The 70th Annual Buffalo International Horse Show (BIHS) wrapped up on Sunday with the final champions being crowned. The five-day show concluded with young talent Laura McHale stealing the spotlight and winning back-to-back rosettes. The 70th edition concluded in fine form, with the celebration of seven decades of competition culminating in an alumni event that distinguished many of the nation’s top riders, who started their careers at the historic show.
The Junior 3’6” Hunters concluded on Sunday after two days of stiff competition with Laura McHale riding her own Griffin and Mine to the championship and reserve championship, respectively. Her success didn't stop there as she was also awarded the Best Junior Rider award.
In the Children’s Hunter Horse Division, Emma Walters and Crisp took home the championship honors. Walters and the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center’s Crisp earned a blue ribbon, two second-placed ribbons and a third to round out the day.
In the Children’s Hunter Pony division, Sadie Rutkowski and her own Mapleside Voila took home the championship. Rutkowski and Voila won all three of the division’s classes on Sunday. The division’s reserve honors went to Zoe Schaab, who rode the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center’s Lucky Charm. Schaab and Lucky Charm were the runners-up in each class, taking home three red ribbons and the reserve tricolor.
Andrea Bello and the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center’s Churchill bested the field in the Pre-Adult 2’6” Hunters, where they earned two blue ribbons and a red ribbon to secure the championship. Taking home the reserve championship was Roseann Deni and her own On Island Time.
The Pre-Children’s 2’6” Hunter also concluded on Sunday, where Linnea Garrison won the championship aboard the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center’s Zenith. The reserve honors were awarded to Eliza Gurney and Gianni, who also captured the third place during Saturday night’s USHJA International Hunter Derby.
The weekend was dedicated to the alumni of the BIHS, and welcomed exhibitors of the past 70 years to celebrate the historic show.
“It was a great event,” Susie Shoellkopf, Executive Director of the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center said. “There were a lot of people here, and a lot of faces we haven’t seen in a long time. I think everybody had a really good time. The place was packed, so that was nice to see. We can’t thank our sponsors enough.”
Some of the most recognized equestrian professionals of North America, such as Debbie Stephens, Bill Ellis, Missy Clark, Mason Phelps, Roger Young, Jerry Jacobs, Chuckie Graham, Molly Mills, Jack Fromm, Ian Millar, Don Snellings, Jerry Baker and Michael Matz, have supported the long-standing BIHS. The show featured photos and memories of alumni leading up to the show, and created a book of memories for the alumni, which features a beautiful layout and the narratives of those alumni who participated. The BTRC also presented a slide show of the memories during the cocktail reception, held Friday evening, following the end of competition.
Sunday’s championships marked the conclusion of the 2016 Buffalo International Horse Show. The BIHS is hosted by the BTRC, a therapeutic riding program open to children of all socio-economic backgrounds. The positive, friendly and safe atmosphere enables children with special needs and disabilities to develop both physically and emotionally by forming a special bond with the horses the ride each week. The Buffalo International Horse Show raises crucial funds for the therapeutic program.
To learn more about the Buffalo International Horse Show and the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center visit www.thebtrc.org.