Columbus North sophomore Riley Eder received an unexpected phone call that left her smiling for days after being presented with the opportunity to do something she’s always wanted.

Eder, who has been showing horses for three years, finally got the chance to travel to Lexington, Kentucky, for the youth trail class of the International Horse Show. L and J Stables had competed against Eder in the past and surprised her with a call asking her to ride one of their horses for the show that took place Sept. 16.

“I was very excited, over the moon about it,” Eder said. “I’ve always wanted to go but never had the opportunity.”

Eder was just happy to be there and didn’t expect to place in her first time around. She had no idea the day would end with both her and her father Paul Eder shedding a few tears after Riley Eder walked away as the Reserve Grand Champion.

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“Absolutely unbelievable,” Paul Eder said. “I pretty much cried myself when she came in second in the competition. It was really exciting.”

Riley Eder competed against nine other youth riders, including one from Germany, in the championship round. All riders had to complete several laps around the arena to showcase their abilities with the horse. They also had to back up and do direction changes while showcasing.

Eder has been riding horses for much of her life, but it wasn’t until the barn where she cleaned stalls offered to let her ride one of its horses. That led Eder to her first horse showing, and she’s been showing horses ever since.

“It was the thrill of the competition that made me fall in love with it,” she said.

Eder’s next goal is is to get back to the International Horse Showcase next year with her own horse. She’s owned “Blue Me Away” for about 15 months. Eder has had success showing him at local shows, but is ready to make the step to showing in bigger competitions.

“I would really like to get my own horse down there (to the International Horse Show) next year and have him ready to compete at that level,” Eder said. “Maybe do as well with him as I did with somebody else’s horse.”

Riley Eder

Name: Riley Eder

School: Columbus North

Year: Sophomore

Competition: International Horse Show

Placing: Reserve Grand Champion (second place)

Years of experience: Three

Author photo
Frank Bonner is a sports writer for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5632.