The winter circuit has reached the halfway point, and the ribbons are piling up for the competitive riders of SBS Farms, Inc. Professional hunter rider and trainer, Jennifer Alfano, stole the show at HITS Ocala in Florida, with students following suit there and on the nearby Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington.
After one week out of the tack, Alfano took the reins during the HITS V Ocala Winter Festival. She piloted her own Candid to the Regular Conformation Hunter Reserve Championship, clinching the solid finish with three second-placed ribbons and two blues. Candid, or “Sheldon” as he's more affectionately called, has stayed consistent throughout the winter circuit, earning weekly tricolors to take back to his home base in Buffalo, New York.
Alfano also collected two third-placed ribbons with The Exchange, owned by SBS Farms, Inc. She rode to two fantastic rounds over fences, finishing out the fifth week of the First Year Green Hunters in top form.
Molly Gfroerer and her pony Top Hat showed in the Short Stirrup Hunter and Short Stirrup Equitation divisions during the fifth week and earned good ribbons. She brought home a first, third, sixth and two fourths in the Short Stirrup Hunter division, and then made a clean sweep of the Short Stirrup Equitation, coming away with the championship title. In addition, Gfroerer was the reserve Short Stirrup Hunter midway circuit champion.
Another rider representing SBS Farms in Ocala was Chloe Karl, riding her horse Fantablulous. Karl had successful rides with Fantabulous, earning two fourth-placed ribbons and a third in the Modified Children's Hunter division. Karl also won the championship title in the Post Time Children’s Hunters with Fantabulous and took the win in the Bit O’ Straw Classic.
Alicia Heberle showed Julie Harrington’s Caribou. Heberle had nice rides and pinned second and third in the HITS Hunter 2 division. Also successful during the fifth week of competition was Barbara Britt riding Rio Via, taking home the reserve championship in the Post Time Adult Hunters.
The success didn't stop there for SBS Farms, as riders represented their home base during Week 6 at the WEF in Wellington, Florida, with Paige Kouimanis and Jessica Sciarra competing. Both riders had great rides, with Kouimanis and her Lexus securing the 10th place in the $1,500 1.10m Adult 18-35 Jumper division.
Based out of Buffalo, New York, SBS Farms, Inc.'s Susie Schoellkopf and Jennifer Alfano run one of the foremost show hunter training operations in the country, and travel nationwide to compete in the 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, Inc. Built in 1922, the 160-stall facility is a historical landmark, with its unique English Tudor and Gothic-style architecture.
For more information on the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, please visit www.thebtrc.org.
Special thanks to Phelps Media Group for the press release and to Lauren Smith Gfroerer, Jennifer Basile and Christina Marie for the photographs.