Jennifer Alfano and SBS Farms' Jersey Boy have become a staple in representing the top of the sport as the essential hunter derby pair. On Sunday May 13, the 13-year-old chestnut gelding produced two exceptional rounds with Alfano during the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.
Jersey Boy was awarded the overall score of 401 points to claim the victory, yet he wasn't the only SBS Farms mount who was rewarded for brilliant efforts.
Alfano rode four mounts in the derby, with Maggie May, owned by Billie Steffee, giving Jersey Boy a run for his money during the Classic Round of the competition. Jersey Boy was awarded scores of 94 and 96 after taking all high options, with Maggie May hot on his heels with the scores of 92 and 93. Alfano also rode Miss Lucy to the third position of the Classic Round, and Alfano also qualified her new mount Miramar as one of the top 12 to return for the Handy Round.
There was no question that Jersey Boy would continue to sit at the top of the standings as the pair excels in the Handy Round. Maggie May stayed consistent and smooth during the Handy, but a minor hiccup gave Jersey Boy the advantage. He pulled in score 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."
"I haven't ridden a lot of horses that can gallop and jump like he does," Alfano added. "He is one of those that can stay on the gallop and turn and jump. He is so naturally balanced that I think the turning comes so easy for him."
Alfano also impressed the judges on Miss Lucy, who, after almost two years on injured reserve, has made a resurgence in the hunter derby world. Coming off of a derby win at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show in Texas, the 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."
Miramar jumped in the ranks from sixth to fourth place, posting a Handy Round score of 196 for an overall score of 365.5.
Alfano's four entries all placed in the top 12 and will return to the Kentucky Horse Park in August for the anticipated 2015 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship.
Alfano also rode to top placings earlier in the week during the Kentucky Spring Classic with The Exchange, owned by Redezvous Farm, for their efforts in the Pre-Green 3' Hunter section. They earned first- and third-placed ribbons over fences and then returned to finish second in the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Stake.
The show ring success continued for SBS Farms with Alfano showing her own Candid to two blue ribbons over fences in the Second Year Green Hunters, as well as returning for the High Performance Hunters with Miss Lucy to capture first under saddle and third and fourth over fences.
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.
For more information on SBS Farms please visit www.sbsfarms.com. For more information on the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, please visit visit www.thebtrc.org.