Hunter professional Jennifer Alfano fractured her knee and tore her ACL after falling from Miss Lucy after a jump in the high performance hunter division on May 31 at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair (Pa.). Miss Lucy was unharmed in the incident.
Two weeks out from the fall, Alfano is optimistic about getting back in the saddle in time for USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship (Ky.) on Aug. 18-21. Alfano won the championship in 2012 aboard SBS Farm’s Jersey Boy.
“I’m hoping, hoping, hoping to be riding for derby finals. It’s not out of the question,” Alfano said. “It’s just kind of a waiting game right now, but in my mind that’s how it’s going to work out.
“I’m doing all right; I’m pretty good,” she added. “I think it will be four to six weeks for the fracture in my knee to heal, then once the fracture heals we will see about the ACL. The fracture will heal on its own without surgery, and I’m hoping for no surgery on my ACL.”
Doctors won’t know the extent of Alfano’s ACL injury until the swelling from her fracture goes down and they are able to MRI the ligament.
“I’m in Kentucky; all my horses came to Kentucky, and I’m in a leg stabilizer,” Alfano said. “I’m getting a little bored, but I’m hobbling around the horse show!”
Professional hunter rider Peter Pletcher took Alfano’s pre-green horses in their divisions at the Country Heir horse show at the Kentucky Horse Park, but her upper level horses are currently on a vacation.
“We’ll make some more decisions [about those horses] once we know my status a little better and how long the healing will take,” Alfano said.