The Legend of Zippy Chippy: Life Lessons from Horse Racing's Most Lovable Loser (Hardcover)

The Legend of Zippy Chippy: Life Lessons from Horse Racing's Most Lovable Loser By William Thomas Cover Image
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From acclaimed humorist William Thomas comes the funny yet poignant story of a thoroughbred racehorse that lost 100 races in a row -- but, in everyone's eyes, became the ultimate winner.

On April 20, 1991, at Capritaur Farms in Upstate New York, Zippy Chippy strolled into the world. He was born from American horse racing royalty -- Compliance (his father was Kentucky Derby-winner Northern Dancer; his great-grandfather Native Dancer, the Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner) and Listen Lady (great-granddaughter of Native Dancer). Even before his birth, the hopes (not to mention the bill for his planned production) for Zippy Chippy were high. His pedigree was horse racing gold: Northern Dancer, Man o' War, Count Fleet, Bold Ruler, War Admiral, and Buckpasser were all ancestors. His success and glory seemed inevitable.
     But moments after his birth, Zippy Chippy struggled to his feet, took two steps forward . . . and stopped dead in his tracks. He looked around, took in his surroundings, maybe indulged in a little daydream, then promptly lay down for a nap in the straw. And thus began Zippy Chippy's storied racing career.
     Vince Lombardi, one of the greatest NFL coaches of all time, famously said, "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." These words have become the battle cry of athletes, coaches, and teams everywhere, but over the years, sports have taken on a literal interpretation of Lombardi's mantra. Match-fixing, doping, sabotage, cocky and mean sportsmanship, all in the name of winning, have infiltrated and scandalized games, teams, reputations, and newspaper headlines. Yet, since his first moments in the world, Zippy Chippy ignored Lombardi and turned his nose at the concept of winning-at-all-costs. In fact, he decided to not win at all, losing, over the course of his career, 100 consecutive races, at some of the greatest tracks in the country: Belmont Park, Aqueduct, Finger Lakes, and Suffolk Downs among them. And he did so with his owner, Felix Monserrate, by his side -- a man who refused to sell Zippy, or even retire him, simply because he couldn't come in first. Soon, Zippy's cheering squad grew to include people who, enchanted by his story, would travel from all over North America to watch him lose but then happily gallop back to his stable. To them, Zippy Chippy was just like them; someone who wasn't an athlete with a million-dollar contract, or someone with movie star looks -- he was a creature who struggled, who lost, and who failed even the lowest of expectations. But, somehow, he found a way to enjoy himself and eagerly return for the next race.
     Told with laugh-out-loud wit and a lot of heart, The Legend of Zippy Chippy is the story of the losing-est racehorse in North American history -- a perpetual loser who would become the winning thoroughbred in professional horse racing to steal peoples' hearts.

About the Author

WILLIAM THOMAS is an author, a scriptwriter and a nationally syndicated humour columnist. He is the author of ten books of humor, including the bestselling The Dog Rules - Damn Near Everything! Recently William's work was included in the Great Canadian Anthology Of Humor along with 50 of the best humor writers in Canada, from Stephen Leacock to today.

Praise For…

“A well-written story about a horse who defied every influence in his life to prove to everyone that their priorities were not his. A compelling example of the nature of anyone, of any animal, who has an unusual agenda and sticks to it.” —Steve Smith, writer and star of The Red Green Show
“William Thomas is a very funny writer who animates the memorable story of Zippy Chippy with hilarity and heart. And when you dig beneath the amusing travails of a perpetual also-ran,  you'll learn something special about life, perhaps even your own. A wonderful and insightful tale.”—Terry Fallis, author of Poles Apart and the Leacock Medal for Humour-winning The Best Laid Plans
“In a world where winning is everything, it’s refreshing to read a book about the celebration of just trying. William Thomas’s tale about Zippy Chippy, a horse that was bred to win but born to lose, is funny, heartwarming, and oddly inspirational. If you only read one book about a man and his horse this century, make it The Legend of Zippy Chippy: Life Lessons from Horse Racing’s Most Lovable Loser.” —Colin Mochrie, comedian and author of Not Quite the Classics

“This engaging equine biography blends the story of Zippy Chippy’s incredible string of losses with fascinating anecdotes about other notorious also-rans. Thomas’s witty romp through the checkered career of horsedom’s most famous loser reminds us that winning isn’t everything. Unlike its underdog subject, The Legend of Zippy Chippy crosses the line a winner.” —Andrew Peacock, author of Creatures of the Rock

“In this hilarious and often poignant story, Zippy Chippy shows us how an unquenchable spirit and zest for the game of life can turn losers into winners.” —Lloyd Robertson, CTV News

Product Details
ISBN: 9780771081590
ISBN-10: 0771081596
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Publication Date: April 5th, 2016
Pages: 304
Language: English