Buffalo, NY-September 19, 2011- The 65th Buffalo International Horse Show concluded yesterday, and the event proved to be a huge success. The show is the largest fundraiser held by the BTRC throughout the entire year. All proceeds benefit the therapeutic riding program at the Buffalo Equestrian Center.
The main highlight of the show occurred Saturday night with the $2,500 DJ Johnson Horse Transportation USHJA National Classic. Although 19 entries attempted the classic course, only 12 would continue into the handy phase. The last duo to enter the ring was Andy Lomker and Fantabulous, owned by Shelley Shaulinski of Pittsford, NY. Already having the first round high score of 90 points, Lomker opted to give it his all, but still play it safe. Where some of the riders sliced an inside turn at the end of the course, Lomker chose to avoid it. His choice was one that impressed the judges and earned him the second round base score of 87 points. Even though Lomker chose the safe route, he did not hesitate to jump all four of the high options available, making his total for the second round 91 points, and his grand total 181.
“Everything you see with Fantabulous is how he is all the time,” Lomker explained. “He’s been that way for all four years that we have had him. He never lunges, loves going to the horse shows, loves competing, and is pretty much happy all the time. He’s a really special horse. He surprises people over fences, but the size of the jump doesn’t matter to him.”
Megan Holiday rode Nureev Du Houssoit to the second place honors with a two-round total of 172 points. Amherst, owned by Hayley Betts of Penfield, NY, and ridden by Alicia Heberle, followed close behind with a total score of 171. The Showcase Ltd entry, Mine, ridden by Maryann Osborne completed the classic with 168 points. The fifth place honors were given to Jennifer Gurner and The Other Brother for their score of 165.5.
Hunters Highlights (Sept. 14-18):
A cool breeze greeted competitors Wednesday morning for the first day of the 65th Annual Buffalo International Horse Show (BIHS). Wednesday marked the beginning of the five-day competition held at the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center (BTRC) in Buffalo, NY. The competition consists of classes for different levels of experience as well as over $25,000 in prize money.
The Green Working Hunters began the show as Jennifer Alfano claimed top honors aboard her mounts. Alfano rode Miss Lucy, owned by Helen Lenahan of Buffalo, NY, to the first place ribbon in the under saddle as well as two second place ribbons over fences. Rose Hill, owned by Sharon O’Neill of Snyder, NY, earned the first place in round one of the over fences, the third place ribbon in round two and the second place ribbon during the under saddle with Alfano in the irons.
David Boley dominated the first day of competition in the Open Working Hunter division with Phil In the Blank, owned by Ellen Bifano of Skaneateles, NY. Boley also rode Montenegro, owned by B&B Ltd of Skaneateles, NY, to top honors Wednessay, earning the first and third place ribbons in the Conformation Hunters.
Next in the ring were the Low Hunter combinations. Megan Holiday garnered the championship award aboard What’s Up, owned by Up the Creek Farm of Rochester, NY, earning the two first place ribbons and the fourth place ribbon over fences. Holiday also claimed the reserve championship award with the talented mare CR Lena, owned by Patricia Garrett of Victor, NY, claiming the blue ribbon both over fences and during the under saddle.
Alfano stole the show during the Pre-Green Hunters with her most recent mount, Maggie May, owned by Billee Steffee of Novelty, OH. Although this was only their second time showing her, Alfano completed effortless rounds and garnered the championship tricolor. Their efforts earned the duo the first and second place honors over fences as well as the third place in the under saddle. Even with his first place ribbon, third place ribbon and fourth place ribbon over fences, Tony Sgarlata aboard Ever the Optomist, owned by Gina Badagnani of Fulton, NY, could not beat Alfano and earned the reserve champion honors.
As a cold front moved into the downtown Buffalo area, riders and horses alike prepared for another day full of excitement at the 65th Buffalo International Horse Show. The morning began with two consistent rounds over fences for Jennifer Alfano during the Green Working Hunter classes, garnering the championship award. Alfano and Sharon O’Neill’s Rose Hill earned the division’s reserve tricolor award.
