Jacksonville, FL - January 27, 2014 - Jennifer Alfano and Jersey Boy are back on the hunter derby scene, and they are taking the competition by storm. It was apparent that nothing was standing in this winning combination's way as they rode to the top of the leader board at the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Saturday, January 25, 2014, at the Jacksonville Winter Series. SBS Farms, Inc. proved unstoppable as they continued their winning ways last week at Jacksonville Winter A to Z, capturing championships across the divisions.
No strangers to the winner's circle, Alfano and Jersey Boy once again took control during the Jacksonville Winter A to Z $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. During the first round they laid down a beautiful trip, moving into the fourth place position as the top 12 continued into the handy round. Jersey Boy is well known for his finesse in the handy round, and he continued to impress as they were awarded the top score, and subsequently, the highest score overall.
"He was good in the first round, he was a little rusty," Alfano explained. "He hasn't actually jumped a course since Harrisburg. He was really good, but had a really hard rub. He came back in the handy and was awesome."
Alfano continued, "There were a couple inside turns, one that was at the end, that about half of the people did, but it was a difficult turn, and for some it was a little rough. The turn went to the high option at the end, and if you did the inside turn you almost had to add a stride. We did it really smoothly and didn't have to add any strides. He was just really on. I was pretty far behind going into the second round, and I knew I had a lot of ground to make up. I picked up the gallop and just kept going."
Jersey Boy was not the only horse that stole the spotlight during the Jacksonville Winter Series, SBS Farms was just beginning to start their winning streak. Alfano navigated Billie Steffee's Maggie May to the Second Year Green Working Hunter Championship. They picked up two blue ribbons and two third place ribbons over fences. They also were awarded the second place for their efforts in the under saddle.
"She was really good. It was her first time doing the Second Years, which we knew she could do because she has such scope," Alfano stated. "She was really good, and really consistent. She did the derby as well, but just missed getting into the second round. It was her first time doing the derby, so I was really proud of how well she did."
In the Green Conformation Hunters it was Alfano's own Candid who received the judges' nod. During the model, he moved into the first place position, and he swept all the over fences classes. It came as no surprise that they would stand center ring for the championship tricolor.
"Candid was great again," Alfano described. "This was the first time he was competing at the 3'6" height. He was great. He is still a little green at times, but his jump is always awesome. He is a truly awesome horse."
Alfano rode Diplomacy to the reserve championship in the First Year Green Working Hunters earlier in the week, earning the first and second place ribbons over fences, as well as the blue ribbon for their efforts in the handy course. Diplomacy is a new horse for Alfano, who is riding for Nikki Murphy. Alfano looks forward to continuing her new partnership with Diplomacy as she continues to show throughout the season at HITS Ocala.
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 they 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.