Sallie Joy Cully

June 8th, 2013

Sallie Joy Cully, of Chatham, PA, Highly respected Unionville horsewoman, animal rescuer and owner of The Merry-Go-Round-Room, died of leukemia June 8, 2013, at the Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester, Pa. She was 77.

Joy was born in New York City in 1935, the daughter of the late G. Purdy Hall and Margaret Virginia Jones Hall, of Greenwich, CT. When she was 3 years old, the family moved to Huntingdon Valley Farms in Abington, PA, a short distance from the Sharpless Riding Stables and there at about age 12, that she began weekly riding lessons. She became a member of the Sharpless Meadowbrook Junior Horse Club, learned to foxhunt and later, rode with Sharpless in his Meadowbrook Cart at the Devon Horse Show in the Carriage Marathon.

Joy moved to Ridgewood, NJ, and continued riding there under the direction of instructor Hank Hulick. She graduated from Ridgewood HS in 1953.

She went to college at Southern Seminary, majoring in Equitation. After graduation, she began teaching privately in Edgemont, PA and while there, hunted on her day off with Rose Tree Hunt Club. She became a whipper-in at Rose Tree and continued teaching riding at Rose Tree during the summer.

Joy opened her own riding business in Glen Mills, PA but later went to work for her future husband, the late John Cully, at Vicmead Stables in Greenville, DE. She stayed at Vicmead for four years before going to work for the late Mrs. John R. Hannum as her stable manager and where she hunted with Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds.

A back injury prompted her to look for less strenuous employment and that led her back to New Jersey to work for another family giving private lessons and to hunt with Essex.

In 1982, she attended the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg and reunited with John Cully at his shop, The Merry-Go-Round Room, and the couple was married in 1983.

After the death of her husband, Joy found a second calling, rescuing dogs through her charity, Adorable Adoptables, most of which were elderly and hard-to-place. She had a particular distaste for puppy mills and often went to auctions to purchase mill rejects. In her many years as an animal advocate, she rescued as many as 1,000 dogs and cats, finding homes for as many as she could and if not, caring for them herself.

While not on the same scale as her canine rescue, she rescued needy horses and mules and would take those animals that she felt she could rehome, ride and train them and then put them up for adoption.

She is survived by a brother, George P. Hall of Whiting, NJ, two nephews Gary P. Hall of Westwood, NJ and David M. Hall of E. Brunswick NJ; 3 great nieces and a nephew, Kristin, Alyssa, Sara and David Hall.

A graveside Memorial Service is planned in her honor at 11am on Wednesday, June 19th at Union Hill Cemetery, Kennett Square, PA.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Nonantum Vet Clinic, 47 Good Hope Road, Landenberg PA 19350.

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