The show continued as David Boley entered the ring aboard Montenegro, owned by B&B Ltd of Skaneateles, NY. The duo started off the Conformation Hunter class with a smooth first round, earning the second place prize. Although Boley also rode Montenegro with true handiness during the second course, it was Phil In the Blank, owned by Ellen Bifano of Skaneateles, NY, who impressed the judges. Boley and Phil In the Blank earned two first place ribbons Thursday, and enough points to acquire the Conformation Hunter Grand Champion Award for the second consecutive year.
Thursday was day one of the 3’3”-3’6”Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions, where horse and rider combinations competed for top honors. Lauren Engel and her horse Shannon Pride won the first and third place ribbons over fences in the 3’3” Amateur-Owner Hunters as well as the first place win during the under saddle. Jennifer Gurney and her mount the Other Brother earned all second place ribbons during Thursday’s rounds as well as during the under saddle.
It was Kelly Jones, out of Seven Fields, PA, aboard O So Soxy, who swept the over fences for the 3’6” Amateur-Owner Division. Penelope Ayers and Cezanne followed right behind earning consistent second place ribbons through out the division.
Friday morning commenced with the 3’6” Amateur-Owner Hunter division. Kelly Jones and her mount, O So Soxy, impressed the judges, claiming the first place ribbon during the first round and the second place ribbon during the classic round. The talented duo not only won the championship award for the division, but were also announced as the overall Amateur-Owner Grand Champion. Penelope Ayers and her mount Cezanne were named the reserve champion for the division, finishing their second course with the class high total of 85 points.
Jennifer Gurney rode The Other Brother to the top honors during the Low Amateur-Owner 3’3” class, and combined with yesterday’s consistent rounds, the pair also earned the championship award. Lauren Engle aboard Shannon Pride claimed the reserve tricolor.
The hunter action continued as the $1,000 “Full Monty” Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic got underway. Using the second round totals from the 3’3”-3’6” Amateur-Owner Hunters, riders completed their second round for the classic. Penelope Ayers of Ravens Wood Farm sponsored the Classic in dedication to her long-time amateur hunter, Full Monty. Lauren Engle rode Shannon Pride to a round total of 73 points, totaling 155 points; however, their effort was only good enough to claim the reserve championship award. Entering the ring with her first round classic score of 85 points, Ayers continued to impress judges Frank Willard and Scott Williamson with her effortless round, resulting in a score of 87. Her total score of 172 points garnered the pair the championship honors.
Continuing the day, Kelly Campbell and MI Shebeirach, owned by Susan Kaufman of Virginia Beach, VA, stole the show during the Adult Amateur Hunters, garnering the division’s championship award. Chelsea Jones aboard Real Magic, owned by Cindy Ford of Saratoga Springs, NY, earned the reserve championship honors.
Using the scores from the third round of the Adults Amateur Hunters, hunter riders lined up for the second round of the $500 “Shogun” Adult Hunter Classic. Campbell and MI Shebeirach were awarded the top honors for their efforts, and Alexis Mierzwa aboard In the Know, owned by SBS Inc., claimed the reserve championship award.
Madeline Frank rode Gryffindor, owned by Cindy Ford and Skidmore College of Saratoga Springs, NY, to the Pre-Adult Hunter Championship award with consistent rounds and a smooth under saddle.
Rio’s Reflection, owned by Harper Hills LLC of Buffalo, NY, ridden by Sarah Rimmler snatched the judges’ attention during the Pre-Children Hunters. Her fourth place ribbon during the first round and first place ribbon during the second course of the over fences eventually earned the duo the reserve champion honors. It was Caroline Smith aboard Luther, owned by Jackie Boychuk of Orchard Park, NY, who bested the talented pair. The horse and rider combination won the first over fences class as well as the second place ribbon during the second round.
