Antioch, IL – September 12, 2012 – Jersey Boy and Jennifer Alfano have been red hot since their recent victory as the $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals held in Kentucky last month. Their fire did not stop burning as they blazed the way to the top of the $50,000 Chicago International Hunter Derby, presented by Canadian National Railroad. Alfano and Jersey Boy not only took the first place prize, but Miss Lucy came in a close second place finish, as well.
Bobby Murphy of Lexington, KY, returned to design the vintage hunt course, utilizing the presenting sponsor’s industry as a main form of inspiration. The grassy track was set with obstacles reminiscent of locomotives and even an in-and-out that appeared to represent a railroad crossing. The course was also set with many brush obstacles, hay bales and logs. Murphy left nothing to chance as his course, especially on the second day, seemed to become the story itself.
Alfano entered the event without hesitation, using her veteran mounts to the best of her ability, taking the course with confidence and precision. It was the pace that moved Alfano into the top of the 18 returning contenders. Especially aboard Jersey Boy, she kept a good gallop throughout the course, using his strongest ability to make him shine. Both mounts definitely continued to show that SBS Farms is an unstoppable force.
“I was lucky enough to judge at both the Chicago Derby and the USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals,” Geoff Teall remarked. “The horse was as good in Chicago as during the Finals. Chicago proves to be an even more challenging course with the grass field. The fact that he could do both of them is really great. I don’t want to use a cliché, but honestly they two them are magic.”
Teall continued, “She was the only one all day, in a handy hunter course that had very few places to show handiness, where she more than anyone went forward and really galloped the course. There was a very difficult in-and-out that she rode great with both Jersey Boy and Miss Lucy. It is a real pleasure to judge them, it is the two of them-they are the derby type-they are elegant and brave.”
Although Jersey Boy has proven himself consistently over the years, the team at SBS Farms, Inc. continues to raise the bar. Owner and trainer Susie Schoellkopf of Buffalo, NY, has been extremely busy with preparations for the 66th Buffalo International Horse Show to begin Wednesday, September 12, 2012, but she encouraged Alfano to participate in the Derby. Schoellkopf sits on the USHJA High Performance Council, and has been an asset to the development of the derby program from its commencement.
“The thing that always amazes me about the two is how together they are. When you are judging them it is so much fun, because you know they are going to get it right,” concluded Teall. “You hear people complain about how difficult the derby courses can be, but then you see this girl and that horse go out there and execute it perfectly. Their talent is apparent when they are riding the course.”
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.