Buffalo, NY – Sept. 24, 2019 – The 73rd annual Buffalo International Horse Show (BIHS) came to a close last Sunday, Sept. 15 with outstanding success. The BIHS is held every year at the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center (BTRC) to benefit the BTRC’s therapeutic riding program. Hunter judges Scott Fitton and Kim Dorfman were in the judges booth this year while Kim Kirton presided over the the jumper divisions.
The week’s highlight event was the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation USHJA National Hunter Derby on Saturday evening. This year it was Sarah Barge and Coupe Du Monde, owned by Stone Lane Stables, who walked away with the win. The top placing also earned them the Frey Family Trophy awarded to the winner of the National Hunter Derby. Jamie Bates rode Samantha Dispenza’s Lacoste to the second place finish. Jenna Drago piloted Irascibull, owned by Susan Seman, to the third place ribbon.
Following the derby, jumpers took center stage. In the S.A Comunale NAL Child/Adult Jumper Classic, Aaron Donnan was fast and clear on After Joe to take home the win, with Alexis Mierzwa and Ever Sinful taking the second place ribbon and the championship. In the S.A. Comunale Low Child/Adult Jumper Classic, Shauna Pingrey rode her Fabrianna DR to the top spot and the champion ribbon, followed by Charity Donnan and her horse Lenny for second place.
Earlier in the week, in the professional hunter divisions, Jamie Bates and Samantha Dispenza’s Lacoste were crowned the Grand Hunter Champions to earn them the Rose Are Ready Trophy. Bates and Lacoste were the champions of the Green 3’3″ Hunter division while Finello, also ridden by Bates, and owned by Elizabeth Jacobs took home the reserve championship.
In the Green 3′ Hunter division, Bates was named champion of the division with Roseann Deni’s Gateway. Larissa Loss’ Lancaster with Leslie Miller aboard captured the reserve champion rosette. In the Performance 3’3″ Hunters, Erin Quinn guided Peneople Ayers’ Cezanne to the champion tricolor. Simply Cool, owned by Julia Barnes and ridden by Danielle Menker, earned the reserve champion title. In the Performance 3’6″ Hunter division, Turner, owned by Ayers and ridden by Quinn were the champions of their division. Barge piloted Coup Du Monde to the reserve championship ribbon.
Christine Ruh and Stardust shone brightest in the Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunter division, winning the championship ribbon while Kelly McElroy piloted Kerry Marble’s Ever Mint To Be to the reserve championship. Simply Cool and Julia Barnes were simply the best in the Adult Amateur 36 and Over Hunter division to clinch the championship. Reserve champion was awarded to Elizabeth Jacobs and her Selina. Ayers and Cezanne were champions of the Amateur-Owner 3’3″ 36 and Over Hunter division, securing the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship title. Ayers was also the reserve champion of the Amateur-Owner 3’3″ 36 and Over Hunter division with her mount Turner.
Jenna Drago and Peter Pletcher’s Sandrino along with Emma Walters on the BTRC’s Crisp tied for the Grand Junior Hunter Champion title. Drago won almost every class of the Junior 3’6″ Hunter division to take home the tricolor. Amanda Schurr and Lunatico Kristal B was the reserve champions. Walters also nearly made a clean sweep of the Junior 3’3″ Hunters to be awarded champion of their division while Benjamin Hoban rode his Montenegro to the reserve spot.
Amateurs and Juniors were on display for the $1,000 Up The Creek Junior/Amatuer Owner 3’3″/3’6″ Hunter Classic. Walters repeated her stellar performance from earlier in the day to take the win aboard Crisp, while Drago rode Sandrino to the red ribbon. Michelle Gauchat and her Le Diplomate rounded out the top three. The Groom’s Class was won by Katie Grindelli with Amanda Schurr’s Lunatico Kristal B, while Gabby Steinhardt placed second with Crisp.
In the Children’s Hunter 14 and Under division, Sydney Steffee piloted Alex Trolli’s Del Piero to champion of the division. Alexandra Smith and the BTRC’s Hey Sailor earned the reserve championship. In the Pre-Children’s 2’6 Hunter division, Linnea Garrison and the BTRC’s Copyright were champions while Emma Najdzionek and the BTRC’s Abundance took home the reserve ribbon.
In the Pre-Adult 2’6″ Hunter division, Stephanie Brennan rode Churchill, owned by the BTRC, to the champion ribbon after winning the classic round. The reserve champion ribbon would be awarded to Joy Moll aboard her Wild Wild Girl. Brennan and Churchill were the victors of the $500 Johnson Horse Transportation Silver Stirrup Classic followed by Sophia Meyer on the BTRC’s Campesino IV in second place and Karissa Bosh piloted her Sophisticated to the yellow ribbon.
Linnea Garrison and Adele Krabak were honored with the Peach Taylor Sportsmanship Award. This award is given in memory of Taylor by her grandson, Mason Phelps, Founder and President of Phelps Media Group. The recipient is chosen for his or her dedication to the welfare of horses as well as their kind and caring nature towards peers and teachers.
The 73rd BIHS was dedicated in memory of Hans Mobius and was honored before Saturday evening’s competition. Mobius was a rider, trainer, and steward of the equestrian industry. He was a dedicated supporter of the Buffalo Equestrian Center and the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center before passing away at the age of 84.
Special thanks goes out to the EMO Agency Inc. and to the Hunting Horn. The EMO Agency Inc was the generous sponsor of all of the champion prizes while Hunting Horn supported the prizes for the reserve champions.
The BIHS is the most prominent fundraiser of the year for the BTRC and is designated a ‘Heritage’ competition by US Equestrian (USEF), reserved for horse shows in existence for 25 years or more. The BIHS is fortunate to be one of less than 30 horse shows nationwide that holds this illustrious status.