Jersey Boy and Jennifer Alfano Victorious in $25,000 Chicago Hunter Derby
RELEASE: August 31, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jennifer Wood
The $25,000 Chicago Hunter Derby saw big crowds and tremendous competition Sunday afternoon of August 30 at Annali Farm in Antioch, IL. The class hosted 35 of the nation's top hunters and riders for a "Derby Day" full of festivities. The show raised money for Chicago Equestrians for a Cause, which donates to the Children's Memorial Hospital. Jennifer Alfano of Buffalo, NY, rode SBS Farms' Jersey Boy to victory in the $25,000 Hunter Derby.
The courses were designed by Bobby Murphy, who also served as show manager. The 35 entries competed over a rolling course of 12 obstacles in the large jumping field. The top 12 were asked back to do the handy hunter round.
The first position of judges consisted of Louise Serio and Geoff Teall, while George H. Morris and Scott Williamson were in position two. First back for round two was Maggie Jayne on Pony Lane Farm's Francesca. They had a first round total of 179, and in the second round, they had trouble in the one-stride combination. They had a second round score of 85 to finish with a total of 264 for an overall 11th-place finish.
Maggie Sarmiento had the ride on Kensington, owned by The Ring, LLC, next in the ring. Coming in with a score of 179, they put down a solid second round trip with a total score of 185. Their total of 364 vaulted them into an overall sixth-place finish.
Also leaping up the standings in the second round was Rex the Wonder Horse, ridden by Kris Killam for Morel Masuoka. They came in with a score of 181. Thanks to a great gallop to the single rolltop oxer, they raised their score in the second round to 185. Their total was 366, and they finished with a solid fifth-place ribbon.
Sugar Boy, owned by Wendy Hofmeister and Tammy Provost and ridden by Provost, was next in the ring. They had a score of 182 in the first round, but were not able to duplicate that in the second round. They posted a 105 to finish with 287 total for 10th-place.
Caroline Weeden, riding on her home field, rode Topsider for Redfield Farm. They were in eighth place after the first round with a score of 182, and their second-round score improved to 185. Their total of 367 squeaked them into fourth-place at the end of the class, one point ahead of Killam and Rex.
Jayne returned in the handy hunter round on her second horse, another Pony Lane Farm entry, Milous de Fontaine. She and the cute bay stallion did not do as well in the handy round with a score of 109. Added to their first round score of 184.5, they finished with 293.5 points for ninth-place.
Provost and her second horse, Peridot, are previous hunter derby winners. Owned by Stephen Martines and trained by Lynn Jayne, Peridot had no trouble with the handy course. They scored a 187 in the second round to add to their first-round score of 186, and their total of 373 put them third in the class.
Rush Weeden made a jump up the list when he and Balisto, owned by Alec Bozorgi, laid down a great handy trip. They were fifth in the first round with a 186.5, and in the second round they increased to 188 for a total of 374.5 and second place.
Weeden and Balisto, an eight-year-old Belgian Warmblood, have shown in one other hunter derby before this one. Balisto usually shows in the equitation and jumpers with Bozorgi, and it was a late decision to compete. Weeden owns Annali Farm where the event took place.
"We were going to show him, but I had so much to do in getting the grounds ready and the show organized that we sort of took him off the list. Then on Thursday, I thought we were doing so much work for this that we might as well enjoy it too. I love to do these classes," Weeden said.
On her first horse, Kid Rock, owned by Bright Star 158, LLC, Jennifer Alfano was poised to be a top contender. They were fourth in the first round with a score of 191, but an unfortunate rail in the combination lowered their second round score to