Summer Grace / Flaxen Mane Media
For the Sarasota Winter Classic
Jan. 5, 2024 – Myakka City, FL – The $5,000 Estates at TerraNova USHJA National Hunter Derby started off a busy weekend of competition on Friday morning with a win from Next Chapter LLC’s Jennifer Alfano. Alfano posted two of the entries for the morning’s feature event which was open to all levels of rider and included a $1,000 Junior-Amateur bonus as part of the series’ increased focus on upcoming riders.
After receiving scores of 93.00 and 94.00 in the classic round, Alfano sat comfortably on top with Kathy Chiaf’s two mounts, Southside of Heaven and Pendleton, respectively. While she maintains that both are exceptional derby mounts, Chiaf’s nine-year-old Warmblood gelding, Pendleton, put forward his best efforts in the Bill Worthington-designed handy phase for a spectacular second-round score of 96.00 to overtake the lead by one point with a finishing score of 189.00.
“I have had Pendleton for three years now,” explained Alfano. “We bought him for Kathy Chiaf to compete in the amateurs and he has just turned into a fabulous horse. Anytime I am able to do a special class like this with him I’m excited.”
For Alfano, Pendleton’s appeal is hard to miss as she continued that “he’s a beautiful jumper and his form is so correct every time. He keeps a great expression going around the ring; he’s really just one of those horses that everyone loves.”
The win is a back-to-back victory for Alfano whose winning ways have carried over from years prior attending the Sarasota Winter Classic.
“I love this show,” she gushed. “There is for sure not a more beautiful facility and Bill Worthington does a fabulous job. We have a wonderful time here every year, so I love supporting it.”
Chiaf’s eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding Southside of Heaven secured the second place finish with a combined total of 188.00 points while Alexandra Panetta and her own 11-year-old Westphalian mare Camembert rounded out the top three.
Competition will resume Saturday, January 6 with a special spotlight on the young and amateur riders as the first of many Junior/Amateur and Child/Adult classics begins. For a full list of results, please visit www.showmanagementsystem.com.