Buffalo, NY - The 64th Annual Buffalo International Horse Show (BIHS) began competition today at the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center (BTRC) in Buffalo, NY. The horse show will host a number of special classes in their large indoor arena through Sunday, September 19, featuring great prize money and exciting competition to benefit the BTRC and its fantastic program.
Kicking off the first full day of competition, riders of SBS Farms, located at the BTRC, were interviewed for the morning news on NBC's Buffalo affiliate WGRZ 2. Rider and trainer Jennifer Alfano and riders Meredith Lipke and Madison Brayman were all featured in the morning segments. The ladies spoke to reporter Kevin O'Neill about the weekend's events and noted the caliber of riders that will be travelling from all over the northeast to compete at Buffalo's most prestigious horse show. Also featured was BTRC's head instructor Libby McNabb, who spoke about the benefits of the BIHS to the therapeutic riding program and its activities.
As the morning continued, the competition began with a full schedule of professional hunter divisions. The First Year Green Working Hunters showed first with day one wins going to Jennifer Alfano and horses, Miss Lucy, owned by Helen Lenahan, and Fantabulous, owned by Shelley Shaulinski.
David Boley dominated the first day of competition in the Conformation Hunters, winning over fences and under saddle with Kingdom Come, owned by B&B Ltd. and also finishing in the top ribbons with Phil in the Blank, owned by Ellen Bifano and Late Night, owned by B&B Ltd.
Sarah Mechlin rode Yes Indeed, owned by Olivia Weaver, to two first pace ribbons in the Second Year Green Working Hunter division. Jennifer Alfano rode Meredith Lipke's Accomplice to the blue ribbon under saddle and David Boley earned top ribbons with Step N Fetch It, owned by Dennis Hulse.
Alfano dominated in the Regular Working Hunter division, winning both over fences with SBS Farms' super star Jersey Boy, winning the under saddle on Meredith Lipke's The Specialist, and also finishing third in all three of the day's classes riding the BTRC's Mick O Angelo.
Alfano was not done there however, as the talented rider went on to win the Open Hunter class with Fantabulous, earned the Pre-Green Hunter Championship aboard Gilden, owned by Billee Steffee, and also finished with the Low Hunter Championship aboard Lights Out, owned by Don Stewart Jr. Lights Out is currently leased by SBS Farms' student Sarah Rimmler, and the pair will be seen competing later in the week in the Children's Hunter division.
Thanks to judges Carleton Brooks and Jim Clapperton, as well as course designers Phil DeVita and George Heston, the day's competition was successful for all. Also many thanks to Delaware North for sponsoring the green hunter divisions, HSBC Bank USA for donating the ribbons, EMO Insurance for the sponsorship of championship awards, and The Hunting Horn for donating the reserve champion awards.
The five day schedule of the Buffalo International Horse Show features highlights for everyone to enjoy, including $15,000 worth of hunter and jumper classics for children, adults, juniors, amateur-owners, ponies and professionals. Exciting classes include a USHJA 3' Hunter Classic, Groom's Class and the Silver Stirrup Classic. This year the show will also proudly offer a $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Sunday afternoon. For more information regarding the 64th Annual Buffalo International Horse Show, please visit www.thebtrc.org or call (716) 877-9295.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Alfano won multiple top ribbons on the first day of the Buffalo International Horse Show, including two over fences wins on Jersey Boy. Photo © 2010 Lauren Fisher/PMG.