Articles: Press Release
Alfano and McCann Finish
The H.I.T.S. Winter Circuit Horse Shows in Style
Mason Phelps, Jr. of Phelps Media Group, Inc. at (561)
753-3389 or at email@example.com
Ocala, FL - March 15, 2005 - The annual H.I.T.S. winter horse show
circuit in Ocala, FL ended with Jennifer Alfano of Buffalo, NY and her
student, Kacey McCann of Palmyra, PA taking home a lion's share of the
awards in the hunter and equitation divisions. The fifth and final show
in the series, the Ocala Winter Finals, ran from March 9 to 13.
Two-time World Championship Hunter Rider Alfano teamed up with Barbara
Kearney's GG Valentine to earn the Regular Working Hunter Championship
at the final show. Further honors came when Meredith Lipke Bartolone's
Once and Again was named the Regular Working Hunter Champion for the
entire H.I.T.S. Ocala circuit, and Gandolf, owned by Helen Lenehan, was
awarded the Second Year Green Hunter Circuit Championship.
Alfano was named Leading Hunter Rider for the five week H.I.T.S. Ocala
circuit based on her success with Once and Again, Gandolf, and GG
Valentine. "I'm so pleased for the owners of these horses," Alfano
quietly stated. "I know I'm very lucky to ride so many nice hunters,
and I truly appreciate the trust and support the owners place in me.
And, none of this would have been possible without our wonderful staff.
Our grooms do a great job and take so much pride in their horses, and
that helps make all the success possible." Alfano will be sharing her
extensive knowledge this August in a feature in the top equestrian
magazine Practical Horseman.
McCann, 14, also enjoyed great success in the final week of the series
as well as in the circuit overall. At the Ocala Winter Finals, McCann
rode My Way to victory in the challenging and prestigious ASPCA Maclay
class. She outrode twenty of the top young riders from around the
country to take home the blue ribbon. McCann also won the Hunter Phase
of the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Equitation Classic.
For both the show and the five week circuit she was awarded the 12-14
Equitation Division Championship.
Aboard Barbara Kearney's Shogun, McCann was Reserve Champion in the last
show and for the entire circuit in the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under
division. "I feel I made a lot of progress this year here in Ocala,"
shared McCann. "It was a big improvement from last year! My Way, my
equitation horse, has really come along and we've matured together.
Plus, I rode hunters for Barbara Kearney and Euri Uchiyama, as well as
worked a bit with everyone at Don Stewart Stables. Those opportunities,
along with training with Jen (Alfano) and Susie (Schoellkopf) have
taught me so much this winter."
Alfano and McCann's next competition stop is Atlanta, GA for the Atlanta
Spring Classic I Horse Show on March 22 to 26, and the Atlanta Spring
Classic II on March 30 to April 3. Scenic Georgia International Horse
Park in Conyers, GA is the site of both shows.
Both riders work closely with Susan B. Schoellkopf out of Buffalo
Therapeutic Riding Center (BTRC) which encompasses the Buffalo
Equestrian Center and SBS, Inc. The historic facility was originally
built in 1921. Then named the Buffalo Saddle and Bridle Club, it served
as a gathering place for arena polo. Today the stable hosts many events
that help fund the nonprofit organization BTRC to provide vital services
to differently-abled youth riders.
During the 2004 show season, Alfano amassed a remarkable record. She was
Leading Hunter Rider four times at the H.I.T.S. show circuit in
Saugerties, NY and four times at the H.I.T.S. series in Ocala, FL. In
September at the 58th Buffalo International Horse Show, Alfano piloted
Barbara Kearney's GG Valentine to Grand Championship Hunter honors and
also earned the trophy as Leading Hunter Rider. Later in September,
Alfano was awarded the Leading Hunter Rider title for her
accomplishments at the Marshall & Sterling League National Indoor Finals
in Worcester, MA. To cap off the year, she was awarded the prestigious
Leading Hunter Rider title at the 62nd Pennsylvania National Horse Show
in Harrisburg, PA.
For further information about Jennifer Alfano, Kacey McCann, and Susan
B. Schoellkopf or events at the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center,
please contact Erin Wisler at (716) 877-9295. You can also visit and
learn more online at http://ryegate.com/BTRC/index.htm