The SBS Farms, Inc., team has been racking up ribbons and championships throughout the second week of competition at the Chicago Festival of the Horse at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. On Sunday, August 6, SBS Farms head trainer Jennifer Alfano rode Sharon O'Neill's Miss Lucy to an exciting win to close out Equifest II in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.
After two rounds that impressed both panels of judges, Alfano and Miss Lucy finished first in the large class with a final combined score of 388.5.
"She was great today," Alfano said of Miss Lucy. "She jumped amazing like she always does. I was really happy with her. She just has an amazing jump and she's so powerful. There's nothing that she doesn't handle well."
In the first round, the pair received scores of 86 and 92 from the two judging panels. Combined with an additional eight points for taking all of the higher options on course, Alfano and Miss Lucy were awarded a total score of 186 to win the Classic Round.
Returning for the Handy Round, the pair were given a score of 85.5 from one judging panel and a score of 93 from the other. After adding the additional eight points for higher options as well as a handy bonus of 16 points, Alfano and Miss Lucy's handy round score totaled to 202.5. Their high combined score of 388.5 secured their place in the winner's circle.
"It was a large class, and it felt really good [to win]," Alfano explained. "I've been out for a while with an injury, so I'm really just starting back up again. I was really happy that she went so well today."
Miss Lucy was not the only SBS Farms performance horse to take home a big win during the week. Candid, owned and ridden by Alfano, secured the championship title in the competitive High Performance Conformation 3'9" Hunter section.
Kathy Chiaf rode her own Silver Lining to a championship title as well, taking home the tricolor in the Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunter division. Emma Walters, aboard the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center's Crisp, was also champion in the Junior 3'3" Combined Hunter division.
Alfano took home a reserve championship ribbon in the Green 3'6" Hunter division riding Susan Kimberly's Girl Crush. She also rode O'Neill's Talladega to several great finishes in addition to claiming the reserve championship in the Green 3'3" Hunter division and second in the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program class on Thursday.
Next, the SBS Farms team will head to Lexington, Kentucky, to compete at the 2017 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship at the Kentucky Horse Park, August 17-19.
Special thanks to Phelps Media Group, Inc., for the press release.