Buffalo, NY – December 14, 2010 – Susie Schoellkopf of SBS Farms at the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center in Buffalo, NY, was honored this past week at the USHJA Annual Meeting, which was held on December 6-9, 2011. Schoellkopf was given the President’s Distinguished Service Award at the USHJA Evening of Equestrians Awards Dinner for the second year in a row. SBS Farms’ Jennifer Alfano was also awarded at the dinner, as she earned The Rider Recognition Award for 2010. This award is given for the most money won as a Hunter rider and her cash earnings were just above $400,000.
The President’s Distinguished Service Awards were developed in 2006 to acknowledge and honor the dedication and service of volunteer members to both the USHJA and the sport. 2010 marked the second year for Schoellkopf to win the USHJA’s President’s Distinguished Service Award, as she was also the recipient of this award in 2009. Schoellkopf is the chair of the Open Hunter Task Force and a member of the Hunter Restructure Committee, the Hunter Zone Council, the High Performance Hunter Committee, and the Junior Hunter Task Force. She is also on the USEF Drugs and Medication committee and serves as chair of the Zone 2 Hunter Committee.
The award was surprise for Schoellkopf, as she was unaware that she won until the award was announced. “It was a great surprise!” commented Schoellkopf. “I feel very honored to have won this award. I am passionate about each committee I work with and I am dedicated to try to protect and ensure the future of our sport.”
Schoellkopf continued, “I am so proud of Jen for everything she’s accomplished as well. To have won that much money is really amazing! Jen’s had some great hunters over the years and it’s nice to be recognized for that. We are really looking forward to this coming year as we have a ton of young horses!”
In addition to her committee work at the USHJA, Schoellkopf is the Executive Director of the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, which is the home of the Buffalo Equestrian Center and SBS Farms. The Buffalo Equestrian Center, originally called the Buffalo Saddle and Bridle Club, was built in 1921 and is now a historic landmark. In addition to having a riding school, the facility includes the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, a non-profit organization. They provide vital services to differently-abled youth.
Alfano’s award is a money-won award for the hunter division as she was the highest money earner for 2010. Alfano has produced numerous victories in top Hunter Derbies around the country, including a win at the $25,000 Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA International Hunter Derby and back to back wins at the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby (Chicago Hunter Derby). Alfano’s earnings total $401,124 since the program began in 2006.
Jennifer Alfano grew up on her parents’ farm in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. At the ripe age of ten, she qualified for Harrisburg. And as a junior, Alfano was a major contender; placing well in the USET Finals and qualified for Maclay Finals. Starting her professional career, she was the care taker of Gem Twist, horse of Greg Best. Alfano accompanied Best and Gem Twist to the Seoul Olympics in Korea.
Alfano joined the SBS Farms team in 1991. She won the American Hunter and Jumper Foundation World Hunter Rider Award two years in a row in 1996 and 1997. Alfano has been champion at every major horse show in the country and is the only rider to have three consecutive First Year Green USEF Horse of the Year Honors. These horses include Kansas, Big Bad Wolf, and G.G. Valentine.
For more information on SBS Farms and the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, please visit www.thebtrc.org.
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