Invitational Sporthorse Tournament Featuring The 125th National
- October 30, 2008 - At the
second day of the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament featuring The 125th
National Horse Show, the day slowly got brighter and warmer outside as the
competition heated up. The horse show is being held at the Oncenter Complex and
will run though November 2. The top horses and riders have traveled from all
over the world to compete at one of the most prestigious horse shows in the
The hunters were first in the ring this morning, and the
riders showed up to win. Jennifer Alfano, who rides for SBS Farms and Susie
Schoellkopf, took home the top tricolor in the Regular Conformation Hunters on mount
Sting. Reserve champion in the division
was Molly Ashe-Crowley and De-Lovely, owned by Caroline Lasersohn.
s huge to win at The National Horse Show," said Alfano.
"The last time I showed at this show was when it was still at Madiso
and GG Valentine was champion. It was really special to do it again."
e pair had a stellar week with three firsts, a fourth, and
fifth place ribbons. Sting is owned by Helen Lenahan, who came out to cheer her
"This is only our second time doing 4'. He was great, and I
was really proud of him," said Alfano. "Helen was here to watch him, and I
don't think she has ever seen him go before. I think it worked out perfect."
/o:p>Champion in the Regular Conformation Hunters was only one of
Alfano's many wins today. In the Green Conformation Hunters, Alfano and Sting
were reserve champion. Adding to her success, she also picked up a reserve
championship award with Jersey Boy in the Green Working Hunters and Regular
Champion of the Amateur Owner 35 and Over Hunter division
was Ellen Toon and her horse Invincible. Toon rode her horse to two firsts, a
second and fifth place ribbons.
"He was so good. You have to be the best
to win here," said
Toon. "They really put on a beautiful horse show here, and they only take a
select few. To be here to compete at all is just an honor in itself. To be champion
at any of the indoor shows is an honor. That is where everyone tries to get to."
Toon has found that her horse is much better on the new
program they chose for him this year.
"The biggest problem we have ever
had with him is that he
gets tired doing two divisions," said Toon. "This year we are doing only one
division. For most horses it is good to have a professional continue to ride
them, but this is easy for him. He just has not had to do another division.
That has been really nice because I have a fresh horse every day."
rides with JT Farm, which is led by Jimmy Toon. JT Farm
has two locations in South Salem, NY
and Wellington, FL.
Right behind Toon in the reserve champion position was Meredith Lipke Bartolone
and her horse Once and Again.
Coming away with the Amateur Owner 18-35 Hunter
was Tracy Scheriff and her horse Lavari. Scheriff piloted her horse to two
firsts and two third place ribbons. Stephanie Riggio and her horse Indian
Summer took home the reserve championship award. Scheriff has been extremely
successful on the indoor circuit this year.
"This is my third championsh
ip win in a row. I have won at
the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Washington International Horse Show, and
now here. It's amazing," said Scheriff. "You always dream about doing that, but
I never thought I would. He's amazing, and I am really lucky to have a horse
like him. He is a lot of fun."
In the Green Conformation Hunters, Ken Be
rkley was honored
with the championship ribbon aboard Gina Day's horse, Sambalino. Berkley
and Sambalino rode to three firsts, a second, and third place ribbons. Berkley
was also named Grand Hunter Champion with Sambalino.
"He is as uncomplicated as they come. He barely
preparation, and he is such a great horse," said Berkley.
"He couldn't be any easier or nicer. He has got a great mind, and he is
amazing; his stride is huge. He doesn't ever have to go fast down the lines. He
is a dream to ride."
Champion of the Green Working Hunter division was S
Belle and mount Bering C, owned by Lindsey Irvin. Belle rode the horse to two
firsts and two third place ribbons.
"It was a very emotional last class
because it was my last
on him. It was funny because after I showed, the groom and I started crying. It
was pitiful," said Belle. "I have become really attached to this horse. He is
just so sweet and tries so hard. I am sad to see him go. We ended on a good
note so that is good. I wanted to do the best I could and be champion, and we
did that. It was great."
Belle continued, "I love The National Hors
e Show. It's funny
because the first real horse show I ever went to was The National Horse Show. My
mom took me when it was still at MadisonSquareGardens.
To me, it is still The National Horse Show no matter where you have it. To beat
all the other big professionals is a big deal. Jen Alfano is always such a
great competitor that you always have to be good. You know she is not going in
there to lose."
In the Regular Working Hunters, Keri Kampsen and Exupery
came away with the championship. Owned by Stephen Borders, Kampsen and mount
earned two firsts, a second, and third place ribbons.
"We actually bough
t him at a dressage auction," said
Borders. "We are so excited to win at a big show like this. Keri has done a great
job with him, and we are so thrilled."
Tomorrow will continue with the c
onclusion of the junior
hunters and their championship presentations. The jumpers will follow with a
National Open Jumper, and Low, Medium, and High Junior/Amateur Owner classes.
Scheduled to begin at will be
the Corporate Team Challenge and the Gambler's Choice.