Show World

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Jennifer Alfano and Maggie May Capture Buffalo International Horse Show Grand Hunter Championship

September 13, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

Buffalo, NY – September 12, 2013 -There were perfect conditions for the second day of the 67th Buffalo International Horse Show (BIHS) as the Indoor Arena remained dry as rain soaked the ground outside at the Buffalo Equestrian Center. The fierce hunter competition continued as the professional hunter divisons came to a close, and the announcement of the Grand Hunter Champion was named. Jennifer Alfano and Maggie May stood center ring for the prestigious Grand Hunter Champion presentation, after capturing a clean second day sweep of the First Year Green Working Hunter division. Alfano also piloted the young and talented Candid to the top of the Pre-Green Incentive, presented by Robert-James Sales, Inc., while also taking home the Working Hunter Championship with the renowned hunter horse, Jersey Boy. Jazz Johnston Merton and Kingston posted the first-day lead for the Amateur-Owner 3’3″-3’6″Hunters, while Penelope Ayers and Zandor were hot on their heels.


The hunter courses were designed by Brian Brown of Bloomfield, NY, and were comprised of green foliage, natural fences, brick walls and wooden gates. It was the handy course that proved a challenge with a serpentine of fences challenging both horse and rider alike.


The morning commenced with the First Year Green Working Hunter division where Jennifer Alfano dominated with back-to-back blue ribbons aboard Billie Steffee’s Maggie May. Alfano not only captured the championship, but she also secured the Grand Hunter Championship for her final total of 46 points. Jaime George and Sox Appeal, owned by Kelly Waples, rode to the reserve championship after adding two red ribbons for their rounds.


Jennifer Alfano and Maggie May captured the First Year Green Working Hunter Championship at the 67th Buffalo International Horse Show. Not only did the pair win the division's championship, but they were also awarded the Grand Hunter Championship for their efforts throughout the professional division.

Jennifer Alfano and Maggie May captured the First Year Green Working Hunter Championship at the 67th Buffalo International Horse Show. Not only did the pair win the division’s championship, but they were also awarded the Grand Hunter Championship for their efforts throughout the professional division.

“I think it is great for Maggie to have won both champion and Grand Hunter Champion,” Alfano said. “She has come a long way this year, and become really consistent. I am sad that Billie wasn’t here to see her go, because she went so beautifully, but I know Billie is very proud.”


Alfano continued, “We are going to go to Harrisburg and the Alltech National Horse Show this year, she has been doing so great. I was so proud of how she has improved, and how well she did during this show.”


Alfano’s success had only just begun as she entered the High Working Hunters with the illustrious Jersey Boy, owned by SBS Farms, Inc. No other pair could best the talented team. They earned two first place ribbons over fences today, excelling in the handy round with smooth turns and athleticism. They were dually awarded the High Working Hunter Championship. Rachel Clawson and Montenegro, owned by Lilly Ulrich, earned the reserve championship.


“Jersey Boy is something special,” Alfano smiled. “He feels like he is back to himself, and I think that he really went out there and proved it to everyone. He won the Grand Hunter Championship three years ago, and Miss Lucy won it last year, but it was Maggie May’s time to shine-we like to keep it in the family.”


The Pre-Green Hunters were hot with anticipation as riders entered a battle of the best with the hopes of securing not only the division championship, but also the $1,500 Pre-Green Incentive Stake victory. It was Alfano’s very own Candid who excelled during today’s competition. The duo earned the judges’ nod and the Incentive Stake score of 87 points. Alfano also ranked second with Helen Lenahan’s Me Again, finishing with a final score of 82 points. Alfano and Candid were awarded the Pre-Green Hunter Championship, and she also claimed the reserve championship aboard Me Again.


“I love the Incentive Program, I think it is doing great things for our sport,” Alfano explained. “People now want to buy Pre-Green Horses, when in the past there was nothing to really merit them wanting to buy a young horse. It is really neat too, that I personally own Candid, he has been doing so well, and the incentive is definitely worth it. I am very impressed with how Candid has been coming along, he is becoming so consistent, and although he is still green, he is learning with each and every show. Me Again is a more recent mount, but he has really been coming along, too. I was very impressed with how he did over the last two days, and in today’s Incentive Class.”


