Grade 1-winning trainer Joe Sharp was one of a team of five trainers who combined on Sunday to win the inaugural “Real Rider Cup” at Plantation Fields in Unionville, Pa., a charity event benefiting the Retired Racehorse Project. Sharp and his team members Sanna Neilson, Chucky Lawrence, Tim Keefe, and Leigh Delacour, each completed a course of approximately 12 stadium jumps at 2 1/2 feet high, and their combined times were 0.22 seconds faster than the second-placed team.
“The Real Rider Cup was a lot of fun!,” Sharp posted on Twitter. “Great job to all who made it possible and showed up to enjoy!”
— Joe sharp (@mjsharp75_joe) September 17, 2017
The previous weekend, Sharp had competed for the first time over jumps at the New Vocations Charity Horse Show in Lexington, Ky., aboard his wife Rosie Napravnik's Thoroughbred Old Ironsides.
Each rider competed aboard a different off-track Thoroughbred. Several of the stars included Grade 1 winner Twilight Eclipse, Preakness third-place finisher Icabad Crane, and three-time winner of the Maryland Millions Classic Eighttofasttocatch.
According to drf.com, the Real Rider Cup was the brainchild of Olympic eventing rider Phillip Dutton, who rode Icabad Crane in the 2014 Retired Racehorse Project's Thoroughbred Makeover, winning the title of Most Wanted Thoroughbred.
“We all built our careers on the backs of Thoroughbreds, and we know that the best way to secure their futures is with quality retraining,” said RRP director Steuart Pittman. “That's why Phillip Dutton came up with the idea of RRP partnering with Plantation.”
Europe has a similar competition called the Markel Champions Challenge in which jockeys compete over show jumping courses in a charity event.
In the Real Rider Cup, a total of four teams competed with five members per team. The trainers won the challenge, followed by the Owners (Anne Moran, Erin Birkenhauer, Bri Mott, Lauren Baker, and Nuno Santos) in second and the Jockeys (Rosie Napravnik Sharp, Kaymarie Kreidel, Sean Clancy, Mike McCarthy, and Mark Beecher) in third. The team of Veterinarians finished fourth ((Dean Richardson, Kath Anderson, Celia Goodall, Stowe Burke, Erika Jo Beck).
Each rider wore the silks of his or her sponsor. Sponsors were Applestone Farm, The Meyerhoff Family, Lonesome Dove Farm, Stewart Strawbridge, Rich Papiese (Midwest Thoroughbreds), Brushwood Stables, Midwest Thoroughbreds, Team Valor International, New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc., Sagamore Racing, Sanna Neilson, Matt Sheera, Sylvia Heft, Brad Grady, Woody Offut, Jenny Pitts, Skeedattle Associaties, Riverdee Stable, Flaxman Holdings, and Shane Finemore.
Watch some of the highlights from the event here:
The individual standings were as follows:
- Mark Beecher- 49.26
- Kaymarie Kreidel- 51.45
- Anne Moran- 56.11
- Sean Clancy- 59.17
- Lauren Baker- 60.28
- Leigh Delacour- 60.98
- Joe Sharp- 61.09
- Stowe Burke- 63.93
- Sanna Neilson- 64.38
- Nuno Santos- 66.26
- Dean Richardson- 66.46
- Erika Jo Beck- 67.39
- Celia Goodall- 68.19
- Tim Keefe- 68.80
- Rosie Napravnik Sharp- 70.73
- Erin Birkenhauer- 70.75
- Chuck Lawrence- 71.71
- Bri Mott- 73.77
- Mike McCarthy- 99.15 (Got lost and had to stop to ask for directions!)
- Kath Anderson- 120.00 (Penalties for knocking the jump standard down and making the grounds crew work!)
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2019 Paulick Report.