In the world of hunter derbies, one name always stands out: Jersey Boy. The 13-year-old chestnut gelding, better known as Lewis, delivered two textbook rounds with Jennifer Alfano during the Kentucky Spring WCHR Member Event, the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, earning a total of 401 points to capture first place overall.
Rider Jennifer Alfano was skeptical about the outcome of the class because Jersey Boy was so well behaved in the schooling ring. "Lewis is a little temperamental at times; you never really know with him," Alfano said with a laugh.
From the moment the duo stepped into the ring, however, it was obvious that Jersey Boy had decided he wanted to impress on May 10 in Lexington, Kentucky. Taking all the higher options, Alfano navigated Jersey Boy smoothly through Bobby Murphy's course, earning a 94 and 96 for the Classic Round.
"I haven't ridden a lot of horses that can gallop and jump like he does," Alfano said. "He's one of those that can stay on the gallop and turn and jump. He's so naturally balanced that I think the turning comes so easy for him."
The pair then returned for the Handy Round, pulling in scores of 92 and 94 from the judges. Adding on 4 points for taking the high options, and 9 and 8 handy points, respectively, Jersey Boy delivered the highest-scoring round of the day.
"He definitely excels at the handy," Alfano said. "That's his thing."
Alfano also impressed the judges on Miss Lucy, another mount she holds dear to her heart. Miss Lucy is back in the show ring this year after an almost two-year break, and she's not slowed down a bit. Coming off of a derby win at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, the chestnut mare put in another outstanding performance to secure second place overall with a score of 374.
"It's awesome to have Miss Lucy back," Alfano said. "Aside from what she does in the ring, she's just a special horse. I'm very lucky to have the two of them."
Tammy Provost and Kallisto earned a total score of 366.5 to claim third place, with Alfano back atop Miramar earning a 365.5 for fourth place. Fifth place was awarded to Havens Schatt, who piloted Savannah to a score of 360 points. Sarah Young and Gabriella rounded out the top six with a score of 357.
Alfano's four entries all placed in the top 12 and will return to the Kentucky Horse Park in August for the long-anticipated 2015 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship.
Special thanks to Phelps Media Group for the press release.
$15,000 USHJA INTERNATIONAL HUNTER DERBY
Order Horse Name Rider Name Score Score 2 Total Score
1. JERSEY BOY JENNIFER ALFANO 190.000 211.000 401
2. MISS LUCY JENNIFER ALFANO 181.000 193.000 374
3. KALLISTO TAMMY PROVOST 167.500 199.000 366.5
4. MIRAMAR JENNIFER ALFANO 169.500 196.000 365.5
5. SAVANNAH HAVENS SCHATT 183.000 177.000 360
6. GABRIELLA SARAH YOUNG 178.000 179.000 357
7. CHARACTER VIVIAN YOWAN 160.500 176.000 336.5
8. MEMORABLE MARIA RASMUSSEN 160.000 175.000 335
9. QUITE CHOCOLATE MARIA RASMUSSEN 161.600 172.000 333.6
10. SUBJECT TO CHANGE MARIA RASMUSSEN 155.500 178.000 333.5
11. WHITE LIGHTNING SARAH YOUNG 166.000 151.000 317
12. MAGGIE MAY JENNIFER ALFANO 185.000 130.000 315