Juggling school and a full schedule of showing is no small feat, but Alex Trolli of SBS Farms makes it look easy. With a powerhouse support system behind her, 17-year-old Trolli has moved up the pipeline with her two all-star mounts to qualify for the Zone 2 Hunter Finals.
“It was very up and down showing both horses in the beginning, but toward the middle of the summer we had a lot of success,” Alex said.
She said she feels fortunate to have two great mounts underneath her throughout the season, but they always keep her on her toes, as her horses have two completely different personalities.
“Del Piero is a really sweet and quiet horse when I groom him, and I can really trust him,” Alex said. “I’ve had Del Piero for about a year and half now, and I have gotten to know him pretty well. I would say I know him a little bit better than Hey Sailor. Hey Sailor is a little bit feistier, but when she's on the course, she's phenomenal. I’ve been riding her for about four or five months now. I'm a little bit more confident on Del Piero, but Hey Sailor has been really great.”
Together, Alex and her mounts have been unstoppable in the hunter ring.
“We went to Saugerties in May, June and July, and she did really well there,” trainer Alicia Heberle said. “With her horse, Hey Sailor, they just about won every class in Saugerties out of a field of 40 horses. She started off really well with her. Her other horse, Del Piero, she had last year, so this is her second year with him, and they’ve really found their niche together. They really just get each other."
Alex’s talent in the show ring is proof of her steadfast dedication to the sport. Without the unyielding support of her mentors, however, her success around the course would be even more difficult to reach.
“Alicia Heberle has been to all of my horse shows. We have been on the road a lot over the summer trying to earn points. Susie Schoellkopf and Jennifer Alfano have definitely helped me a lot along the way, as well,” Alex said. “My parents have been really supportive and are at practically every show. I'm really thankful for all of them.”
After the Zone 2 Hunter Finals, Alex has plans to move up to the next level with her two talented hunter mounts. She hopes to continue her training through a college equestrian program.
“Showing and training are two things she really enjoys doing,” Heberle said. “She's pretty competitive, too. I think as long as she can handle her nerves at Zone Finals she'll do really well.”
Based out of Buffalo, New York, SBS Farms' Susie Schoellkopf and Jennifer Alfano run one of the foremost show hunter training operations in the country, and travel nationwide to compete in the nation's most prestigious horse shows.
SBS Farms, Inc. continues the proud tradition of the Saddle and Bridle Club as one of the top show stables in the northeast. Schoellkopf is also the Executive Director of the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, which houses both The Buffalo Equestrian Center as well as SBS Farms. Built in 1922, the 160-stall facility is a historical landmark, with its unique English Tudor and Gothic-style architecture.
Press release courtesy of Phelps Media Group International.