Press & Updates

RRC Lexington Update

July 2, 2024

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Real Rider Cup Announces 2024 Dates

April 30, 2024

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Real Rider Cup Wraps Up Milestone Year in Fair Hill

September 20, 2023

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Real Rider Cup Surpasses Fundraising Milestone

August 30, 2023

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Woodall Defends Real Rider Cup Champion Title in Lexington

July 10, 2023

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2023 Real Rider Cup Now Open for Rider Registration

May 23, 2023

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Real Rider Cup Champion & Highest Earner Named

September 22, 2022

Click through to see who won the Real Rider Cup Champion and Highest Earner titles!

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Real Rider Cup Comes Home to Fair Hill, Triples Previous Fundraising Record

September 19, 2022

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.

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Real Rider Cup Returns to Fair Hill Thoroughbred Show in Maryland with Strong Lineup of Horses & Riders

August 29, 2022

The Real Rider Cup, a charity show jumping event created by Anita Motion to benefit Thoroughbred aftercare, is once again bringing the racing and equestrian worlds together in Fair Hill, MD. Following a record-breaking inaugural run in Lexington in July, the Maryland leg of the event returns to its home at the Fair Hill Thoroughbred Show on Friday evening, September 16. A talented lineup of familiar faces mounted on some real horsepower will take center stage!

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Rain Stops and Stars Come Out for Real Rider Cup Lexington, Raising Over $90,000 for Thoroughbred Aftercare

June 10th, 2022

The Real Rider Cup welcomed 30 horse and rider combinations along with hundreds of spectators to New Vocations at Mereworth Farm Saturday, July 9th for an evening of lively competition and entertainment.

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Star-Studded Lineup for Real Rider Cup Ahead of Fasig-Tipton July Sale

The Real Rider Cup, a charity show jumping event created by Anita Motion to benefit Thoroughbred aftercare, is bringing the racing and equestrian worlds together in Lexington, Kentucky just ahead of Fasig-Tipton’s July Sale. The Kentucky leg of this fundraiser takes place on July 9 at New Vocation Racehorse Adoption Prorgam at Mereworth Farm, and a star-studded lineup of personalities and horses has already pledged its support!

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Real Rider Cup Returns for 2022 With New In-Person Format

The Real Rider Cup, a charity show jumping event featuring members of the racing industry competing on off-track Thoroughbreds, announced today its return to an in-person competition format this year, now including two competition legs in Kentucky and Maryland. The Kentucky leg will take place on July 9 at New Vocations at Mereworth Farm in Lexington, and the Maryland leg will return on September 16 to kick off the Fair Hill Thoroughbred Show in Elkton. Proceeds from the event will once again benefit the Fair Hill Thoroughbred Show, New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, and the Retired Racehorse Project.

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We have our Peoples Choice Real Rider 2021

June 29th, 2021

Aubrey Graham and Western Ridge win by an overwhelming amount of votes!  Thank you to all the riders, horses and owners and also to everyone who took the time to vote and DONATE! Aubrey Graham is an anthropologist and eventing trainer specializing in young, green, and ‘complicated’ horses – notably, Thoroughbreds. She has evented through Preliminary and regularly restarts and re-homes OTTBs while bringing Ex-Racehorse Back in Former Owner’s Silks for Real Rider Cup


June 19, 2021

Things don’t always go as planned, and that can be especially true in the horse world. Jordan Sigmon saved up some money to buy and train a weanling thoroughbred, but she ended up with a 6-year-old named Barry Lee, who is jumping into a new life with Sigmon

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The Real Rider Cup on America’s Best Racing

June 9, 2021

Join two returning members of The Real Rider Cup Family – Penelope Miller and Jessica Paquette – as they chat about all things RRC. They dish on pre-round jitters, fan-girling at Fair Hill, their extremely creative fund raising tactics, and their mounts for 2021, Icabad Crane and Tell The Truth.

Five in Five on America’s Best Racing

Horsemanship Radio Interview

April 15, 2021

Anita explains about the 2021 virtual RRC and is joined by Monty Roberts to talk about Thoroughbred Aftercare

Horsemanship Radio – Anita Talks about the RRC

Real Rider Cup Course Designer Announced

March 28, 2021

Olympic Show Jumper Lauren Hough to design RRC 2021 Course

Lauren Hough is an Olympic show jumper and three-time Pan American Games medalist. Her career highlights include winning the Great American $1 Million at HITS Ocala in 2017 and appearing on the history-making, all-female U.S. Show Jumping team that won the FEI Nations Cup in Dublin in 2017. A mainstay in the FEI world rankings, Lauren travels the world to compete in CSI5* events while keeping her home base in Wellington, Florida.

