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SBS Farms' Meredith Lipke Bartolone and The Specialist Win $10,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic

Ocala, FL - February 23, 2009 - SBS Farms had yet another stellar week of competition at the 2009 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. They won four tricolor ribbons, and Meredith Lipke Bartolone on The Specialist had a great win in the $10,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic. SBS Farms is based at the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center and is led by trainer Susie Schoellkopf and rider/trainer Jennifer Alfano.

Meredith Lipke Bartolone of Buffalo, NY, rode her horse The Specialist to top ribbons in the Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunters. She also piloted Once and Again in the division and finished in the top five in three classes. Where she shone was in the classic, which she won with The Specialist and finished fourth with Once and Again. The Specialist received consistent scores of 85 in the first round and 83 in the second round for the win.

"It was really exciting and great for Meredith," Alfano said. "Both of her horses went really well. It's really nice for her because she doesn't get to show as much as she would like. I think the amateurs that show week after week have a little bit of an advantage, so it's really nice for her to win something like that."

Alfano noted that Bartolone and The Specialist "really suit each other." The pair has been together for a year. Alfano added, "He rides a little bit like her other horse, so it's nice to have two of them that are a little bit the same."

Alfano had another great week in the professional hunter divisions. She and The Specialist were champions in the Second Year Green hunters. They won two over fences classes and were second in the other two jumping classes. A third in the under saddle gave them the top tricolor.

Rock Star, owned by Bright Star 158 LLC, returned to winning form this week as well. He placed first and received three seconds over fences, plus was third under saddle for a reserve championship in the Regular Working Hunters with Alfano.

Alfano said of Rock Star, "He felt great, and I was so excited to be able to show him again. It was really thrilling to be back in the ring on him."

She noted that Rock Star will compete again next week, and they plan to show in the USHJA International Hunter Derby classes in both Ocala and Wellington, FL.

Alfano piloted South Beach, another Bright Star-owned horse, to the reserve champion ribbon in the Cismont Manor Farm Conformation Hunters. They were third in the model and received two seconds, two thirds, and fourth under saddle.

Alfano also rode Helen Lenahan's Extraordinary and Bright Star's Kid Rock to top ribbons in the First Year Green Hunter division.

Blue Ridge Sunset, owned by Harper Hills LLC and Sara Rimmler, was the Large Pony Hunter champion. Ridden by Taylor Ann Adams, the talented pony finished first in the conformation over fences and first and second in the remaining jumping classes.

Kaley Kawi rode the BTRC's Wasabi to two fifth place ribbons in the Equitation 12-13 division, and they were second, third, fourth, and sixth in the Novice Equitation classes.

Madison Brayman and Trueman, another BTRC-owned horse, finished with two thirds in the Equitation 12-13 classes and received ribbons in the High Children's Jumpers.

SBS Farms will compete next at the fourth week of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit on February 24-March 1, 2009.

For more information on SBS Farms, please visit http://www.thebtrc.org.

Photo Credit: The Specialist and Jennifer Alfano were Second Year Green champions, and he won the $10,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic with Meredith Lipke Bartolone at the third week of the 2009 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Photo Randi Muster. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.


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