Sponsors and spectators alike gathered inside the Indoor Arena for a demonstration of the therapeutic riding program at the BTRC. 97 percent of the students can only afford the physical therapy due to scholarships from gracious sponsors as well as the money raised from the BIHS. The demonstration featured three children and horses from the BTRC. They walked around a small course of obstacles, demonstrating what kind of physical therapy takes place when on a horse. The therapeutic riding program has become known for the therapy it has in both physical and emotional ways. For instance, every time a student posts on one of the horses, they are thrown off balance and have to utilize their leg strength as well as their abdomen and back to retain balance and a good posture. The program also uses words and counting as a way to help the students with reading and math skills.
After the demonstration, the last class of the night commenced. The $1,500 IBM Silver Stirrup Classic consisted of Pre-Adult and Pre-Children’s Hunters. The last entry of the class, Stacey Hanson and Zenith, owned by BTRC, were the ones who made a lasting impression. In the first round the talented duo scored the high score of 83. They stayed consistent with another smooth round, earning a score of 84, once again the class top score. The pair ended with a two-round total of 167 points earning the top honors. Caroline Schutte followed behind with Nadal, owned by BTRC, in second place with a total score of 160 points. Sarah Rimmler earned the third place honors aboard Rio’s Reflection, owned by Harper Hills LLC. Weidner lead the victory gallop, concluding the third day of the Buffalo International Horse Show.
Saturday morning featured the Washington International Horse Show Equitation class where horse and rider combinations showed over eight obstacles set at 3’6”. It was Boker and Carafino who earned the class’ top score of 84 and the blue ribbon. With a score of 81 Lilly Ulrich and Athena, owned by Up the Creek Farm of Rochester, NY, claimed the second place award. Weidner returned once again aboard Serato, finishing with a round score of 79, good enough for the third place ribbon.
The Small Junior Hunters started the first day of the Junior Hunter divisions. Saturday, Maryann Osborne aboard Mine, owned by Showcase Ltd of Canton, GA, swept the over fences and earned the second place ribbon under saddle. Caroline Kellogg and Felicci, owned by Alexandra Vespico of Reading, PA, earned the third place ribbon during their first round, and completed a quick and smooth handy round, earning the duo the second place prize. Kellogg also impressed the judges during the under saddle, claiming the first place ribbon. Claudia Freeman and Clockwork, owned by the Morrisville College Foundation of Morrisville, NY, earned the second place ribbon during their first round as well as the third place ribbon during the second course.
The Large Junior Hunters were the next to enter the ring and compete for the division’s top awards. Caroline Kellogg and Donovan earned the top call for the first round of the division. The duo also won the third place ribbon during the handy round, as well as the second place award under saddle. Athena and Ulrich returned to the ring to win the second place ribbon and first place ribbon over fences, becoming an instant favorite for the championship prize tomorrow.
April Rose, owned by Redfield Farm of Califon, NJ, and Morgan Ward earned back-to-back blue ribbons in the Small/Medium Pony Hunters. Their score from the second round of 85 carried over into the $500 “Scribbles” Pony Classic. Ward has ridden April Rose for two years, and the talented duo have claimed the Grand Champion award for each of those consecutive years at the Buffalo International Horse Show. Quicksilver Butterfly earned the third place award and second place award over fences with Kate Taylor in the irons. The pair also won the top honors during the under saddle.
Wrapping up the afternoon, ponies from all three divisions gathered to attempt the $500 “Scribbles” Pony Hunter Classic. With their previous second round scores carrying over, the Classic got under way with riders competing for the highest total score. Last year’s Pony Hunter Classic winner, April Rose, ridden by Ward, did it again. The duo entered the ring with the first class high score of 85. After completing another effortless course, the pair was given an 86, equating to the class’ high total of 171 points. Taylor and Quicksilver Butterfly garnered the second place honors with scores of 84 and 71, a grand total of 155 points. Scores of 81 and 73 earned Sweet Treat and Sellman the third place award.
