Jennifer Alfano Takes 1-2 Finish With Jersey Boy and Miss Lucy in $15,000 USHJA Hunter Derby

Jennifer Alfano and Jersey Boy won the 5,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.
Jennifer Alfano and Jersey Boy won the 5,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.

Lexington, KY - May 10, 2015 - In the world of hunter derbies, one name always stands out: Jersey Boy. Today, the 13-year-old chestnut gelding, better known as Lewis, delivered two textbook rounds with Jennifer Alfano during the WCHR Member Event, the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, earning a total of 401 points to capture first place overall. 

Rider Jennifer Alfano was skeptical about the class, due to the fact that Jersey Boy was so well behaved in the schooling ring. "Lewis is a little temperamental at times; you never really know with him," Alfano laughed. 

From the moment the duo stepped in to the ring, however, it was obvious that Jersey Boy had decided he wanted to impress. Taking all the higher options, Alfano navigated Jersey Boy smoothly through Bobby Murphy's course, earning a 94 and 96 for the classic round. 

"I haven't ridden a lot of horses that can gallop and jump like he does," Alfano said. "He is one of those that can stay on the gallop and turn and jump. He is so naturally balanced that I think the turning comes so easy for him." 

The pair especially excelled in the handy, pulling in scores of 92 and 94 from the judges. Adding on 4 points for taking the high options, and 9 and 8 handy points, respectively, Jersey Boy delivered the highest-scoring round of the day. "He definitely excels at the handy," Alfano said. "That's his thing."
 
Jennifer Alfano placed first and second overall with Jersey Boy and Miss Lucy, respectively, during the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.

Jennifer Alfano and Miss Lucy.
Jennifer Alfano and Miss Lucy.

Alfano also impressed the judges on Miss Lucy, another mount she holds dear to her heart. Miss Lucy is back after almost two years, and has not slowed down a bit. Coming off of a derby win at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, the mare put in another outstanding performance today to secure second place overall with a score of 374.
 
"It's awesome to have Miss Lucy back," Alfano said. "Aside from what she does in the ring, she is just a special horse. I'm very lucky to have the two of them."

Tammy Provost and Kallisto earned a total score of 366.5 to claim third place, with Alfano back atop Miramar earning a 365.5 for fourth place. Fifth place was awarded to Havens Schatt, who piloted Savannah to a score of 360 points. Sarah Young and Gabriella rounded out the top six with a score of 357.

Alfano's four entries all placed in the top 12 and will return to the Kentucky Horse Park in August for the long-anticipated 2015 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship.  

Earlier in the day, the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby was underway, with Sarah Sturges leading the event from start to finish aboard Jessica Blum's Conan. A smooth opening round resulted in a score of 93, and the pair retuned to the handy, receiving a 92 and utilizing the high options for a four-point boost. 

Sarah Sturges and Conan won the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby.
Sarah Sturges and Conan won the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby.

"He likes to jump the jumps," Sturges explained. "If I get him where he needs to be, he takes care of the rest of it. He's pretty straightforward. He coasts around and he does his thing and I try to stay out of the way." 

Kelli Cruciotti and Totem Pole gave Sturges a run for her money, coming in second by a 2.5-point differential. The judges awarded their efforts with scores of 92 and 90.5 for a 182.5 total. 

"Totem Pole was fantastic," Cruciotti said. "He's been a work in progress for the last three years. We bought him, and then he got hurt. We almost had to put him down. We redid everything and now he is coming back, so it's kind of like a fairytale that he is being a super star. I cannot thank my sponsors and my team enough, it has been a wonderful day, and I love this class; it's my favorite."

Havens Schatt returned next riding Sans Souci for CH Farm LLC, having received a score of 90 in the first round. The pair earned a score of 91 in the handy. However, Cruciotti's classic round score would give her a leg up for the second place honors, while Schatt would settle for third place today.

Sturges' victory has her sitting at the top of the Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Bonus leader board, a place she knows all too well. In 2013, Sturges was awarded the $2,500 bonus as the leading amateur rider, and last year her trainer, Christopher Payne of New Hope LLC captured the $10,000 professional leading rider bonus. As an event of the five-part series, the Hallways Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby has become a staple at the spring and summer shows, and will continue into the summer series. The leading riders will be presented with the cash prizes at the end of the Bluegrass Festival on August 16, 2015.

