Buffalo, NY - The Buffalo Equestrian Center (BEC) kicked off 2014 with a strong show season for their Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) team. This program has opened doors for riders unable to afford the equestrian sport, or with little access to horses, while promoting the educational aspect of teaching horsemanship and team camaraderie. Since its inception at the BEC, the team has proved unstoppable.
On February 8 and 9, 2014, the BEC's IEA team competed at Alfred University's Bromley-Daggett Equestrian Center in Alfred Station, NY, contending against other top riders and teams for the points necessary to qualify for the upcoming Regionals. Three of the young riders qualified with the necessary points, and are now training to showcase their skills at the Equestrian Center on March 2, 2014, along their previously qualified teammates. Carlisle Lipke coached each of the students to the top of the ranks, and will continue to guide them to the pinnacle of the standings during the IEA Zone 2 Regionals.
"I'm so proud of all the riders' hard work and dedication this year," Lipke explained. "They have all accomplished so much as individual riders and really come together as a team."
Each rider is judged on both an individual and team level, earning points throughout the year to qualify for the regionals and eventually the national qualifier. The IEA program teaches secondary and upper-level students the fundamentals of equitation and horsemanship.
On Saturday Hannah Anain rode to the sixth place finish over fences in the Junior Varsity Novice division, while Jazzlyn Igiel completed the Varsity open with a fourth over fences and sixth under saddle. Romy Paolini rode her way to the regionals qualifications with a third place award in the Future Beginner Flat.
Sunday brought nothing but success for the BEC IEA Team. Igiel finished the Varsity Open with the blue ribbon on the flat, while Meghan Joyce qualified for regionals with the second place finish over fences and the fourth under saddle in the Varsity Open. Serena Nichols took home the second place over fences, as well as the second place under saddle for the Varsity Intermediate. Her red ribbon placing earned her a spot in the regionals. Sydney Wile rode to top ribbons during the JV Novice, while Paolini took the fifth place in the Future Beginner Flat.
With nine riders qualified for the individuals and the middle school team qualified as a whole, the BEC is pleased to announce that they will return to Alfred University's Bromeley-Daggett Equestrian Center Sunday, March 2, 2014. A banquet will be held the night of March 1, where awards we will presented to riders and teams who placed in the top eight for year-end points.
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.