Sunday marked the final day of competition for the 65th Buffalo International Horse Show (BIHS). The Junior Hunter divisions commenced bright and early, completing the final classes of the division. The Grand Junior Hunter Championship was awarded to Maryann Osborne showing Mine, owned by Alexandra Vespico of Canton, GA. The duo also rode to the Small Junior Hunter division championship, earning the first and second place ribbons for their efforts over fences. The reserve tricolor was awarded to Claudia Freeman and Clockwork, owned by The Morrisville College Foundation of Morrisville, NY.
Next in the ring to compete were the Large Junior Hunter division horse and rider combinations. Grace Weidner and Castell, owned by Ralph Caristo of Saugerties, NY, were presented with the division championship. The talented duo stayed consistent with yesterday’s rounds, winning the first and second place ribbons. Lilly Ulrich rode Athena, owned by Up the Creek Farm of Rochester, NY, to the reserve honors. Ulrich was also presented with the Best Child Rider award for her impressive cumulative point total.
After the presentations, the $1,000 Up the Creek Farm Junior Hunter Classic began. Although Caroline Kellogg began the classic with a first-round score of 75, she and Felicci, owned by Alexandra Vespico of Canton, GA, executed a smooth round, winning the top honors with a total score of 157. The duo beat Freeman and Clockwork by only a single point. The third place honors were presented to Osborne and Mine, finishing with a total score of 149 points.
Soon after, the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship class began. Riders from all over the nation attempt to earn top honors in these classes to qualify for the Emerging Athletes Program. The class judges each of the riders on their horsemanship and equitation skills. The top four riders were asked by the judges to complete additional testing. The test this morning involved counter cantering to a single vertical in the center of the ring, picking up a strong canter through a left turn to another single vertical, and completing the sitting trot to their place in the testing line at the far end of the arena. Ulrich and Nureev Du Houssoit emerged the champions. The duo also claimed the top award for the USEF/Pessoa Hunter Seat Medal.
Later in the day, the Pony Hunters concluded their divisions and awarded championship honors. Eight-year-old Kate Taylor rode her pony Quicksilver Butterfly to the Pony Hunter Grand Championship after dominating the Small/Medium Pony division and earned the championship tricolor over April Rose and Morgan Ward who rode to the reserve honors. Madison Sellman rode Sweet Treat, owned by Sarazen Ltd of Honeoye, NY, to the division championship in the Large Ponies over Bella Cramer and Andaba in reserve; however, the duo did earn top call for the Syracuse PHA Pony Medal.
Concluding the afternoon’s competition, the Children’s Hunter divisions completed their second day of competition and showed in the $500 “Say Hey” Children’s Hunter Classic. The Children’s Pony Hunter Championship award was presented to Naomi Bennett and Proud Hawk, owned by Jane Carter of Rochester, NY. Steel Rosette, owned by Justin Meyers of Ransomville, NY, and Jazzlyn Igiel rode to the reserve honors. The 14 & Under Children’s Hunter division also presented championship honors with Ava Gurney riding Sarafina to the top tricolor. Julia Betts and Amherst earned the reserve championship.
It was a fantastic day for Whitney Reynolds and her mount Montana Magic as the pair topped the 15-17 Children’s Hunter division championship, winning back-to-back blue ribbons. The pair also won the Children’s Classic with the top score of 165. Cramer and Emilio fell one point behind the duo in the Children’s Classic, earning the second place honors for their score of 164.
Jumpers Highlights (Sept. 15-17):
Thursday afternoon, the jump crew swiftly set the course for the Level 2 Jumpers. The first rider to enter the ring, Delaney Hamhill, rode Nabuco Du Theil to a clean round; however, she earned one time fault at 63.2 seconds, only good enough to earn the second place award. BTRC’s Grace Weidner not only completed a clean first round, but also posted a time of 57.73 seconds. Her time and effort gave way to the short course, which consisted of a bending line as well as a couple of hard rollbacks. Even with the challenges, Weidner jumped another clean round, eventually garnering the first place prize as the only rider with double-clear rounds.