Press Release 2021

March 16, 2021

5th Annual Real Rider Cup to be Held Virtually June 20-26

Entries now open for this Thoroughbred industry charity show jumping event March 15, 2021 — The Real Rider Cup, a charity show jumping event that features members of the Thoroughbred industry competing on off-track Thoroughbreds, has announced it will once again be holding the event virtually. Proceeds from the event benefit the Retired Racehorse Project, New Vocations Racehorse Adoption and the Fair Hill Thoroughbred Show.To enter, riders must either be sponsored or pledge to raise a minimum of $1,000. Pledges can be accepted via

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Fox Sports 2

October 12, 2020

NYRA Anchors Maggie Wolfendale and Acacia Courtney talk about this year’s Real Rider Cup, the art auction and calendar sales, new for 2020 Click to watch the whole segment

Today’s TDN

September 22, 2020 Thoroughbred Daily news

Remy Winants Completes the Course In This Year’s Real Rider Cup

Remy Winants completes her Real Rider Cup jumper round on Sunday aboard Class Bopper (Bop)…bareback! Real Rider Cup, a fundraising event to benefit Thoroughbred aftercare charities, is being held virtually in 2020 with jumper rounds Continue Reading

Real Rider Cup Goes Virtual

September 2, 2020 By Thoroughbred Daily News

Real Rider Cup Goes Virtual

The 2020 edition of The Real Rider Cup–an annual competition designed to showcase off-the-track Thoroughbreds and raise funding FOR the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP), New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program and The Fair Hill Thoroughbred Show–is going virtual this year. The champion will be crowned Oct. 24.

This fundraiser invites individuals working in various parts of the racing industry to compete against each other on a Thoroughbred over a show jumping course wearing the silks of one of their sponsors. Each competitor pledges to raise a minimum of $1,000, which goes directly to the aforementioned beneficiares. Click to read more

Real Rider Cup Showcases New Virtual Format

September 3, 2020 BY The Blood Horse

 Real Rider Cup Showcases New Virtual Format

In a year that has been anything but conventional, the fourth annual Real Rider Cup will be held as a virtual event.

Last year, the competition, which was designed specifically to showcase off-the-track Thoroughbreds, raised over $55,000 for the Retired Racehorse Project and New Vocations.Despite the new format of this year’s event, the Real Rider Cup has attracted entries from across the country as well as one competitor from the U.K. Each rider will provide a video of themselves jumping a designated course, along with a biography video introducing themselves and their horse. This year, the course was designed by notable show jumping coach Richard Picken.

“With everything being canceled this year, Anita (Motion) and I weren’t sure we were able to hold the event this year,” said Maggie Kimmitt, co-organizer of the Real Rider Cup.  Click to read more

Road To The 2020 Real Rider Cup Diary – Back In The Saddle To Begin A New Journey

October 21st, 2019 BY Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Back In The Saddle To Begin A New Journey

Supporting Thoroughbred aftercare, The Real Rider Cup brings riders together from all facets of the Thoroughbred industry to raise funds for aftercare. America’s Best Racing writer Melissa Bauer-Herzog is currently training for the 2020 edition of the event and is documenting her training up to next September’s show.

When I first heard about The Real Rider Cup when it was started a few years ago, it was an item I put on my bucket list, but didn’t plan on riding in it anytime soon. So when Anita Motion approached me to ride in this year’s edition I was stoked, but there was only one problem – while I had rodeoed nearly every weekend when I was younger, I hadn’t seriously ridden a horse in two years and had only ridden in an English saddle about 10 times total.  Click to read more

When Everybody Wins: The Real Rider Cup, Part 2

September 30, 2019 by Alexa Reisfield

It was a surreal feeling really, to literally be walking in the footsteps of one of my idols while surrounded by so many industry professionals that I’ve grown to respect and admire over the years. No, I’m not referring to the Kentucky Derby walkover, but the course walk for the Third Annual Real Rider Cup. There I was, walking behind Olympic Gold Medalist and Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Michael Matz as he described a plan of attack.I was trying to keep my jaw from dropping as I took a look around at the competition…I was officially a nervous wreck.

