Goodbye to Sly Chance

SlyChanceAshleySly Chance & Ashley SniderWhen Jaime and Ashley Snider purchased Sly Chance as a long yearling from Slate River Ranch, the couple had no idea what an impact the gelding would make on their family. Seven years later, and long before the family was ready, the Sniders laid the horse to rest at their home in Lipan, Texas.

Sly Chance (That Sly Cat x Oaks Smart Chance x Doc’s Oak) was sold by breeder Slate River Ranch, of Weatherford, Texas, for $4,000 to the Sniders following the 2008 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Preferred Breeders/New Sire Spotlight Sale in Fort Worth, Texas.

“They no-saled him at the [NCHA] Futurity, and we really liked him so we went and got him,” Ashley Snider said in a 2013 interview about her gelding. “We bought him in the parking lot and took him right from there and led him to our stalls. He’s been at our house ever since.”

Although “General” turned out to be a talented cutting prospect, he was faced with many gastrointestinal challenges. At just 3 years old, he colicked and had to undergo surgery; however, he was back in the game and ready to go for the 2010 NCHA Futurity, where he and Snider made the Non-Pro semifinals.

Snider and her husband continued to show Sly Chance in Open and Non-Pro competition until late 2011, when he colicked again and underwent his second colic surgery.

“It was just too much for him; he would literally make himself sick” Snider explained. “After he survived the second [surgery], Jaime said, ‘He’s yours. He’s too good of a horse.’”

SlyChanceASniderThe late Sly Chance, pictured competing with Ashley Snider at the 2013 NCHA Super Stakes • Photo by Hart PhotosTeaming up one-on-one with Snider was just what the doctor ordered. The duo had a great 2013 season, winning 5/6-Year-Old Non-Pro titles at the Bonanza Cutting and Arbuckle Mountain Futurity, along with an NCHA Super Stakes Classic/Challenge Non-Pro Reserve Championship. All told, they garnered nearly $65,000 in 2013 alone.

In 2014, General and Snider hit the road to haul for an NCHA Non-Pro World title. On their journey, they picked up numerous any-age victories, the most lucrative of which was a win at August’s Mercuria/NCHA World Series of Cutting held during the Idaho Futurity in Nampa. That brought them into the NCHA World Finals in the No. 2 spot.

After winning three of four Non-Pro World Finals rounds and earning the Non-Pro World Finals Show Championship, Sly Chance finished 2014 as the Reserve World Champion with $101,656 earned. That total pushed the gelding’s lifetime earnings to $211,264, according to Equi-Stat.

On Friday, March 13, Sly Chance underwent his third colic surgery and did not survive. The late 8-year-old gelding was buried in a grove under trees in one of the Sniders’ pastures.