Buffalo, Ny. – March 6, 2017 – SBS Farms had a banner weekend at the inaugural Deeridge Derby Weekend. Kristy Herrera aboard Jennifer Alfano’s Candid proved that they were the pair to beat and certainly one to watch this season. Herrera and Candid took home the top spot in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by the World Equestrian Center. SBS clients also found success in Ocala at the HITS VII Ocala Tournament.
In addition, the pair placed second in Friday afternoon’s $5,000 International Hunter Derby Welcome Stake, presented by the World Equestrian Center on an impressive score of 89.00.
Alfano was thrilled with her horse’s round in the Welcome Stake, considering how new he is to derby-style competition.
“I thought he was unbelievable!” gushed Alfano. “This is only his second derby, and he has never been on a grass field and he was just awesome.”
Herrera was equally pleased with Candid and thought the course was the perfect way to prepare for Saturday and Sunday’s competition.
“The course was very nice and inviting. I think they did a great job getting everyone out there for a nice welcome class,” Herrera said.
The welcome class proved to be a preview of the pair’s skill and on Sunday they bested an original starting field of 40 to win the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by the World Equestrian Center.
The challenging and technical track was designed by Skip Bailey and featured bending lines, tight rollbacks, a trot fence to a natural log set on a tight angle and a hand gallop to the final oxer. There were endless possibilities for riders to show-off as they were given the option to jump any two of the white birch verticals as the first and second obstacles in their course that were positioned on a circle in the center of the Hollow Brook Wealth Management Grand Prix Field.
Herrera, of Wellington, Florida, experienced the sweet taste of victory yet again as she showcased her talents to capture the championship title. In August, at the Kentucky Horse Park, Herrera took the reins for Alfano on Miss Lucy to win the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship.
While Herrera qualified for the handy phase on both of her entries, Candid and Miss Lucy, it was with Candid that she had the most success. The duo was sitting in second place going into Sunday afternoon’s round, just narrowly missing the first place spot by 0.75 points. ‘Sheldon,’ as he is called back in the barn, has far less experience than Miss Lucy, but that didn’t stop Herrera from riding to victory.
“Candid was amazing today. This was only his second derby and he stepped up like a champion. He was so awesome,” Herrera said of her mount who typically campaigns in the Regular Conformation Hunters.
Judges gave the 2008 Holsteiner gelding scores of 87 and an 86 plus three handy points. Herrera was so confident with her trip she chose to forego the four high options on course, instead focusing on implementing a smooth and flowing round. Over the course of both days, Herrera ended up with an impressive 364.00 points in total.
“Sheldon has a lot of personality and he has a couple of quirks of his own, but what’s best about him is he trusts his rider so that made today go really well,” Herrera said.
Alfano, who owns both of Herrera’s mounts in the class, is currently sidelined from a riding injury that occurred at the Devon Horse Show in 2016. She said, “[Kristy] and that horse – she’s done things for me during my injury that have made it okay for me to be on the ground.”
SBS Farms showed their talent runs deep over the weekend competing to excellent results in Ocala as well as Wellington. With help from trainer Hannah Duffy, Molly Gfroerer and Samanatha Hurley’s Sliver Icing continued to show that they are a pair to contend with in the Children’s Hunter Pony Small/Medium division. They took home the reserve championship with three second place finishes in the over fences classes.
In the Adult Hunter 56 & Over division Kathy Chiaf had an excellent weekend, earning two blue ribbons in the over fences and one in the under saddle class aboard her own Sliver Lining. Chiaf also had good placings int eh division aboard her own Sweetwater.
Based out of Buffalo, New York, SBS Farms, Inc.’s Susie Schoellkopf and Jennifer Alfano run one of the foremost show hunter training operations in the country, and travel nationwide to compete in the most prestigious horse shows.
SBS Farms, Inc. continues the proud tradition of the Saddle and Bridle Club as one of the top show stables in the Northeast. Schoellkopf is also the executive director of the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, which houses both the Buffalo Equestrian Center as well as SBS Farms, Inc. Built in 1922, the 160-stall facility is a historical landmark, with its unique English Tudor and Gothic-style architecture.