As Manchurian High and I walked around the warm-up area waiting for our turn, multiple people came up and told me their own personal stories about him. Some were old exercise riders, others were former jockeys that have ridden him (to a win, they slyly added), no pressure! Anna Ford was snapping photos for social media and the horses were loving the attention. There was a fantastic turnout for the event. The grandstand was packed with observers giving shoutouts to Forest Boyce and Ashley Castrenze, who had just come from winning the third and fourth races respectively at Laurel and the rail was two deep as everyone wanted to get a look at James Stierhoff and two-time Maryland Hunt Cup winner Twill Do. Click to read more

Game Faces On – The Real Rider Cup – Part 1

September 12, 2019

Game Faces On

I am a highly competitive person by nature, so the words were barely out of my friend and colleague Sarah Andrew’s mouth when I jumped at the chance to ride in the third annual Real Rider Cup. A full day off work so I could jump on an OTTB, gallop around a show jumping course and raise money for two fantastic causes? Count me in! Coming from a hunter/jumper background and spending most of my junior career away at horse shows, I already felt like I had an edge—that edge turned into a little bit of cockiness when I started thinking back to my exercise riding days and how I could combine both of those riding skills for the win.

Then reality set in.

The Teams at the Real Rider Cup are divided into Farm/Racing Managers (Sergio DeSousa better not send his incredibly talented daughter Isabela to show in his place!), Freestyle (has Clovis Crane’s video gone viral yet?), Jockeys (now I’m just wanting to crawl under a hedge—I have to compete against Robbie Walsh and Demonstrative? This is rigged.) Race Track Kids (these kids could ride laps around me before they even knew how to walk) and the team I will help represent, Racing Media.  Click to read more….

Fast Facts About The Real Rider Cup

America’s Best Racing, September 17, 2019

The third annual Real Rider Cup is coming up on Sept. 20, and if you have questions about the event, we have answers! Below are six key facts to know about the 2019 Real Rider Cup.

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Paddy Young and Team Exercise Riders Win Real Rider Cup

The Irish Field, September 28, 2018
by Margie McLoone

IN a follow-up to last week’s piece on Paddy Young, the Banbridge-born jockey and his team of Exercise Riders won the Real Rider Cup at the Plantation Field horse trials near Unionville, Pennsylvania on Sunday. Luckily all the show jumping, both for the three-day event and the Real Rider Cup (a fundraiser for the Retired Racehorse Project) was on ‘surface’ as the weather, which had been bad in the run-up to the event, turned nasty again on Sunday.

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Real Rider Jack Fisher!

Daily Racing Form, September 25, 2018
Jack Fisher Best by Leaps and Bounds
by Robin Foster

The second edition of the Real Rider Cup, a charity jumping competition that features racing personalities aboard ex-racehorses, had an entirely new lineup this year, but once again the individual winner came from the world of steeplechasing. Just like the 2017 winner, Mark Beecher, perennial leading steeplechase trainer Jack Fisher was the first rider on course and jumped clear in a time that no one could beat.

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Real Fear

The Saratoga Special, September 21, 2018
Real Fear
by Sean Clancy

Just like old times, I woke up worrying, fretting, irritable. My wife, Annie, recognized it, she had seen it in 1994 after we had our first date. Misdirected stress, snapping at anybody in the way, kicking the cat, the dog, hell, anything I could find. Self indulgent, ridiculously self-absorbed, it was how I handled the pressure of riding races, well, handled, would be a stretch.

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Mark Beecher took home the title of “Real Rider”

Daily Racing Form, September 22, 2017
Inaugural Real Rider Cup Exceeds Expectations
by Robin Foster

Although Mark Beecher took home the only individual trophy in the inaugural Real Rider Cup at Plantation Field on Sept. 17, collaboration was the theme of the event.

The Real Rider Cup, a jumping exhibition featuring 20 ex-racehorses ridden by 20 racetrack personalities, was born out of a partnership between the Retired Racehorse Project and Plantation Field Equestrian Events, Inc.

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Racing’s Elite vs. Olympians in the Inaugural Real Rider Cup, September 19, 2017
Horse Racing Meets Eventing: The Real Rider Cup
by Ilana Cramer

Racing’s elite collided with the likes of Olympians for the Real Rider Cup to benefit Retired Racehorse Project on Sunday, in an event at Plantation Field International Horse Trials in Unionville, Pa. Jockeys, veterinarians, owners, and trainers competed on teams riding off-track Thoroughbreds in a jumper face-off. Pride was on the line as riders were tasked with jumping a course the fastest and without knocking down any rails. The fastest combined teams took home blue ribbons.

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The Real Rider Cup held at Iconic Plantation Field, August 23rd, 2018
Real Riders go Head-to-Head in Celebrity Event
by Jen Roytz

Known as one of the most iconic venues in North American eventing, Plantation Field in Unionville, Pennsylvania can be likened to Keeneland or Saratoga for equestrians. Each year the facility hosts the Plantation Field International Horse Trials, one of the premier eventing competitions in North America that routinely draws Olympic and World Equestrian Games-caliber competitors.

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