat-out ran over) only to find, you guessed it, a line at the lady’s room. As I was on my way back to my seat I heard the roar of the crowd. First clean round! I knew in my heart it had been Mr. Whoopy.
I got back to my seat to my friend’s excited recounting of the round. “He was clear! You should have seen him! He just skipped through the double of doubles!”
So I watched the rest of the rounds, legs crossed and refusing any beverages, so I would not miss Mr. Whoopy’s jump-off round. Needless to say, although I was happy for winning rider Andre Thieme, I was heartbroken when Mr. Whoopy had the first element of the second double down in the jump-off.
Since that day, this has been one of the burning questions in my mind: “Where did Mr. Whoopy get his name?” After watching some of his shenanigans in other grands prix and in Sunday’s Pfizer Million, I think I have an idea…
Duncan and Mr. Whoopy placed 12th in this last Sunday’s Pfizer Million. You wouldn’t have known that by the way Mr. Whoopy carried on during the prize giving. I think the sassy stallion was pretty sure he’d won.
Thanks for reading!