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60th Annual Buffalo International Horse Show Wrap-Up, September 13-17, 2006

Buffalo, NY – September 18, 2006 – The 60th Annual Buffalo International Horse Show is held at the historic Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center (BTRC). The ‘AA’ rated show is Buffalo’s most prestigious horse show and is used by many to prepare for the fall indoor circuit and zone finals horse shows.

The Grand Hunter Champion was a tie this year. The champion in the Regular Working Hunter division was Rock Star, ridden by Jennifer Alfano and owned by Jennifer Burger of Snyder, NY, and the champion in the Green Working Hunters was Talent Scout, ridden by Rob Bielefeld and owned by Robert Fisher and Brett Colter. The two had equal points in their divisions, so they will share the Grand Hunter Championship for this year.

Rock Star was rock solid this week. In addition to his championship in the Regular Working Hunters, he was reserve champion in the Green Working Hunters. Alfano rode GG Valentine for owner Barbara Kearney to the reserve championship in the Regular Working Hunter division.

Other hunter champions include:

Pre-Green Hunter Champion- Encore, Jennifer Alfano, Jennifer Burger

Reserve Champion- Violets Are Blue, Jennifer Alfano, Helen Lenahan

Low Hunter Champion- Good Company, Jennifer Alfano, SBS Farms Inc.

Reserve Champion- Harker, Jennifer Alfano, Stephanie Karvouniaris

Starting out the day right was Meredith Lipke Bartolone of Buffalo, NY. Bartolone piloted her two talented horses to the champion and reserve champion ribbons in the Amateur-Owner Hunter division. The first tricolor went to Once and Again, a nine year old Warmblood mare, and the reserve tricolor was pinned on the bridle of Churchill, a six year old Hannoverian gelding. Churchill came away with four second place ribbons over fences and won the under saddle class. By winning all four over fences classes, Once and Again was awarded the Grand Amateur-Owner Championship for 2006.

The Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunter championship went to another local rider, Stephanie Karvouniaris, and Harker. The pair won all three classes in the division for the championship over Distant Vision and Kristin Wilson. Karvouniaris seemed a little surprised by her dominance in the division. “I didn’t expect it. It was quite the surprise; I was shocked!” she said with a big grin. She gave credit to her horse, “He deserves it. He was great.”

The win in today’s $500 Adult Hunter Classic went to Elliott and Michelle Hagerty, who were also the reserve champions in the Adult Amateur Over 35 Hunter division. Champion in that division was Sooner, ridden and owned by Beth Lynn.

The cute bay gelding came into the second round with the highest first round score of 85. Elliott and Hagerty cantered easily around the course and improved on their first round, scoring an 86 for a total of 171. It was a score that could not be beaten.

The win in the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Pony Equitation class today went to Charlotte Jacobs of East Aurora, NY. On the adorable bay pony Court Jester, Jacobs picked up the blue ribbon and more points towards qualifying for the finals at WIHS next month. Second went to Lindsey Ward, while Shannon Kaupp was third.

Starting out the day were the Pony Hunters. The Grand Pony Hunter Championship went to Hillcrest Pennywise, ridden by Charlotte Jacobs of East Aurora, NY and owned by Tilden Brighton of Rumson, NJ. They were the Large Pony Hunter champions over Hideways Greystone Shilel and Shannon Kaupp. Jacobs also picked up the tricolor in the Medium Pony Hunter division on Home at Last. Reserve champion in the Medium Ponies was Finally Mine, ridden and owned by Lindsey Ward. For her tricolor success, Jacobs was named Best Child Rider at BIHS.

Another brand new relationship that led to Grand Champion honors was in the Children’s Hunters. The champion of the Children’s 15-17 Hunters was Audi Calypso, ridden by Christine Ruh for the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center. Ruh has ridden with Libby McNabb at the Buffalo Equestrian Center for nine years, but first rode “Ozzie” three days ago. Their course today was the first time doing a full course at three feet.

When Ruh’s original ride was unavailable for BIHS, McNabb thought the bubbly teenager and the cute chestnut gelding would make a good match. Ruh agreed, “I liked him a lot; he was a lot of fun. He’s easy if you support him on the way there with a little leg and a little hand and just help him get there. Other than that, it was really easy.” The pair won the Syracuse PHA 3’ Medal 15-17 class before winning three out of four classes in the hunter division for the championship. The reserve champion was Maestro and Amanda Terhaar, who rode for Sherri Terhaar.

The champion in the Children’s 14 & Under Hunters was Jumping For Joy, ridden and owned by Kate Haley. They won the under saddle class and received two second place ribbons over fences. Reserve champion in the division was Jouet, ridden by Melissa Jacobs for Deeridge Farm.

