Ocala, FL – March 5, 2012 – The HITS V Ocala Tournament saw nothing but success from SBS Farms as Jennifer Alfano scored high ribbons and championship honors aboard horses throughout the hunter divisions. Jersey Boy came out at the top of the field in the High Performance Working Hunter division, taking home the reserve championship honors during his second week showing at HITS Ocala.
The talented duo earned the first and second place ribbons for their efforts over fences, as well as the first place finish for their picturesque handy round. Alfano is gearing up for the $10,000 USHJA International Derby in Ocala, FL, this Saturday, March 10. Shortly after their appearance in Ocala, the team will head to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, for the Winter Equestrian Festival where they will compete as the defending champions of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.
“Last year, winning the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby in Palm Beach was the highlight of my year with Jersey Boy,” Alfano explained. “I remember coming out of that second round, feeling like that was the best trip we have ever had together – it is a moment that I will always remember, and I look forward to what our endeavors this year will bring.”
In lieu of Miss Lucy having the week off, Alfano showed Karen MacDonald’s horse, Rapunzel, to the reserve championship in the Green/Regular Conformation division. This was their first time as a combination, and Alfano admitted that Rapunzel seemed to only improve with her consistency in each round. During the over fences portion of the division, the pair took two first place finishes to their record as well as the third place award during the under saddle. Earlier, they also showed to the second and fourth place ribbons in the First Year Green Hunters and Hi-Low Hunters, respectively. Alfano also exhibited Kim Sieurin’s horse Amigo to top ribbons in the division, along with the third place award for the over fences in the High Pre-Green Hunters.
The Second Year Green Hunters was filled with anticipation as top riders vied for the desired honors. Sharon O’Neill’s Rose Hill showcased consistency, rhythm and precision throughout the courses with Alfano in the irons. The pair earned the second and fourth place awards over fences, a second place in the handy round and the fourth place award for the under saddle.
“Rosie is still very green, but she is constantly improving,” Alfano described. “She has gained so much experience in Ocala, and keeps getting better and better every week.”
The success did not end there for SBS Farms as Alfano and Susie Schoellkopf led riders to the top awards in numerous divisions in the hunter, equitation and jumper rings. Jane Gaston showed Lumiere to the top of the Amateur-Owner 36 and Over Hunters, earning three blue ribbons and the third place award over fences for the championship prize. Page Flournoy also showed her own mount, Castello, to the second place award in the Amateur-Owner 36 and Over Hunters, and in addition scored the fourth place ribbon aboard Olivier de Upatoi.
Luke Olsen showed Lassaro owned by Hannah Stablev, to good ribbons in the Equitation 16-17 division. Olsen also rode the BTRC’s Mick O Angelo to a quick finish in the High Children’s Jumpers. It was Jessica Litfin; however, who showed her colors in the Level 2 Jumpers, earning the red ribbon for her efforts. She guided the BTRC’s Lady Liberty to a clear round and the second fastest time, leaving immense promise for the upcoming weeks.
Based out of Buffalo, NY, SBS Farms’ Susie Schoellkopf and Jennifer Alfano run one of the foremost show hunter training operations in the country, and travel nationwide to compete in the nation’s 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. Built in 1922, the 160-stall facility is a historical landmark, with its unique English Tudor and gothic style architecture. For more information on SBS Farms and the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, please visit www.thebtrc.org.
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