Buffalo, NY – January 1, 2013 – SBS Farms, Inc. exemplified the meaning of victorious during the 2012 year. The team took home top honors at the most prestigious horse shows and events across the nation, with Jennifer Alfano and Jersey Boy rising to the pinnacle of their career with their win at the 2012 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals in Lexington, KY, in August. Trainer Susie Schoellkopf and professional rider Jennifer Alfano are now gearing up for the 2013 show season, where they will showcase their skills, and those of their students in the hunter and jumper venues.
Last year, Jennifer Alfano and Jersey Boy stole the spotlight during the final week of the Jacksonville Winter Series, held at the Clay County Fairgrounds in Green Cove Springs, FL. The pair rode to the top of the standings during the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at Jacksonville Winter A to Z. They also took the reserve championship in the High Performance Hunters. Alfano also showed Sharon O’Neill’s Rose Hill to the Second Year Green Working Hunter Championship.
The team at SBS also left their mark at HITS Ocala where Alfano guided Sting to the coveted championship during the $5,000 Devoucoux 3’3″ Hunter Prix. Alfano also showed Danny Robertshaw’s Lions Paw to the Conformation Hunter Reserve Championship and later took the championship during HITS Ocala III. She also showed Castell to the High Performance Working Hunters Reserve Championship during the first week of HITS, and rode Castell in his first hunter derby to finish in the top 12. Alfano also showed Miss Lucy to several championships in the High Performance Working Hunter Division, catching the judges’ eyes with her remarkable athleticism and style. Billie Steffee’s Maggie May took the High Pre-Green Hunter Championship twice during HITS Ocala, eventually earning the circuit championship. Alfano rounded out the HITS Ocala winter series nabbing the first place finish with Jersey Boy during the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, taking second place with Miss Lucy.
Luke Olsen rode brilliantly throughout the Low Children’s Jumpers, piloting Mick O’ Angelo to top ribbons, eventually moving up to the High Children’s Jumpers after claiming the top spot in the $1,000 S.A. Comunale Low Children’s Jumpers Classic during HITS Ocala II. He also was pinned at the top of his equitation classes throughout the year, going on to earn the 22nd position during the Region 1 ASPCA Maclay Regionals, and a chance to compete in the ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay Finals at the Alltech National Horse Show in November 2012. Jessica Litfin made her mark in the Level 2 Jumpers aboard Lady Liberty, owned by the BTRC, securing the first place finish during the HITS Ocala Winter Finals.
Jane Gaston also proved successful throughout the HITS Ocala series with Lumiere. They rode to the top of the Amateur-Owner 36 and Over Hunters securing the division’s championship, as well as taking second place in the $1,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic and the $5,000 Devoucoux 3’3″ Hunter Prix. They earned a qualifying spot for the $500,000 3’3″ Hunter Prix Finals. Emma Bergqvist also earned good ribbons throughout the equitation and Children’s Hunter classes, while Page Flournoy showed to the top of the Amateur-Owner 36 and Over Hunters awards with Olivier de Upatoi and Castello. Dr. Alexis Mierzwa found success in the Adult 18-35 Equitation and Adult Hunter divisions with GPS Got Milk.
Alfano also began showing Karen Macdonald’s Rapunzel during their time in Ocala. The duo went on to secure the Leading Mare award and the prestigious honor of Devon Grand Hunter Champion during the 2012 Devon Horse Show in Pennsylvania. Alfano was awarded the Leading Lady Hunter Award for the second year in a row.
After leaving Ocala, SBS made their way to Wellington, FL, to compete at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in its twelfth week. Alfano and Miss Lucy dominated the High Performance Hunters, taking the championship, while Alfano showed Jersey Boy to the third place finish in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. The talented rider went on to take top placings at the Camden Spring Classic, including the third and fourth place finishes aboard Miss Lucy and Jersey Boy, respectively, in the $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Challenge Derby Classic in Camden, SC.
The next stop for SBS Farms, Inc. was the Kentucky Spring Horse Show in Lexington. Alfano piloted Jersey Boy to the second place finish in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, as well as guiding Miss Lucy to the third place finish. She also took the High Performance Working Hunter Championship with Jersey Boy, and the Regular Conformation Hunter Championship with Lions Paw. During the Kentucky Spring Classic, the success continued for SBS as Maggie May was pinned with the Pre-Green 3’3″ Hunter Reserve Championship with Alfano in the irons, and Katherine Karrer took top ribbons in the Amateur 3’3″ Hunter division.
After Kentucky, Schoellkopf and Alfano moved on to the Skidmore College Saratoga Classic where they dominated the professional divisions and went 1-2 in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby with Jersey Boy and Miss Lucy. Alfano and Jersey Boy also won the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby in Furnace, PA, at the 2012 State College Classic. Jessica Litfin rode Imparco to the Low Junior/Amateur Hunter Reserve Championship, as well as finishing first in the Ariat National Adult Medal.
The Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic welcomed SBS Farms to their show in Moreland Hills, OH, in July 2012. Alfano and Maggie May took the High Pre-Green 3’3″ Hunter Championship for their fabulous efforts. Rapunzel also was awarded the First Year Green Hunter Championship, as well as the Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic Grand Championship with Alfano. B&B LTD’s Montenegro took the Second Year/High Performance Hunters Reserve Championship, while Emma Bergqvist competed in the Children’s 14 and Under division where she took good ribbon with I M Superlative and Point Taken. Bergqvist also finished third place in the T.H.I.S. Insurance National Children’s Medal.
Alfano and Jersey Boy burned red hot after their distinguished win at the $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals in Lexington. They went on to secure the victory during the $50,000 Chicago International Hunter Derby, with Miss Lucy following close on their heels to secure the second place prize. Alfano also piloted Miss Lucy to the High Performance Hunter Championship at the Alltech National Horse Show, 129th edition.
The Regular Conformation Hunter division welcomed Alfano to the ring with Timber Ridge, owned by Shane George. The Alltech National Horse Show was the first time the pair had been connected for competition. Even as a new horse and rider combination, Alfano guided the gelding to the third place in the Regular Conformation Model, the second place in the handy, the fourth place finish in the under saddle and the second place award in the stake.
If SBS Farms’ 2012 year is any indication of what 2013 holds, only success can be foreseen. Jersey Boy was recently nominated as the 2012 USEF Horse of the Year, while Jennifer Alfano earned the Emerson Burr Trophy and was nominated as the 2012 USEF Equestrian of the Year. The final awards will be presented during the annual USEF Annual Meeting this January 2013.
To place your vote for Jennifer Alfano as the 2012 USEF Equestrian of the Year, please visit http://www.usef.org/_IFrames/eoty/. To place your vote for Jersey Boy as the 2012 USEF Horse of the Year, please visit http://www.usef.org/_IFrames/hoty/ and type in your email address to access the voting portal. Voting will end at Midnight [EAT] on Monday, January 7, 2013.
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.
Kendall Bierer for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International