Champion in the Children’s Pony Small/Medium Hunters was Cosmic Scribbles, ridden by Melissa Jacobs for Bibby Farmer Hill. Jacobs is another rider from Buffalo and has trained at SBS Farms, Inc. for five years. The tricolor ribbon was a perfect birthday present for the young rider who turns 13 on Monday. Reserve champion in the division was Cliff Notes, ridden by Sydney Mosconitz for Lydia Ulrich.

The Children’s Pony Large Hunter champion this year is My Buddy Sergio. The dependable grey pony was ridden by Cheyenne Bianchi and is owned by Regan McGowan. The pair has been together for two years. Today they won three classes and were fourth in the under saddle for their championship, which gave them the Grand Children’s Pony Hunter championship as well.

They were given top scores of 80 and 82 in two rounds of the $500 Children’s Hunter Classic for the win. Bianchi (10) from Syracuse, NY, was a little nervous being the leader of the classic going into the second round, but came home thinking her performance was “really good.”

The evening classes began with the $2,000 Handy Hunter Classic, which was composed of riders from professional, amateur, adult, children’s, and junior hunter divisions. They were asked to perform over a turning course that included a trot jump in the first round.

The leader after round one was Up and Coming and Tom Matthews, who rode for Up the Creek Farm. They scored an 82 after a smooth first go. Right behind them was Kacey McCann and Marcellus, who had an 80. McCann was in third with her other horse Comanche, who had a 78.

The second round consisted of more rollbacks that tested the riders’ eye. McCann and Comanche had a disappointing rail down, which put them out of the running. Meredith Lipke Bartolone, who had a 77 in the first round with Churchill, came back for a solid round of 82 and a total of 159. McCann and Marcellus kept their perfect pace and racked up an identical second round score of 80 for a total of 160.

Coming back in the lead was Up and Coming and Matthews. They had a good course, but with some tighter distances, their score of 77.5 was just off the leader. They finished with a total of 159.5 and second place.

The $1,500 Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic was an exciting finish to a wonderful show. The class was a Table II, section A class that included a triple combination. First in the class, Cassis and Claudia Cataldo, had a mishap in that triple combination and an unfortunate dismount, which eliminated them from the class. The next three riders put in clear rounds to return for the timed jump-off.

Kacey McCann and Mr. Brown were first to return, and they maneuvered easily around the course for a clear round and a time of 31.32 seconds. Next in were Kintyre and Alexandra McPhearson. Bigger turns and more time in the air led to a clear round, but a slower time of 35.97 seconds. Last to go was Mick O Angelo and Carlysle Lipke, who rode for Meredith Lipke Bartolone. They made a fantastic rollback to the two stride and made every jump out of stride. They galloped down to the last jump for a clear round and tripped the timers at 30.66 seconds for the win.

Lipke and Mick O Angelo have been paired for only four months, but the two seemed to click easily on course. Lipke has trained with SBS Farms Inc. for seven years. The win in the classic gave them the reserve championship in the division. Champion in the division was Mr. Brown, ridden by Kacey McCann for BTRC, who won both classes yesterday. For her jumper wins and sweep in the junior hunter division, McCann was named Leading Junior Rider of the 60th Annual Buffalo International Horse Show.

One of the highlights of the day was the special ceremony in honor of Stephen Comunale Jr. Comunale’s family was in attendance and received a trophy for the dedication of the Buffalo International Horse Show in honor of Comunale.

Comunale began showing at BTRC when he was ten years old and qualified for Pony Finals and numerous equitation finals as a junior. He went on to become a strong jumper rider and eventually became a teacher at SBS Farms and show manager at BTRC. The BTRC Horse Show Series is now renamed in his honor. In the ceremony it was stated, “There was no one who did not like him. Stephen’s gentle ways, sense of humor and of course that smile, made him a genius at dealing with any type of personality. All of us who are here as riders, trainers, owners, and horse lovers will never allow Stephen’s memory to be forgotten.”

The Buffalo International Horse Show would like to thank their Champion Sponsor, HSBC Bank USA, The Burger and McCauley Families, In Honor of Lauren and Allison Gioia, Valentine Farm, Helen D. Lenahan and Susan L. Kimberly, M&T Bank, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Banta, Ann and Dean Jewett, and Jane and Paul Schoellkopf. Their Reserve Champion Sponsors are: EMO Insurance, Goshen Hill Foundation, and The Hunting Horn.

Blue Ribbon Sponsors include: Capital Fence Company Inc., Jane F. Clark, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Comunale in Memory of their son, Stephen Comunale Jr., Delaware North, Samantha Hallman, IBM, Johnson Horse Transportation Inc., McGard, LLC, Peter Pletcher, Sanderson and Company Investment Consultants, LLC, and Shenandoah Foundation.

The Peach Taylor Memorial Sportsmanship Award went to Virginia Grant.

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


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