Rose Hill is off to a great start this winter season, winning almost every class she is entered into. With professional rider and trainer Jennifer Alfano in the stirrups, the rose grey Dutch/Warmblood Thoroughbred is racking up the points in the Devoucoux Hunter Prix series, excelling during the Hits V Ocala Winter Festival. SBS Farms, Inc. has been showing consistent success throughout Ocala in both the hunter and jumper rings.
Rose Hill, owned by Sharon O’Neill, jumped to the top of the leader board at HITS V Ocala Winter Festival, when she won the $10,000 Devuocoux Hunter Prix with an impressive score of 89. This win marked the return to the show ring for the mare, as she had recently undergone colic surgery and was just making her reappearance to the show ring.
“She is only eight years old and underwent colic surgery last May,” said Alfano of the Warmblood mare that carried her to the blue. “She just started showing again, and I am really excited to have her back.”
The Hunter Prix riders were faced with the challenge of a change of scenery at the HITS V Winter Festival, as they were welcomed to the main hunter ring. The riders were faced with a stimulating course designed by Doug Russell of Ocala, FL, but nothing could stop Alfano and Rosie. Alfano was second going into the final round after a score of 86, right behind Winn Alden of Bristow, VA, aboard Barbara Sheffield’s Cameo Appearance with an 87. As the tenth to return to the second round, she made sure that they left nothing to chance as they rode to an impressive score of 89, which was just enough to deliver the win. Alfano also piloted Rose Hill to a second and third place finish in two HITS Ocala Devoucoux Hunter Prix earlier in the circuit.
“She walked right into the new ring and got it done,” said Alfano of Rose Hill. “She is so easy and fun – she is the kind of horse that everyone wants in their barn.”
Earlier in the week, Alfano also piloted the mare to a tricolor championship ribbon in the Performance Working Hunter 3’6″ division. The two captured three blue ribbons in the division, taking one first place award for their efforts in the handy round. The young mare also earned a second place ribbon in the third over fences class of the division.
These wins were only a few in the string of remarkable horses that Alfano had showing last week. In the beginning of the week, she rode Romance to top ribbons in the Baby Green Hunters. Owned by Barbara Kearney, the bay Warmblood mare earned two second place ribbons. The pair also took home fifth and sixth place ribbons in the division.
In the jumper ring, Jessica Litfin guided Dream Team to top the of the standings. With speed and clear rounds on their side, Litfin and Dream Team, owned by the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, earned a second and fourth in the Low 18-35 Adult Jumpers.
Based out of Buffalo, NY, SBS Farms’ Susie Schoellkopf and Jennifer Alfano run one of the foremost show hunter training operations in the country, and travel nationwide to compete in the nation’s 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. Built in 1922, the 160-stall facility is a historical landmark, with its unique English Tudor and gothic style architecture. For more information on SBS Farms and the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, please visit www.thebtrc.org.