The Pre-Green Incentive is a new class to the Buffalo International Horse Show, and a newly developed program designed by the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA). The Pre-Green Incentive program is aimed to showcase the time and dedication that goes into the development of pre-green horses across the nation. The horse and rider combinations compete in Pre-Green Incentive classes across the country with the hopes of qualifying for the USHJA Pre-Green Hunter Incentive Finals in Lexington, KY, in 2014. The Pre-Green Incentive Program at the BIHS was sponsored by Robert-James Sales, Inc., and Jim Bokor was on site to present the award to Alfano today.


“It is a great show, and my daughter used to show here all the time. I wanted to support it, and keep the show going,” Bokor stated. “We talk about the future of our sport with younger riders, but we also need to talk about the future of our younger horses. This program provides a place to grow up, show their abilities, learn and move into the bigger classes. This is an important class for our sport.”


Jennifer Alfano and Candid captured the $1,500 USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Hunter Class at the 67th Buffalo International Horse Show with the high score of 87 points.

Jennifer Alfano and Candid captured the $1,500 USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Hunter Class at the 67th Buffalo International Horse Show with the high score of 87 points.

The first day of the Amateur-Owner Hunters got underway this afternoon. Jazz Johnston Merton and Kingston secured the first place win in the handy round, as well as the top finish in the under saddle. Penelope Ayers of Ravens Wood Farm also showed to a first place finish in the first round over fences with Zandor, as well as the second place in the under saddle.


“He was originally a jumper, and when we got him I started riding him in the Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunters. I have suffered three injuries over the last year and a half, and only recently began coming back. I couldn’t ask for a better horse,” Ayers smiled. “I thought it was an excellent course. Because he was a jumper he can make all of the turns and leave from anywhere. He really keys in and does a great job.”


Ayers has been a long-time supporter of the Buffalo International Horse Show and its beneficiary, the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center. She recently worked alongside Steve Kesselhaut to create the BTRC’s most recent video. To view the video, please click here.


Ayers elaborated, “I had the privilege to make the new video for the BTRC that is on their Web site. I came up in June and spent a whole day with the program doing still photography, video and interviews. Steve and I put it together. This is a great show and anything to help these children is amazing. The video will be shown at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show this year. Since the BTRC is a beneficiary of the Pennsylvania National, they jumped at the opportunity to show everyone what the program is all about.”


Ayers also sponsors the $1,000 Ravens Wood Farm Groom’s Class, one of the most highly contested classes of the show. Today it was Jessica Litfin of SBS Farms, Inc., who took home the top prize. Maynor Dubon of Ravens Wood Farm earned second, while Kaylee Dreier captured the third place.


Jessica Litfin won the $1,000 Ravens Wood Farm Groom's Class victory

Jessica Litfin won the $1,000 Ravens Wood Farm Groom’s Class victory

Ayers concluded, “This is a very special show to me, it is one of my favorite shows. I love Susie Schoellkopf and the BTRC program. I think anyone who is privileged to ride and show like I do, and have the horses I do, should spend one day out here to see everything this program offers. It is amazing to watch these children come to grips with challenges, and see how the horses benefit them.”


The Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions will conclude tomorrow when the champion is named, as well as the $1,000 “Full Monty” Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic. The Junior Hunters will get underway with their divisions, as well as the $1,000 Up the Creek Junior Hunter Classic. In the evening, onlookers will have the opportunity to watch the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center Demonstration and enjoy the Children’s/Adult Jumpers and Low Children’s/Adult Jumpers.


For more information regarding the 67th Annual Buffalo International Horse Show, please visit

or call (716) 877-9295. Entries may be faxed to (716) 877-4001.


All Photos By: Kendall Bierer/Phelps Media Group. These photographs may only be used in relation to this Phelps Media Group press release.




EVENT: 67th Annual Buffalo International Horse Show, which benefits the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center.


WHAT: Buffalo’s most prestigious horse show. The ‘AA’ rated show is one of the best ways for exhibitors to prepare themselves and their horses for the fall indoor circuit of finals. BIHS offers a large indoor arena for competition that gives horses and riders a chance to compete indoors before showing at the national finals in Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. or Kentucky. The horse show offers generous prize money in every division.


Sanctioned and recognized by: United States Equestrian Federation, Rated ‘AA’ Hunter and 2* Jumper; Syracuse Professional Horsemen’s Association; Ohio PHA; WPPHA.


WHERE: Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, 950 Amherst Street, Buffalo, NY 14216


WHEN: September 11-15, 2013


HIGHLIGHTS: The Buffalo International Horse Show benefits the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, and is one of the largest fundraisers for the program.



