In 2015, SBS Farms, Inc.'s Jennifer Alfano and Miss Lucy made history at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show by claiming the inaugural $50,000 Duchossois Cup, presented by the Gochman family and held in memory of Bruce Duchossois.
After spending most of 2016 recovering from a knee injury and only just making a comeback to the show ring earlier this year, Alfano returned to the iconic Wollman Rink once again with the talented 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, owned by Sharon O'Neill. The pair captured second-placed honors in the U.S. Open $50,000 Duchossois Cup, presented by the Gochman family and Dr. Betsee Parker, on Saturday, September 23, at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show.
Thirteen riders competed over Bobby Murphy's first-round course, while the top 12 combinations were invited back for a second round.
Coming off of their ninth-placed finish in this year's USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship in August, Alfano and Miss Lucy were the final pair to enter the ring in the first round and impressed the panel of judges to earn the high score of 88 to take the lead. The pair executed another lovely performance in round two, scoring 88 once again for 176 points. In the end, half a point separated Alfano and Miss Lucy from the blue ribbon, which went to Liza Boyd and O'Ryan. Hunt Tosh and Patriot rounded out the top three.
"Miss Lucy was great," said Alfano. "She loves it here. She loves this kind of atmosphere. We've been together for a long time, so I'm comfortable on her and I thought she was great. The course rode really well and you got to see good horses go really well."
SBS Farms' Kristy Herrera, who rode Miss Lucy to the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship while Alfano was recovering from her knee injury, also competed in the Duchossois Cup. Herrera rode Emily Cherney's Kensi also to ninth place overall with a score of 158.
"It was nice because Jennifer and Liza are such close friends, and they were both cheering for each other," said SBS Farms owner Susan Schoellkopf. "Jennifer and Miss Lucy have been at the top of their game for a long time, and it's nice to see them back together. We're excited to see what's to come for them next year as well as continuing to develop our babies and creating our next group of champions."
"Having her back in the ring is great," said Boyd of Alfano. "She’s competitive, and I’m competitive--and so is (third-placed) Hunt. So we bring out that competitive nature among us all, and that makes us perform better. At the same time, we help each other, walk the courses together and bounce ideas off one another as to how the lines are riding. I went right before she did in the second round, so I wasn't able to watch her go. But I thought, 'If I’m first or second, it was a victory for us either way.'"
The SBS Farms team will continue on with their fall competition schedule, which includes the Capital Challenge Horse Show, Sept. 29-Oct. 8 and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Oct. 12-21.
Special thanks to Phelps Media Group for the press release.