Buffalo, NY - September 16, 2009 - The 63rd annual Buffalo International Horse Show (BIHS) ran this year from September 9-13 and was a huge success. The BIHS is one of the oldest horse shows in the country, and it raises money for a very worthy cause. All proceeds are donated to the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, which offers programs for mentally and emotionally impaired, learning disabled, and developmentally challenged children ages 6 to 16.
Penelope Ayres of Bernardsville, NJ, was a first-time competitor at the BIHS this year. She and her horse Colani were reserve champions in the Amateur-Owner Hunter division. Ayres was also a generous sponsor of the $500 “Full Monty” Pony Hunter Classic, the $1,000 “Full Monty” Adult Hunter Classic, and the $1,000 “Shogun” Children’s Hunter Classic.
“I thought the event was wonderful,” Ayres said. “Susie Schoellkopf and the entire show committee couldn’t have given us a warmer welcome. I liked the ring, the courses were great, and we’re definitely coming back next year. We attended the sponsors’ cocktail party, and we were very moved by the therapeutic riding demonstration.”
Ayres will return next year to the BIHS and plans to continue her sponsorship. This year, she gave custom-made stuffed animals as gifts for the classes she sponsored, and they were the most hotly contested prizes. Ayres won a watch at the silent auction, and her trainer Sandy Lobel won a painting.
“I think more and more people will come each year when they know how nice the show is. It was really a fun experience,” Ayres confided. “The city offers a lot as well and there are lots of fun things to do there. It’s kind of an unknown gem.”
Meredith Lipke of Buffalo, NY, rides at the BTRC and trains with Schoellkopf and Jennifer Alfano. She ended up as the Grand Amateur Hunter Champion with her horse The Specialist
“I think it was our best year ever. The co-chairs and committee did an exceptional job,” Lipke said. “We had great vendors, the show went seamlessly, and the awards were beautiful. It was just such a nice show. With the special awards, dedications, therapeutic demonstration, and volunteer awards, there is just such a warm feeling at the show, which makes it very special. The history of the facility adds to the whole atmosphere.”
Lipke is preparing for the fall indoor show circuit, and she felt that competing at the BIHS gave her the perfect opportunity to get ready. “Buffalo is the perfect place to prepare for indoors. It’s a beautiful ring, and it has fabulous footing. After showing in big outdoor rings, it brings you right back in and tuned up to go to the small schooling area at shows like Washington,” she explained. “It’s also a nice place to start a horse for next season if they’re stepping up a division. I don’t know of a better place to prepare than at our show.”
The judges at this year’s BIHS were Joe Darby and Danny Robertshaw.
Taylor Ann Adams competed for the first time at BIHS on South Beach, owned by Bright Star 158 LLC and Jennifer Burger of Buffalo, NY. This was also the first time that Adams had ridden South Beach. The pair won all five classes in the Small Junior Hunters and were awarded the division and Grand Junior Hunter championships. She also won the WIHS Equitation Classic class. Adams was named the Best Child Rider on a Horse.
It was a successful show as well for 11-year-old Morgan Ward of Milford, NJ. Ward won the Small Pony Hunter and Grand Pony Hunter championships with the 12-year-old Rainbow Bright. She was reserve champion in the Small Ponies on True Sport, a seven-year-old she has only ridden since April. For her great efforts, the judges asked if they could name her as Best Child Rider on a Pony, an award that was not previously given at BIHS.
This is Ward’s fifth time competing at BIHS, and this her third Grand Pony Hunter championship. She and Rainbow Bright won three classes and got two thirds this year. They were third in the $500 “Full Monty” Pony Hunter Classic as well.
Three special hunter classics were held on Saturday, including the $2,500 “Winston” Handy Hunter Classic, won by Amanda Lyerly of Willoughby, OH, on Joyride.
Lyerly runs Madison Hills with trainer Mike Rheinheimer at Andrews Osborne Academy. Lyerly brought six horses to the BIHS, and this is her second year competing at the show.
Lyerly rode Joyride, owned by Sarah Hayne, to the win in the $2,500 “Winston” Handy Hunter Classic. The classic consisted of two rounds over handy hunter courses, and the top 12 were called back for the second round. Lyerly and Joyride won both rounds with high scores for the win. She also finished fourth on Hiawatha. Meredith Lipke, yesterday’s amateur-owner hunter champion, was second on The Specialist and third on Once and Again.
Lyerly’s student, Bella Cramer, pulled off a sweep in the $500 “Full Monty” Pony Hunter Classic. Cramer, of Chelsea, MI, won both rounds for first place on Watch Me Shine, and she was second on Andaba. Cramer, who has trained with Lyerly and Rheinheimer for two years, also won the Children’s Medal on her new horse. Kelly Bauernschmidt, another Madison Hills rider, was reserve champion in the Small Junior Hunters on Loriat and second in the $2,000 Up the Creek Junior Hunter Classic.
