Buffalo, NY – June 3, 2015 – Several of the top ranked U.S. equestrians will compete this weekend (June 6-7) at The Derby at the Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford, NY. The two-day event, only in its second year, includes three events: the $35,000 USHJA (U.S. Hunter Jumper Association) International Hunter Derby, the $5000 USHJA National Hunter Derby and, new this year, the $5000 Pony Hunter Derby.

the DerbyAmong the top riders competing in this year’s International Hunter Derby is Jennifer Alfano, who rides out of Buffalo’s SBS Farms, Inc. and is one of the top hunter riders in the country. In 2012, Alfano claimed top prize in hunter derby competition with a victory in the $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals riding SBS Farms’ Jersey Boy. Last month, Alfano and Jersey Boy won the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Jersey Boy, who also is a three-time USEF (U.S. Equestrian Federation) winner, is the USHJA International Hunter Derby Lifetime Standings money-won leader.

Other competitors include Kelley Farmer and Larry Glefke of Keswick, VA. In 2013, Farmer became the first hunter rider to amass over $1 million in lifetime hunter prize money. More recently, Farmer claimed the Grand Hunter Championship, the highest hunter honor at the Devon Horse Show in Devon, PA. Partner Larry Glefke and horse Mindful currently are ranked number one in money earned to date in 2015 USHJA International Hunter Derbies.

Other top riders participating in the International Derby include Amanda Steege of Far Hills, NJ, Jamestown, NY native Kristy McCormack Herrara, Jaime Bates George of Hasty Hills Farm in Java Center, NY and Alyssa Bokor riding for Chrissie Hannon’s Skibbereen Farm in Orchard Park, NY.

Among the WNY participants competing in the $5000 National Derby are Rochester hunt riders Sarah Markowitz riding for Hunt Fields, Macedon, NY and Naomi Bennett riding for Huntington Meadows Stables, Webster, NY and Buffalo-area hunt riders Alfano and George as well as Erica Lipke riding for Skibbereen Farm.

WNY riders competing in the $5000 Pony Hunter Derby include Benjamin Hoban who also rides with Huntington Meadows and Claudia Freeman who rides with trainer Gary Duffy of Ithaca, NY.

All three derbies consist of two rounds staged in the Great Meadow. The first rounds will be judged on performance, hunter pace, jumping style, quality and substance, and movement of the horse. The top 12 riders from this round will return for the second round. The second round will reflect brilliance of pace and handiness. First round scores are added to the second round scores to determine the final results.

The primary difference between the International and National Derbies is the height of the fences. The National Derby fences are set at 3’ with four high option fences set at 3’5”. The International Derby fences are set between 3’6” and 4’ with higher option fences set at a minimum of 4’3”. There is no maximum height. The Pony Hunter Derby is contested at three heights depending on the size of the ponies: 2’3” for small ponies, 2’6” for medium and 2’9”-3’ for large ponies.

For the second consecutive year, the Derby has selected Make-a-Wish® Western New York as its Hunter Derby Charity, which will ensure that a minimum of $7500 of event proceeds is donated to the charity.

Prize money for the 2014-2015 U.S. circuit of the international derby is in excess of $1.3 million.

For more information on The Derby at Genesee Country Village & Museum, contact: Marta Hiczewski at 716-472-8238 or Gaby DeRose at  716-949-2005.

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