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SBS Farms' Jersey Boy and Jennifer Alfano Sweep Victory in $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Wellington, FL - March 31, 2009 - Jersey Boy, owned by SBS Farms and ridden by Jennifer Alfano, was the winner of this year's $50,000 ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). SBS Farms is led by trainer Susie Schoellkopf and rider/trainer Jennifer Alfano of Buffalo, NY.

The win in Wellington was Jersey Boy's second straight victory in a derby class. He won the $10,000 class in Ocala just weeks before. Jersey Boy and Alfano took the lead over 65 other entries in the first round on Friday in Wellington and kept it in the second round, which was held under the lights in the International Arena.

Jersey Boy is a seven-year-old gelding that SBS Farms has owned for three years. Schoellkopf and Alfano purchased him from Louise Serio and Val Renihan as a Pre-Green Hunter, and Alfano also showed him in the Six Year Old Young Jumper classes into the middle of his First Year Green show year.

He has been steadily progressing in the hunter divisions and seems to have found his niche both in the four-foot division and in the derby classes. Jersey Boy has been champion at the Devon Horse Show and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.

After his victory in Ocala where he also won both rounds, Alfano felt that Jersey Boy was ready for the derby in Wellington. "He was great in the first round on Friday. He was a little looky when he first went in on Saturday night, just looking at the little rocks on the ground. But, once he got going, and he was all business," she explained.

While the Saturday night class was more challenging, Alfano was very pleased with the way Jersey Boy reacted. "There was at a lot more going on Saturday," Alfano agreed, "but I thought it was a nice course. It gave everyone some nice options, especially with the bank. The jumping is always the easiest for him."

Alfano and Jersey Boy won the Saturday night round with style and ended up as the overall winner of the class. In addition to Jersey Boy, Alfano competed with Sting, owned by Helen Lenahan, and Rock Star, owned by Bright Star 158 LLC and Jennifer Burger.

In the first round, Rock Star sat in third place while Sting was ninth. On Saturday night, Rock Star had a mishap at the final jump and placed out of the ribbons, while Sting did well and ended up seventh overall.

Alfano recounted, "Sting was excellent on Friday. Saturday night he was a little nervous. I could feel his heart pounding when we were standing at the in-gate. He's still a little green for the night time crowd. I was thrilled with Rock Star because he just came back from colic surgery. He was perfect on Friday and Saturday, and we just had a bit of a mishap at the last jump. I feel really lucky to have three horses that are good at those classes."

Schoellkopf agreed that they were lucky to have the horses, but also the owners who make it possible for Alfano to compete and win. The derby classes, with their excellent prize money, are something that gives hunter owners more incentive and excitement. "The prize money for the hunter derbies is so great," she said. "It is important for owners to get something back so they will keep these Derby horses. With Jen Burger and Helen Lenahan, we have amazing owners of horses for Jennifer to show. In addition to the three that she rode in Wellington, Jennifer will also start competing with Meredith Lipke Bartolone's horse, The Specialist, in derby classes later this year."

Schoellkopf added that it was great to see how Jersey Boy has grown under the guidance of Alfano. "I kept him for Jen because she deserves one she knows is there and will not get sold until after the finals in August, if then," she explained. "He has grown up so much and jumps so beautiful. Jen rode so beautifully in the derby and the win was so exciting."

Before the WEF derby, Rock Star was leading the standings for the USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals with 18,500 and Jersey Boy was in fourth with 10,790. Jersey Boy's win will move him up in the standings and help them going into the USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals on August 21-22, where even more big prize money will be available for these talented hunters.

SBS Farms is based in Buffalo, NY, and is at the home of the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center. For more information, please visit http://www.thebtrc.org.



Photo Credit: SBS Farms' Jersey Boy and Jennifer Alfano won the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at WEF. Photo 2009 Randi Muster. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.

 

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