George Sloan was born into a hunting family. His father was one of the organizers of the Hillsboro Hounds and later of the Iroquois Steeplechase. Sloan first appeared as a jockey at the age of eight in a pony race at the Iroquois Steeplechase. The experience began a lifelong commitment to the sport. In 1969, he rode in the Grand National at Aintree which stirred his ambition to become the leading amateur jockey in England, winning the same title in 1970 in the United States. Miraculously, Sloan won the British championship by a narrow margin for the 1977-78 season to become the first leading amateur steeplechase rider to win that distinction in both America and England. When he returned to America, Sloan continued to race until he had won one hundred forty-eight total races, more than any amateur in American history.
However, it was not only as a jockey that George left his mark on his beloved sport of steeplechasing. He contributed to the Iroquois Steeplechase as an owner, rider, race committee member, promoter and planner. He was instrumental in the race’s association with the Friends of Vanderbilt University Children’s Hospital. In 1987, he founded the International Steeplechase Group for the purpose of supporting steeplechase racing. As chairman of this group, he created the Royal Chase, the Sport of Kings Challenge, the Spring Novice Series, which developed into the Triple Crown Series, and the Keeneland Royal Chase for the Sport of Kings.