$1,000 Ravenswood Groom’s Class



$1,000 “The Full Monty” Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic

$1,000 Up The Creek Junior Hunter Classic


FRIDAY NIGHT (not before 6 p.m.)

BTRC Demonstration



$500 “Scribbles” Pony Hunter Classic


SATURDAY NIGHT (not before 6 p.m.):

$3,000 Johnson Horse Transportation USHJA National Hunter Derby

$2,500 Stephen A. Comunale Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic

$1,000 Stephen A. Comunale Low Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic




$500 “Say Hey” Children’s Hunter Classic

$1,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Silver Stirrup


ADMISSION: Free for spectators, except for Friday and Saturday night events, where admission is $5 for adults, and children 10 and under are free.


PARKING: Free on Amherst Street, on the grass on Great Arrow street, or in the school parking lot on Great Arrow.


VIP SEATING: Blue Carpet Club and Box Seating are available. The Blue Carpet Club offers tables overlooking the ring from the balcony. Only six tables are available in the Blue Carpet Club, so please make reservations early. Tables are $200 for a table of six for Friday or Saturday night, and $375 for both Friday and Saturday night combined. Box seats offer the most superior seating choice available; the closest to the action ringside. Box seats are $500 for Wednesday – Sunday afternoon until 4 pm. All Boxes include seating for six. Payment and order forms should be sent to: BIHS Attention: Blue Carpet Club and Box Seating, 950 Amherst Street, Buffalo, NY, 14216.


VENDOR/TRADE: Trophies are sponsored by EMO Insurance. Prizes for reserve champions are donated by The Hunting Horn of Penfield, NY, who is also the vendor for the horse show. Ribbons have been donated by M&T Bank.


DIRECTIONS: From NY thruway/I-90, it is only 10 minutes to the horse show facility. From I-90, take Rt 33 West. Follow to NY-198 East/Scajaquada Expressway West. Follow 198 until the Route 384 North/Delaware Ave exit. At the stop light, turn right and immediately turn left at the next light, which puts you on Delaware Ave. Follow Delaware Ave. until Amherst Street. Turn left on Amherst Street, travel less 200 feet, and the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center is on the right.


THE FACILITY: The Buffalo Saddle and Bridle Club was built in 1921 as an indoor polo arena. Today it is known as The Buffalo Equestrian Center (BEC) and features one of the largest indoor riding arenas in the nation. Located at 950 Amherst Street, in the heart of metropolitan Buffalo, it is now the home of The Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center Inc., The Buffalo Equestrian Center and SBS Farms, Inc. The five-acre site includes the indoor sand 120×90 riding arena, stables, paddocks and an outdoor riding ring. The spectacular barn offers permanent stalls for all horse show participants.


The Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center has been the site of a therapeutic riding program for over 10 years. The BTRC currently offers programs for mentally and emotionally impaired, learning disabled and developmentally challenged children ages 6 to 16.


Programs are designed and taught by Jenna Zografos, an instructor certified with PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) International.


Volunteers are always needed and are an invaluable part of the program. They can assist with horse care and handling or can serve as a friend and side walker. For more information, please call (716) 877-9295.


The Buffalo Equestrian Center is part of The Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center. They continue the tradition of the Saddle and Bridle club, giving lessons to kids starting at age six through adult ages. The BEC holds clinics with Jennifer Alfano, hosts a summer camp, and is now a member of the IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Association), where members of area middle schools and area high schools compete as a team at IEA shows in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Lessons are given all year Tuesday through Sunday.


SBS Farms is also part of The BTRC, and Susan Schoellkopf is the owner. Susie serves as chairman of the Zone 2 committee, the chairman of the Open Hunter Task Force, she is a member of the Junior Hunter Task Force and the D&M committee. Susie is also an “R” rated hunter judge. Jennifer Alfano is the trainer for SBS. She is a two time World Hunter Rider Champion, she has won the International Hunter Derby Series for the past two years aboard Jersey Boy, and has won several USEF Horse of the Year awards. Jennifer has trained top amateur, junior and pony riders.



Buffalo International Horse Show

950 Amherst St.

Buffalo, NY 14216

716-877-9295 (phone)

716-877-4001 (fax)



Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

12012 South Shore Blvd. Ste 105

Wellington, FL 33414

561-753-3389 (phone)

561-753-3386 (fax)