"It definitely helps to start out on top," Sturges said. "We are only an hour away, so we will definitely compete in the series, but whether or not I win the bonus, it is a fun class. I turned professional at the end of 2013, so it is fun trying to rack up the points for the professional bonus."

Emma Kurtz and Frederick were awarded the Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunter Grand Championship.
Emma Kurtz and Frederick were awarded the Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunter Grand Championship.

The final day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show concluded with the Grand Championships, sponsored by Visse Wedell of Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Emma Kurtz was awarded the Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunter Grand Championship for her efforts in the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunter division with Frederick, owned by David Gochman. The Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunter Reserve Grand Championship went to Vivian Yowan and Ransom, owned by Saddle Ridge LLC.

It was the Gochman sisters, Sophie and Mimi who snatched up the Pony Hunter Grand Championship and Pony Hunter Reserve Grand Championship, respectively. Sophie rode Bit of Love to the high point award during the Small Pony Hunters, while Mimi took the second tricolor for her efforts in the Large Pony Hunters.

The Kentucky Spring Classic will continue May 13-17, 2015, with the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby in the Stonelea Ring. Both weeks of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows will offer WIHS & NAL classics for Children's & Adult hunter and jumper riders as well as $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Classics.

To learn more about the Kentucky Spring Horse Show please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

$15,000 USHJA INTERNATIONAL HUNTER DERBY
Order  Entry #  Horse Name   Rider Name  Score  Score 2  Total Score   
1  105  JERSEY BOY  JENNIFER ALFANO  190.000  211.000 401.000%
2  108  MISS LUCY  JENNIFER ALFANO  181.000  193.000 374.000%
3  898  KALLISTO  TAMMY PROVOST  167.500  199.000 366.500%
4  106  MIRAMAR  JENNIFER ALFANO  169.500  196.000 365.500%
5  1380  SAVANNAH  HAVENS SCHATT  183.000  177.000 360.000%
6  384  GABRIELLA  SARAH YOUNG  178.000  179.000 357.000%
7  1031  CHARACTER  VIVIAN YOWAN  160.500  176.000  336.500%
8  1122  MEMORABLE  MARIA RASMUSSEN  160.000  175.000  335.000%
9  1123  QUITE CHOCOLATE  MARIA RASMUSSEN 161.600  172.000  333.600%
10 1125  SUBJECT TO CHANGE  MARIA RASMUSSEN 155.500   178.000   333.500%
11 1352  WHITE LIGHTNING  SARAH YOUNG  166.000  151.000  317.000%
12 110  MAGGIE MAY  JENNIFER ALFANO  185.000  130.000  315.000%

$5,000 HALLWAY FEEDS USHJA NATIONAL HUNTER DERBY
Order  Entry #  Horse Name  Rider Name  Score  Score 2  Total Score   
1  721  CONAN   SARAH STURGES  93.000 92.000  185.000%
2  207  TOTEM POLE  KELLI CRUCIOTTI  92.000  90.500  182.500%
3  1383  SANS SOUCI  HAVENS SCHATT   90.000  91.000  181.000%
4  999  CASHMERE   HELEN VOSS  88.000 89.000  177.000%
5  326  CS ONLINE  MISSY LUCZAK-SMITH  89.000  87.000 176.000%
6  1024  COLUMBUS  KATHRYN HAEFNER  83.000 90.000 173.000%
7  457  VIP Z   EMMA KURTZ  91.000  81.000  172.000%
8  1022  BENTLEY  KATHRYN HAEFNER  86.000  84.000  170.000%
9  823  STOLI   STEVE HEINECKE   88.500  75.000  163.500%
10 685  VERA   SCHUYLER RILEY   84.000  78.000  162.000%
11 343  ALL RISE   BROOKE BAILEY  82.750  49.000  131.750%
12 1120  AVALON  CATHERINE KUBIAK  82.500  44.000  126.500%




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