Friday, the show continued into the afternoon as the jump crew hopped into the arena and began to set up for the Children’s/Adult Jumpers classes. The Children’s/Adult Jumpers began with Only Jumping Boy and Grace Weidner in the irons. The duo started the class with a clean round in a time of 53.05 seconds. They also posted a tough jump-off time of 28.480 seconds; however, their double-clear efforts and fast times proved only good enough for the second place award. The next rider to enter the ring was Alayna Pastuk aboard Quadrigo, owned by Tucker Johnson of Hobe Sound, FL. Although the pair also went double-clear, they fell just shy of Weidner’s time, claiming the third place award. Rider Delaney Hamhill was next, with only one thing in mind, to win. She and Nabuco Do Theil, owned by Vannina Battaglia of New York, NY, blazed around the first round in only 52.176 seconds, the fastest first round of the class. They continued their momentum into the jump-off where they beat Weidner’s time by nearly three seconds, stopping the timer at 25.695 seconds. As hard as each consecutive rider tried, with five making it into the jump-off, nobody could touch Hamhill’s time.
The Children’s/Adult Jumper Speed class got underway with Weidner keeping her eye on the prize. She and Only Jumping Boy made sharp turns and kept their speed consistent, tripping the beam at 36.844 seconds and ending with a clean round. Although the remaining riders attempted to speed around the course, Weidner’s time stood. Ben Phillips aboard Amendment 15, owned by Darren Chiacchia of Ocala, FL, took the second place honors with a time of 39.126 seconds, followed by Caliente and Andrea Bennett posting a time of 40.279 seconds.
The afternoon progressed with the Low Children’s/Adult Amateur Jumper Speed class. Weidner continued dominating the jumpers’ divisions, this time aboard Mick O Angelo, stopping the clock at 35.968 seconds. Lauren Reilly posted the next best time with Different Drummer, owned by Cassidy Quinn of Columbia, MD, at 46.587 seconds, earning the second place award. Alyssa Boker won the third place award with a time of 50.223 seconds aboard Carafino, owned by Redfield Farm of Califon, NJ.
Weidner came back in the ring aboard Mick O Angelo for the Low Children’s/Adult Amateur Jumper class. Out of the seven who competed, only three progressed into the jump-off. Weidner’s target time of 24.414 seconds stood from the beginning until the end. Boker and Carafino took the second place award, followed by Charles Emerson and Hollendesia, who both completed double-clear efforts, but fell shy of Weidner’s untouchable time.
Friday night hosted the $2,500 Up the Creek Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic. Ten riders attempted the course filled with sharp rollbacks, tight turns, single oxers, an in-and-out, and several vertical-oxer combinations. Only four riders were able to clear the course without any faults or time penalties, resulting in a jump-off.
Grace Weidner and Only Jumping boy cleared every fence with ease, keeping a strong momentum; the duo tripped the beam at 29.194 seconds. Caliente entered the ring with Andrea Bennett in the irons to attempt to beat Weidner’s time and go double-clear. When they jumped across the last fence, it seemed as though the duo might do it, but less than a second difference cost them the first place prize. Their time of 30.088 seconds could not compete with the target time Weidner had posted. Weidner lead the victory gallop, and was also presented as the overall champion of the Children’s/Adult Jumper divisions as well as the Low Children’s/Adult Jumpers for her efforts with Only Jumping Boy and Mick O Angelo.
The Stephen Comunale Low Child/Adult Jumper Classic concluded Saturday evening’s events. Showing over the same course as the previous classic, the riders were faced with the same difficulties. Only two riders went clear in the first round, resulting in a nail-biting jump-off. Shelby Cashman and Lucy Long, owned by the United States Military Academy, went double-clear in a time of 30.933 seconds. The crowd looked on as Gina Oddo and Piercing Glance, owned by Lindsay Cornell of Ransomville, NY, attempted to go clear for a second time and beat Cashman’s time. Although the pair raced against the timer, an unlucky rail earned them the second place award.
For more information regarding the 65th Annual Buffalo International Horse Show and the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, please visit www.thebtrc.org or call (716) 877-9295.