The Buffalo International Horse Show has served as the most prominent fundraiser of the year for the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center (BTRC) for decades. On Wednesday, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Heritage Horse Show kicked off for the 70th year, welcoming some of the United States’ top hunter riders for the first of five days of competition. Making frequent appearances on the opening day’s list of winners were professional riders Kristy Herrera and Alicia Heberle.
Herrera made a clean sweep of the First Year Green Working Hunter division aboard SBS Farms Inc’s The Exchange, an 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. The pair took home the top spot in both the over fences classes as well as the under saddle. Herrera has had a successful summer after taking over the reins for Jen Alfano, who is recovering from an injury, culminating in the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship aboard Miss Lucy in August in Lexington, Kentucky.
Herrera also earned a top call in the High Performance Hunters, this time aboard Billie H. Steffee’s Maggie May, a 10-year-old Brandenberger mare. The pair placed first in both of the over fences classes and second in the under saddle behind Alicia Heberle and Jennifer Alfano’s Miramar.
In the 3’ Hunter division Alicia Heberle and BTRC’s Crisp, a 10-year-old Warmblood gelding, took home the blue in the first over fences class and the red ribbon in the second class, finishing in second place to herself aboard another BTRC mount, Whispering, a 13-year-old Warmblood gelding.
In the Pre-Green Hunters, Kristy Herrera again took home the top spot in both of the over fences classes aboard Helen Lenehan’s Girl Crush, a 7-year-old Holsteiner mare. Herrera has had a successful summer with Girl Crush, finishing fifth place overall in the 2016 USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship in August in Lexington, Kentucky.
Competition continues Thursday at the Buffalo International Horse Show with the conclusion of the open hunter divisions and the start of the Amateur-Owner Hunters. Thursday will also feature one of the horse show’s always popular special events, the $1,000 Ravenswood Groom’s Class.
The Buffalo International Horse Show is one of fewer than 20 national horse shows recognized with the USEF Heritage Status. This designation is reserved for competitions that have been in existence for 25 years or more and make contributions to the community outside of the show by maintaining and promoting the equestrian ideals of sportsmanship and competition.
To learn more about the Buffalo International Horse Show and the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center visit www.thebtrc.org.