S. Darren Parker, 48, of St. Augustine, Fla., born Dec. 8, 1965, in Los Angeles, succumbed to a head injury and passed away Monday, Feb. 17, surrounded by his family and friends.
Darren went to elementary school in North Hollywood, Calif. After that, he became an accomplished cowboy, a craft he learned while attending high school in Arizona, becoming proficient in calf roping and team roping for his school’s rodeo team. Later, he went to high school in Squaw Valley where he competed and raced as an alpine skier. His best events were downhill and super-G. Darren also attended the University of Arizona.
He loved riding horses, especially in Idaho, where he would work rounding up cattle at the family ranch south of Bellevue at Spring Creek Ranch.
Darren went on to ride horses professionally. Standing 5 feet, 1 inch, at 115 pounds, and being a great athlete, he was perfect for the job. He worked at several big farms and quickly became an accomplished thoroughbred jockey. Darren raced at tracks across the country, including: Hollywood Park, Del Mar, Santa Anita, Santa Rosa, Emerald Downs (just to name a few) and also raced at Boise’s Le Bois Park. Darren’s riding career included 1,199 races, 106 first places, 151 seconds, and 144 thirds. After his professional riding career, Darren acquired land and built View Pointe Farms in Ocala Florida where he boarded, trained and rode thoroughbred horses for many high profile owners.
Darren was a great fisherman, too. He enjoyed deep-sea fishing with his brothers off the coast of Southern California as well as fly-fishing at Silver Creek, the Big Wood River and at Spring Creek. He learned to snow ski on family vacations in Sun Valley and loved to water ski at Magic Reservoir, Redfish Lake and Lake Weir in Florida. Darren would awe observers on his ski-boat with his barefoot starts and antics as well as his slalom turns. Darren was a joy to be around, funny and personable. He will be missed by all those who knew him.
Darren is survived by his mother, Judith Warde Davis of Indian Wells, Calif.; his father, S. Daryl Parker; his sisters Leticia Parker of San Diego, Calif., and Nancy Olson of Sugarland, Texas; his brothers: Scott D. Parker of Ketchum, Idaho, Robert K. Davis Jr. of Los Angeles, and Peter Davis of Seattle; and four nephews and four nieces. Darren was preceded in his passing by his stepfather Bob Davis and his beloved grandparents.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Darren’s name to the Hospice of the Wood River Valley. A celebration of Darren’s life will be held when the snow melts at the Ketchum Cemetery with that date to be announced and published later.