Real Rider Cup rides on for good cause

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On a weekend that offers plenty of Thoroughbred racing and related action in the Philadelphia area, The Real Rider Cup returns on the final day of competition at The Plantation Field International Horse Trials in Unionville, Pa. Sunday, Sept. 23.

The brainchild of Olympic gold medalist Phillip Dutton, his wife Evie, Anita Motion and Trainer Magazine publisher Giles Anderson, the charity event debuted at Plantation Field last year.

“We wanted to come up with an event that would be interesting and fun for spectators and also connect the worlds of racing and eventing,” Anita Motion said. “We were looking for a way to introduce the OTTB to the eventing community and show how suitable they are for the sport, as well as raise funds for aftercare charities.”

This year, four teams of four riders will compete over a course of 12 jumps set a 2’6”. Course designer Dutton again serves as Chef d’Equipe and will walk the course with all 16 competitors. Standard show jumping rules apply over the timed course, and the rider with the lowest overall score will win the individual title. First through fourth place ribbons will be awarded to the teams. In 2017, steeplechase jockey Mark Beecher took top honors with the trainers squad winning the team event.

Here’s the roster of riders/horses for Sunday:

Team Trainers
Jena Antonucci/Nineteenth Hole
Jack Fisher/Quite A Journey
Lacey Gaudet/USMC Semper Fi
Tom Morley/Target Sighted

Team Owners
Mike Balaz – Sam-Son Farms/Harmony Bay
Clifford Barry – Pin Oak Stud/Embarrassed
Katelyn Jackson – Madaket Stables/Santa’s Playboy
Megan Jones – Arnmore Thoroughbreds/Unrivaled

Team Exercise Riders
Lorna Chavez/Prince Felix
Sharon Dominguez/Baggage
Jodi Murphy/War Fleet
Paddy Young/Mr. Pike

Team Racing Analysts
Gabby Gaudet/Eighttofasttocatch
Penelope Miller/Disco Elvis
Maggie Morley/Yaeger
Tim Tullock/Wye

Four horses are making return appearances from the inaugural Real Rider Cup: Eighttofasttocatch, Harmony Bay, Santa’s Playboy and War Fleet.

Each rider will wear the racing silks of his/her sponsor, all of which have pledged at least $1,000 with all proceeds benefitting the Retired Racehorse Project and Plantation Field International Horse Trials. Additional donations are welcome and encouraged.

For more, including bios of the participants, see the Real Rider Cup page at Plantation Field’s website.

And for full details about the Plantation Field International Horse Trials, check out their home page –

We hope to see you there!