Twilight Eclipse Competes at Thoroughbred Shows
Recently retired grade one winner Twilight Eclipse had a busy September, competing at the New Vocations All-Thoroughbred Show at the Kentucky Horse Park and in the inaugural Real Rider Cup at Plantation Field in Pennsylvania.
The 8-year-old multiple grade one winner was retired sound in June after racing for five years, hitting the board in 18 graded stakes, and earning over $2.1 million. West Point’s racing manager Erin Birkenhauer moved the gelding to her small farm in Alvaton, Kentucky and began retraining him for a career in eventing.
The New Vocations show was held in conjunction with the Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Incentive Program and raised nearly $75,000 for Thoroughbred aftercare. 250 horses from 22 states converged in Lexington for the three-day competition.
Twilight Eclipse won the “Most Money Earned” Award and was also third in the “War Horse in Hand” class held in the iconic Rolex Arena.
The Real Rider Cup held in conjunction with the Plantation International 3-Day-Event featured 20 riders with racing backgrounds all aboard off the track Thoroughbreds and was held in support of the Retired Racehorse Project. The goal of the competition was to raise awareness of the value of off-track Thoroughbreds in second careers and to further the relationship between racing and the sport of three-day eventing.
Popular stakes horse who showed off their jumping skills not only included Twilight Eclipse but also Icabad Crane and Eighttofasttocatch.
Other riders included trainer Joe Sharp, former jockey Rosie Napravnik, veterinarian Dr. Dean Richardson, popular racing personality Sean Clancy, and the winner, steeplechase jockey Mark Beecher.
Anita Motion and Olympic event rider Phillip Dutton organized the Real Rider Cup, and the event was a huge success. Graham and Anita Motion’s Icabad Crane was crowned “America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred” at the 2014 Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover.
Erin Birkenhauer and Twilight Eclipse at the Real Rider Cup: