63rd Annual Buffalo International Horse Show Wrap-Up
RELEASE: September 17, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jennifer Wood
The 63rd Annual Buffalo International Horse Show (BIHS) ran this year from September 9-13 and was a huge success. The BIHS is one of the oldest horse shows in the country, and it raises money for a very worthy cause. All proceeds are donated to the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center (BTRC), which offers programs for mentally and emotionally impaired, learning disabled, and developmentally challenged children ages 6 to 16.
Penelope Ayres of Bernardsville, NJ, was a first-time competitor at the BIHS this year. She and her horse Colani were reserve champions in the Amateur-Owner Hunter division. Ayres was also a generous sponsor of the $500 "Full Monty" Pony Hunter Classic, the $1,000 "Full Monty" Adult Hunter Classic, and the $1,000 "Shogun" Children's Hunter Classic.
"I thought the event was wonderful," Ayres said. "Susie Schoellkopf and the entire show committee couldn't have given us a warmer welcome. I liked the ring, the courses were great, and we're definitely coming back next year. We attended the sponsors' cocktail party, and we were very moved by the therapeutic riding demonstration."
Ayres will return next year to the BIHS and plans to continue her sponsorship. This year, she gave custom-made stuffed animals as gifts for the classes she sponsored, and they were the most hotly contested prizes. Ayres won a watch at the silent auction, and her trainer Sandy Lobel won a painting.
"I think more and more people will come each year when they know how nice the show is. It was really a fun experience," Ayres confided. "The city offers a lot as well and there are lots of fun things to do there. It's kind of an unknown gem."
Meredith Lipke of Buffalo, NY, rides at the BTRC and trains with Schoellkopf and Jennifer Alfano. She ended up as the Grand Amateur Hunter Champion with her horse, The Specialist
"I think it was our best year ever. The co-chairs and committee did an exceptional job," Lipke said. "We had great vendors, the show went seamlessly, and the awards were beautiful. It was just such a nice show. With the special awards, dedications, therapeutic demonstration, and volunteer awards, there is just such a warm feeling at the show, which makes it very special. The history of the facility adds to the whole atmosphere."
Lipke is preparing for the fall indoor show circuit, and she felt that competing at the BIHS gave her the perfect opportunity to get ready. "Buffalo is the perfect place to prepare for indoors. It's a beautiful ring, and it has fabulous footing. After showing in big outdoor rings, it brings you right back in and tuned up to go to the small schooling area at shows like Washington," she explained. "It's also a nice place to start a horse for next season if they're stepping up a division. I don't know of a better place to prepare than at our show."
Meredith Lipke and The Specialist were Grand Amateur Hunter Champions.
The judges at this year's BIHS were Joe Darby and Danny Robertshaw.
Taylor Ann Adams competed for the first time at BIHS on South Beach, owned by Bright Star 158, LLC, and Jennifer Burger of Buffalo, NY. This was also the first time that Adams had ridden South Beach. The pair won all five classes in the Small Junior Hunters and were awarded the division and Grand Junior Hunter championships. She also won the WIHS Equitation Classic class. Adams was named the Best Child Rider on a Horse.
It was a successful show as well for 11-year-old Morgan Ward of Milford, NJ. Ward won the Small Pony Hunter and Grand Pony Hunter championships with the 12-year-old Rainbow Bright. She was reserve champion in the Small Ponies on True Sport, a seven-year-old she has only ridden since April. For her great efforts, the judges asked if they could name her as Best Child Rider on a Pony, an award that was not previously given at BIHS.
This is Ward's fifth time competing at BIHS, and this is her th