The winner of the $2,500 M & T Bank Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic was Sydney Christman on Cappucino. She edged out Madison Brayman on Only Jumping Boy for the win. Colleen Lewis and Orlando were third.
Leading the day on Friday with a sweep in the Pre-Children’s Hunter division was Sara Rimmler of Buffalo, NY. Rimmler trains with Jennifer Alfano and Susie Schoellkopf of SBS Farms at the BTRC.
Rimmler finished as champion of the division on Bravado, owned by the BTRC, and she was reserve champion with Ronnie Anderson’s Cover Charge. Rimmler and Bravado were first and second over fences, and Madison Brayman rode Bravado to first place in the under saddle class. On Cover Charge, Rimmler was second and fifth over fences and second in the under saddle.
Rimmler, who is 11 years old, also had a strong showing in the evening competition when she and Cover Charge won the $2,500 IBM Silver Stirrup 2’6” Hunter Classic. The pair won both rounds of the classic with high scores of 86 and 83.
During Friday’s evening session, a special sponsorship cocktail party was held, and there was a therapeutic riding demonstration given for the spectators. It was run by the BTRC Program Director Elizabeth McNabb.
McNabb has been with the BTRC for seven years as the head instructor for the Buffalo Equestrian Center and six years as the head instructor for the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center. Libby is also the program director for both entities. She has achieved the level of Registered Instructor with NARHA, the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association.
The demonstration was a special addition to the BIHS and was able to show everyone at the event what their sponsorship and support of the show means to the BTRC. The Buffalo International Horse Show is the main fundraiser for the BTRC programs.
Topping the professional hunter divisions early in the week was Kid Rock, owned by Bright Star 158 LLC and ridden by Jennifer Alfano of SBS Farms in Buffalo, NY.
Kid Rock and Alfano won all five classes in the First Year Green Hunters to capture the division championship and the Grand Hunter Championship, for which they were awarded Helen Lenahan’s Roses Are Red Perpetual Trophy.
Kid Rock is owned by Jennifer Burger of Buffalo, NY. Burger is the proud owner of Rock Star, who was champion of the Regular Working Hunter division, and South Beach, who won the championship in the Green Conformation Hunters.
Burger is also the co-chairwoman of the Buffalo International Horse Show. This is her seventh year in that position, and this year she shares duties with Wendy Schutte.
“I felt a new excitement this year,” Burger said of the BIHS. “We were sold out of stalls. We had wonderful attendance, with some new out-of-town riders and Canadian riders. We had a new indoor vendor area that was open Friday through Sunday. The sponsors have been donating at a new level. The indoor ring looks beautiful. Our $1,000 Grooms’ Class was well-attended with grooms from six different barns, and Penelope Ayres’ groom was the big winner.”
2009 Buffalo International Horse Show Championship Results:
Baby Green Hunter
Euro K / Roseann Deni/ Jaime George
Top Of The Mountain/ Christine Jeppson/ Jaime George
Shrek/ Valerie Hoban/ Kim Ernisse
Fantabulous /Shelly Shaulinski/ Andy Lomker
Point Taken/ BTRC/ Jennifer Alfano
Fantabulous /Shelly Shaulinski/ Andy Lomker
Tie For Reserve
Toamie/Hannah Scwartz/Hannah Scwartz
Jacobs Ladder/Abby Crystal/ Alyssa Bokor
Rock Star/Bright Star 158 LLC/ Jennifer Alfano
The Specialist/ Meredith Lipke/ Meredith Lipke
South Beach/ Bright Star 158 LLC/ Jennifer Alfano
Cuddel Muddel/ Jessica Pletka/ Jaime George
First Year Green
Kid Rock / Bright Star 158 LLC/ Jennifer Alfano
Extraordinary/ Helen Lenahan/ Jennifer Alfano
Only Jumping Boy/SBS Farms/Madison Brayman
Grand Hunter Champions: Kid Rock / Bright Star 158 LLC/ Jennifer Alfano
Grand Children’s Hunter Champions: Balthazar/Elizabeth McWilliam
Grand Pony Hunter Champions: Rainbow Bright/Morgan Ward
Grand Junior Hunter Champions: South Beach/Taylor Adams
Grand Amateur Hunter Champions: The Specialist/Meredith Lipke
Morgan Ward was Best Child Rider on a Pony
Taylor Ann Adams was Best Child Rider on a Horse
High-resolution photos of this year’s Buffalo International Horse Show are available for download at www.phelpsmediagroup.com.
For more information on the Buffalo International Horse Show and Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, please visit www.thebtrc.org.