Following a record-setting turnout in Lexington in July, the Real Rider Cup returned to its home in Fair Hill to complete the 2022 series of events, welcoming 32 horse and rider combinations along with hundreds of spectators to Fair Hill Thoroughbred Horse show for an evening of lively competition and entertainment. Created by Anita Motion, the charity show jumping competition brings together personalities from across the breeding and racing industry to increase awareness and raise funds for Thoroughbred aftercare, with each rider pledging to raise at least $1,000.
Riders, mounted on off-track Thoroughbreds and wearing the silks of their employers, colleagues, and clients contended a winding course of fences with the fastest clear rounds taking home top honors. Connections and institutions represented included Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Maryland Jockey Club, 1/ST Racing, Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center, Equine Veterinary Care, Country Life Farm, Hillwood Stables/Rodney Jenkins, Whitney Stables, and more. Noteworthy horses included Henry S. Clark Stakes winner Talk Show Man, who was ridden by both Maggie Morley and Penelope Miller, who once again faced off against on-track rival, back-to-back winner of the Maryland Million Turf Stakes Phlash Phelps, who was piloted by his long-time exercise rider Sabrina Morris. Multiple graded stakes placer turned event horse Adirondack King was ridden by Keira Nygaard. Additional black-type runners included Flash McCaul, Virginia Peach, Grandiflora, and hard-knocking campaigner Greek God, piloted by Maryland Jockey Club outrider Kaymarie Kreidel. The field also included 11 Thoroughbred Makeover graduates. Handicapper Jessica Paquette served as emcee, providing color commentary.
Cassie Lively put in a bold round, taking all the inside turns and wasting no time to clinch the individual win. Awards were given for individual results, as well as teams (riders were given the option of forming their own team or to be assigned to one based on their industry background).
Individual results: Win: Cassie Lively on Quite a Journey, Place: Chelsea Buttermore on Fantastic Omen, and individual Place rider from Lexington, Keira Nygaard, returned to ride again in Fair Hill to take the Show placing on Aidrondack King.
Team Results: Win: Team GSVH Pony Camp (Lively, Shore, Pfeiffer), Place: Team Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center (Bellgrave, Pennington, Buttermore), Show: Team Animal Kingdom (Fewster, Crowell, Chubb).
Two overall awards will be determined in the coming days: Cassie Lively and Lexington individual winner, Jesslyn Woodall will face off in a “Who Jumped It Best?” jump-off, where members of the public may vote for their favorite round through 11:59 PM on Wednesday, September 21 to determine the overall winner of the event. Vote now at therealridercup.com/2022-real-rider-cup-champion-jump-off/.
An award for Highest Earner will also be given to the individual who raised the most funds towards their pledge as of the close of jump-off voting. Will John Ennis ($15,190) close in on Larkspur Carroll’s commanding lead of $16,200? Pledges are still open at www.therealridercup.com/make-a-donation/
As of this writing, a total of 63 entered riders have raised over $160,000 this year. When combined with corporate sponsorships, the 2022 event has raised over $173,000, which more than triples any previous annual total for the event, and brings the overall total to $410,000 raised for Thoroughbred aftercare since the event’s inception in 2017.
“It’s been an honor to have been a beneficiary of the Real Rider Cup since the beginning,” said Retired Racehorse Project executive director, Kirsten Green. “Aftercare is a critical stage in a racehorse’s life, one that is made successful by many different types of organizations working synergistically towards the same result. Anita’s selection of beneficiaries recognizes the essential need to fund aftercare organizations who serve the horses in a variety of ways.”
“After two years of having The Real Rider Cup as a virtual event, we were thrilled to go live again,” said Anita Motion. “The two-event format paid off: We had a record number of riders and that equated to a record amount of money raised. This is surely testament to how much our community cares about aftercare, retraining and the versatility of Thoroughbreds.”
Vote in the jump-off, view full results, and learn more at www.therealridercup.com.