Jennifer Alfano Wins $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby on Candid at Week 1 of the 2015 Equifest Horse Show

By Kendall Bierer for Phelps Media Group

Wayne, IL  – SBS Farms continued to shine in the hunter rings this past week at the Equifest I Horse Show held at Lamplight Equestrian Center. Jennifer Alfano put in impressive trips on several horses to earn top ribbons in numerous divisions, yet it was Candid who stole the limelight in Chicago.

Alfano captured the Second Year Green Working Hunter Championship with Candid after placing first in the handy, as well as first in two of the over fences classes. After concluding the professional divisions on Thursday, it was time to prepare for the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. It came as no surprise that the brown gelding caught everyone’s eyes, especially with the stars that were delicately shaved on his hindquarters.

Dean Battaglia designed the derby track, utilizing bending lines, long approach single jumps and offering four opportunities to earn high option points. Alfano and the affectionately known “Sheldon” put in a smooth round with a forward hand gallop to the final obstacle, giving them the advantage they needed to earn a 97 for the high score of 192 points and the top prize.

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Jennifer Alfano and Candid won the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at Equifest I.
Photo By: Chicago Equestrian.

The success continued for Alfano when she captured the High Performance Working Hunter Championship with Jersey Boy after winning three blues; one in the handy and two in the over fences classes. Jersey Boy has always put his best hoof forward in Chicago, even clinching the USHJA International Hunter Derby victory last year, as well as the win in the Chicago Hunter Derby in the fall. Billie Steffee’s Maggie May also impressed during the High Performance Working Hunters, winning the reserve championship in the division, also with Alfano in the irons.

A newer mount for Alfano, The Exchange, has continued to impress the team at SBS Farms, as well as Alfano. With tight competition, The Exchange stepped up to win the $1,000 USHJA Pre-Green Hunter Incentive Stake, showcasing his skills before the Finals in two weeks. He also clinched the championship title in the Pre-Green 3′ Hunters. Sharon O’Neill’s Castle won an over fences and under saddle class in the Pre-Green 3’3″ Hunter division to round out the professional divisions.

Alex Trolli was the Junior 3’3″ Hunter Champion with Del Piero, and won the $1,000 USEF Junior Hunter Classic on Hey Sailor, owned by Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center. The young talent has continued to shine in the Junior divisions, a move from the Children’s Hunters that she made not too long ago.

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Alex Trolli and Del Piero. Photo By: Lily Kubly

Paige Kouimanis and Sweet Oak Farm’s Lexus were fantastic in the Low Children’s 1.0m jumpers, proving that they are a team that is a match with many more blues in their future.

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 please visit www.sbsfarms.com. For more information on the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, please visit www.thebtrc.org.

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