Buffalo, NY - September 25, 2008 - The 62nd Buffalo International Horse Show is one of the longest running shows in the country. All proceeds from the event directly benefit the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center. The horse show is one of the main stops for many riders to practice before national finals begin. The show gave out more than $26,000 in prize money.
Saturday night hosted a variety of award presentations. The first award was the Dedication Of The Horse Show. Recipients for 2008 included Jennifer Alfano of SBS Farms and Elizabeth McNabb of the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center.
Jennifer Alfano grew up on her parents' farm in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She qualified for Harrisburg at the age of ten. She was a major contender; placing well in the USET Finals and qualified for Maclay Finals. Starting her professional career, she was the care taker of Gem Twist, horse of Greg Best. Alfano accompanied Greg and Gem Twist to the Seoul Olympics in Korea.
Alfano joined the SBS Farms team in 1991. She won the American Hunter and Jumper Foundation World Hunter Rider Award two years in a row in 1996 and 1997. Alfano has been champion at every major horse show in the country and is the only rider to have three consecutive First Year Green USEF Horse of the Year Honors. These horses include Kansas, Big Bad Wolf, and G.G. Valentine. Alfano has been an inspiration to many riders over the years. This award is to honor her amazing talent and her horses.
Elizabeth McNabb joined The Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center staff in 1991 as a trainer. McNabb grew up riding in Kane, Pennsylvania where she gained experience in English and Western riding as well as pony carts. She competed all over the country, including the Harrisburg State Finals. McNabb attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she was the captain of the Equestrian Team. After graduation, she became a trainer at Brigadoon Farm and was also a whipper-in for the Fox Branch Hounds.
Since working for BTRC, McNabb has done amazing things with the therapeutic riding program for kids with special needs and has earned her certification as a NAHRA instructor. In addition, she has created an amazing camp, school group and lesson program at the Buffalo Equestrian Center. This award is to honor her devotion to the various programs and organization.
The 2008 Peach Taylor Sportsmanship Award was presented to Gabrielle Wood of Buffalo, NY. The award was donated by Mason Phelps to the Buffalo International Horse Show in order to recognize outstanding sportsmanship. Gabby is a freshman in college. She donates her time and energy to the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center. People describe Gabby as "someone who is a sportsman and team player, and makes a lasting impression on every life she touches."
The award is presented in dedication to Peach Taylor. She was a master of foxhounds of the now defunct East Aurora Hunt, an avid equestrian and grandmother to Mason Phelps. In addition to her equestrian endeavors, she was also a very talented artist and sculptress. Better knows by her friends as Peach, the award is a sculpture of one of the many horses Peach bred and raised.
Jennifer Alfano of Buffalo, NY, was on top of her game as she gathered up many championships in the hunter divisions. Aboard Sting, owned by Helen Lenahan, Alfano won the Grand Hunter Championship. Alfano rode Sting in two hunter divisions and was champion in both. The first division was the Green Working Hunters. Alfano piloted Sting to first and third-place ribbons, clinching the championship. In the Green Conformation Hunter division, Alfano and Sting were awarded double blue ribbons and garnered the championship.
Riding The Specialist, owned by Meredith Lipke Bartolone, Alfano and The Specialist were reserve champion in the Green Working Hunters. The pair rode to two second-place ribbons. Meredith Lipke Bartolone also rode The Specialist in the Amateur-Owner Hunters. Bartolone came away with third and fourth-place ribbons.
On Once and Again, also owned by Meredith Lipke Bartolone, Alfano was awarded a blue ribbon in an Open Working Hunter class. Bartolone rode Once and Again in the Amateur-Owner Hunters, where she rode to double blue ribbons in the division.
Alfano also competed aboard Jersey Boy, owned by SBS Farms. Continuing her success in the hunters, Alfano and Jersey Boy were on top of their game, earning two blue ribbons that captured the championship award in the Regular Working Hunters.
Harrison, owned by Sandra Kuczynski, was ridden by Alfano in the Regular Working Hunters. After two great rounds and two second-place ribbons, Harrison and Alfano accepted the reserve champion award.
