Buffalo, N.Y. – Sept. 19, 2018 – For 72 years, the Buffalo International Horse Show (BIHS) has offered the nation’s finest horses and riders the chance to come together and compete at one of the most premier equestrian facilities in the country. This year’s event, which was dedicated in memory of the late Michael Rheinheimer, was no exception. The 2018 BIHS returned Sept. 12–16 to benefit the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center (BTRC).
The week’s highlight event, the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation USHJA National Hunter Derby, took place Saturday evening with Emma Walters piloting the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center’s own Crisp to first place. Second place in the class was awarded to Jamie Bates riding Steve Weder’s SWS Clarino, with Justin Meyers and Cool Heart, owned by Elizabeth Louisell, rounding out the top three.
Walters also earned the rider bonus as well as the Peach Taylor Sportsmanship Award along with Sarah Rodwin. Adding to her list of accomplishments over the weekend, Walters rode to the blue in the $1,000 Up The Creek Junior 3’3″/3’6″ Hunter Classic. Taking second place in the class was Annie Walsh riding Erosmith, while Carolin Kahn and Mango finished in third place.
In the professional hunter divisions, Jennifer Alfano emerged victorious in the $1,500 Robert James Sales USHJA Pre-Green Hunter Incentive, where she took home the top three spots in the class. Alfano rode to the blue with Talladega, owned by Sharon O’Neill.
Other champions crowned in the professional hunter divisions included Sarah Barge and Marvelous, who earned the High Performance Green 3’6″/3’9″ Hunter championship. Barge and Marvelous also earned the title of Grand Hunter Champion, while Alfano and Talladega received the reserve champion award.
Ashley Hotz and Le Diplomate, owned by Michelle Gauchat, brought home the championship title in the Performance 3’3″/3’6″ Hunter division, with Barge and KT Caraco, owned by STA Enterprises, earning the reserve. In the Green 3′ Hunter division, Justin Meyers earned both the championship and the reserve championship riding Cool Heart and C Major, respectively.
In the $1,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic, Hannah Tuckner claimed the blue with Queen Vienna. Riding to second place was Charlene Graham aboard Knee Deep, with Angela Nealer and Essential taking home third place. In the Amateur-Owner 3’3″/3’6″ Working Hunter division, Christine Steer rode to the championship aboard Marvelous. Reserve honors were awarded to Gauchat aboard Le Diplomate. Steer and Marvelous were also named the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champions.
The Adult Amateur 18–35 Hunter division championship was awarded to Christine Ruh and Gracious. Maeve Foley rode Skidmore College’s Crosby to the reserve champion tricolor. The Adult Amateur 36 and Over Hunter champion was Julia Barnes with Simply Cool, and reserve was awarded to Maya Schneider and Aurelius.
In the equitation, Sydney Degrazia rode to the first place finish in the jumper phase of the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Equitation class riding her own Cadmo Van De Pluum. Second place in the class was awarded to Maeve O’Donovan riding KT Caraco. Jenna Drago and Jacinto Van De Dornehoeve, owned by Chaz Harpman, received third place. Rounding out the top four was Emma Seving aboard Cairo, owned by Katie Epes.
The Pony Hunter division saw Sadie Rutkowski and Mapleside Voila, owned by Salmon Creek Equine, in the winner’s circle as the pair rode to the championship finish. Camden Kitchens and Ava Peck’s Persephone earned the runner-up honors. The Children’s Pony Hunter champion was Adele Krabek riding the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center’s Lucky Charm. Molly Gfroerer rode her own mount, Blue’s Traveler, to the reserve championship.
In Saturday’s jumper divisions, Aaron Donnan rode Charity Donnan’s After Joe to the 1.10m/1.15m Children’s/Adult Jumper championship. The reserve championship was awarded to Seving riding her own mount, Optimal Hastak. In addition to her hunter awards, Walters added the Low Children’s/Adult Jumper championship aboard Charlotte Des Bruyeres, owned by the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, to her collection of prizes. The reserve championship was awarded to Benjamin Hobin riding Elizabeth D’Loren’s Up Stream.
The BIHS is the most prominent fundraiser of the year for the BTRC and is designated a ‘Heritage’ competition by US Equestrian (USEF), reserved for horse shows in existence for 25 years or more. The BIHS is fortunate to be one of less than 30 horse shows nationwide that holds this illustrious status.
For more information regarding the BIHS and BTRC, please click here.
All photos by Jess Windhurst Photography