After dominating the top-two spots in Sunday's $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, Jennifer Alfano and her stunning lineup of hunters started day one of the Kentucky Spring Classic with a bang.
The chilly morning on May 13 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington began in the Stonelea Ring with the First Year Green Hunters where Alfano piloted the flashy Me Again, owned by Helen Lenahan, to first- and second-placed finishes.
"Me Again was awesome in the First Years," Alfano said. "He's still really green, so he has his moments of brilliance and then moments of 'I'm not sure how to do it.' Today was a moment of brilliance. He's really starting to put it together, and I've been really happy with him. He's starting to get consistent and get his act together."
Rounding out the division, Havens Schatt took the blue atop Custom Made in the first over fences class and finished third in the second class.
The day continued with the Green and Regular Conformation Hunters. Russell Frey, in the saddle on Saville Row, delivered two smooth rounds to capture first and second places. Despite the drop in temperature, the gray gelding was on his best behavior.
"He has a lot of confidence," trainer Lynn Jayne said. "The weather doesn't bother him; nothing bothers him. He's very straightforward."
Despite only switching to Jayne's training program last Monday, 7-year-old Saville Row went around the course like an old pro. Frey added, "I knew him last year as a Pre-Green horse, and I told Lynn, 'A building could fall down next to him, and he wouldn't care.' He's a good horse to have in the barn; he tries to win. He has a lot of self-confidence."
The Second Year Green Hunters were next to show, with Alfano back in the saddle on her horse Candid. The big bay gelding, who goes by Sheldon in the barn, impressed the judges with his performances. The duo swept the first day of the division, taking home two blue ribbons.
"Candid was really good today," Alfano said. "This is sort of our last show before Devon, so he's right on track. He was great both rounds, so I'm really happy with him."
Schatt was hot on Alfano's heels, and the judges awarded her and Deborah Perkins' Set to Music's efforts with second place ribbons in both classes.
The first day of the Kentucky Spring Classic wrapped up with the High Performance Hunters, where Alfano showcased the abilities of Billie Steffee's Maggie May. The pair won both classes, ending Alfano's show day on a high note.
"Maggie May was great today," Alfano said. "I didn't show her last week in the division; I just did her in the derby, and I figured that was enough for the week. I just wanted to get her in the division once before Devon, and she was awesome both rounds today."
Once again, Schatt followed closely behind, putting in two great trips and earning two second-placed ribbons atop Mostly Sunny, the big chestnut owned by CH Farm LLC.
Special thanks to Phelps Media Group for the press release.