Cara Raether And Olympus Win $5,000 Amateur/Young Riders Top Score
Showjumping Press Release
The Saturday evening show of the Charlotte Jumper Classic kicked off with victory in the $5,000 Amateur/Young Riders Top Score for Cara Raether, 24, of New York, NY, aboard Olympus owned by her family’s Trelawny Farm, Inc. Raether topped a class of 13 entries over the ‘Gambler’s Choice’ track. Paige Johnson, 18, of The Plains, VA, riding her own Landria W placed second. Charlie Jayne, 18, of Elgin, IL, riding Champion owned by his father Alex R. Jayne was third.
With 11 fences set out by course designer Steve Stephens, riders chose their own route, trying to rack up points over jumps that ranged in value from 20 to 120 points. The final gamble was the Charlotte Bobcats vertical, the ‘Joker’ worth 200 additional points if jumped clean but a deduction of 200 points if the rider knocked it down. The fixed time was 60 seconds and riders stopped the clock by crossing the finish line in the center of the ring. Time was a factor if points were tied.
Johnson was the third rider on course and racked up 1,240 points including the Joker in 64.17 seconds. Her lead was short-lived when Raether went next and tallied 1,270 points including the extra 200 gambler’s choice points in 64.17 seconds, edging Johnson into second place. Jayne was the 10th rider to go, riding Champion – the horse he won the $5,000 Amateur/Young Rider Speed Stake with earlier today – and earned 1,170 points in 62.38 seconds for third.
Raether explained that it took some speculating with her coaches, Katie and Henri Prudent of France to determine her final route, but once locked in, she stuck to it on course. “It was tricky tonight because we wanted to get all the high numbers,” said Raether. “We actually changed our minds a couple of times. I watched a few go. We picked what I thought was the best jumps we could find with the highest points. Luckily I didn’t have to ad lib. I cleared all the jumps – if you do that you can just stick to your plan. It’s only when you knock one down that you have to ad lib. My horse turns better to the left so we found the best planned course that I could find with mostly left turns. That was what I focused on that would be good for my horse.”
Olympus is an eight-year-old gray Dutch gelding by Libro that Raether purchased a year ago, but only recently started to show him at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington. “He was a bit tricky for me in the beginning because he was strong and I broke my arm in September, so Henri Prudent rode him for me. He’s good at all levels. He did the Nations’ Cup with Henri in Palm Beach, so he can go fast. We’re hoping he’ll be a Grand Prix horse.” Raether specifically chose Olympus for this class because she was confident that he would perform the best in front of a crowd.
Raether divides her time between her family’s Trelawny Farm in Bedford, NY, and Europe where she trains with the Prudents. A graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, CT, with a degree in Art History, Raether is currently devoting herself full time to her horse career. The win was an exciting one for her. “It feels great. It’s a great show, they’ve done a fabulous job,” she said. “They make you feel special when you win a class like this.”