In the hunters, the competition was tough, but Alexis Meirzwa captured the champion award in the Adult Amateur Hunters. Following her championship award in the Adult Amateur Hunters, the pair also beat the competition to win the blue ribbon in the $1,000 Churchill Adult Hunter Classic.
The Amateur Owner Hunters proved to be no problem for Meredith Lipke Bartolone and her horse Once and Again. Bartolone and Once and Again did what they do best-win. The pair picked up the honor of Amateur Owner Hunter Champion.
Winning the $2,500 IBM Silver Stirrup Classic last night was Katherine Joyce and horse Wasabi. This classic was just one of many that are offered at the Buffalo International Horse Show.
Kate Haley was a name that was on top of many score cards. Haley began her first of many wins by taking home the blue ribbon in the Syracuse PHA Junior Medal. Haley is from Orchard Park, NY. She continued her success by coming out on top in the WIHS Equitation Hunter Phase.
Shannon Kaupp won two medals as well. Kaupp picked up blue ribbons in both the Taylor Harris National Medal and the Syracuse PHA Medal 14 and Under. Loren Wright was the best in the Syracuse PHA Medal 15-17, picking up a blue ribbon as well.
Championships were awarded in The Pre Adult Hunter and the Pre Children's Hunter divisions. In the Pre Adult Hunters, champion was awarded to Christina Gian and Swiss Air, owned by BTRC. Gian received the championship by piloting Swiss Air to two firsts and third-place ribbons.
Pre Children's Hunter Champion went to Alexandra Dimaria and Break Out The Blue, owned by Danielle Dimaria. Dimaria and Break Out The Blue rode to first, second and third-place ribbons in the division.
Last night three exciting classics were held. The first of three classics was the $5,000 Up The Creek Pony Hunter Classic. Amidst tough competition, coming out on top was Morgan Ward and her pony Good Sport. The $2,500 GG Valentine Handy Hunter Classic directly followed. Winning that classic was rider Kate Haley and Benelli, owned by Christine Hannon.
The last classic of the night was the $2,500 M & T Bank Children's/Adult Jumper Classic. Riding to the win was Kathleen Mitchell and her horse Gator B Careful. Wrapping up the last class today was the $1,000 Russian Hill Children's Hunter Classic. Madison Brayman and Point Taken, owned by BTRC, picked up the win.
Ward was not just a star in the $5,000 Up The Creek Pony Hunter Classic. She was also champion in the Small Pony Hunters. Ward and Good Sport rode to four firsts and second-place ribbons.
Medium Pony Hunter Champion was Lauren Rilley and Cappucino. Rilley garnered two firsts, two seconds and third-place ribbons. Large Pony Hunter Champion went to Samantha Batt and Won To Know. The pair picked up two firsts, two seconds and third-place ribbons.
Children's Pony Hunter Small/Medium Champion went to Claudia Freeman and Scribbles. The pair rode to first, second, and third-place ribbons. Children's Large Pony Hunter Champion was Julia Betts and Palm Pilot, owned by Hayley Betts. Betts piloted Palm Pilot to two firsts and second-place ribbons.
Champion in the Junior Hunters 15 and Under was Andrew Kosher riding Violets Are Blue, owned by Helen Lenahan. Kosher and Violets Are Blue picked up three firsts and two seconds.
Children's Hunter 15-17 Champion was awarded to Brook Zotara and Leave It To Me. Zotara rode to four firsts and third-place ribbons. Champion in Children's Hunter 14 and Under went to Madison Brayman and Point Taken. Brayman rode Point Taken to two firsts, two seconds and fourth-place ribbons.
Champion awards were sponsored by EMO Insurance. Prizes for reserve champions were donated by The Hunting Horn of Penfield, NY, who was also the vendor for the horse show.
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.
For more information on the Buffalo International Horse Show and the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, please visit http://www.thebtrc.org
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/buffalo-international-horse-show-wrap-09-08.html">62ndBuffalo International Horse Show Wrap-Up, September 16-21, 2008</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com