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Press Release


Jennifer Alfano and Me Again

Jennifer Alfano and Me Again

Claudia Freeman and Swingtime

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Itís Me Again! Jennifer Alfano and ĎMe Againí Win $5,000 USHJA National Derby at The Derby at the Genesee Country Village & Museum

Written by: Emily Riden
Client: The Derby at The Genesee Country Village & Museum
Release Date: 2015-06-06

Mumford, NY – June 6, 2015 – The picturesque scene during The Derby at the Genesee Country Village and Museum is one reminiscent of years gone by, and on Saturday it was also reminiscent of just last year. For the second year in a row, The Derby kicked off with its $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby on the beautiful grass meadow of the museum, and for the second year in a row, Jennifer Alfano rode to an impressive victory aboard Me Again.  

“He’s obviously got way more miles under his belt this year,” Alfano said of the 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, owned by Helen Lenahan. “He handled the people better; he handled the hills better. He was great last year, but he just handled everything even so much better this year.”

Alfano and Me Again finished over the first round, Bobby Murphy designed course, with a score of 87, putting them in second just behind Claudia Freeman and Swingtime, who ended the first round on an 88 score. The top 12 came back to compete over the second round, handy course set in front of a full crowd of spectators seated on the hill overlooking the rolling grass derby field.

As the second to last combination to return, Alfano and Me Again delivered a well-executed handy round to earn a score of 78 plus four high option bonus points for a second round total of 82 and a cumulative total of 169. The final outcome of the class was left up to judges Danny Robertshaw and Geoff Teal and the performance of the last pair to return: Freeman and Swingtime, owned by Gary Duffy’s Little Brook Farms.

At just 15 years old, Freeman is one of The Derby’s youngest competitors, and she is the only exhibitor competing in all three of The Derby’s events: the National Derby, the Pony Derby and the $35,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. While young, Freeman looked every bit the veteran as she and Showtime finished the handy round with a score of 76 plus four high option points for an 80 total. While high, their final score of 168 was just one point shy of Alfano’s total, and it would earn Freeman the second place honor and clinch the victory for Alfano.  

“I was just really impressed with [Showtime],” Freeman said. “I didn’t know what to expect because I haven’t done much on him. He was right there for me the whole time.”

Similarly to all of the competitors riding at The Derby, both Freeman and Alfano have nothing but good things to say about the second annual event.

“I just love having a change. It’s really fun,” Freeman said. “It’s something different.”

Alfano concluded, “Anytime anyone tries to do a standalone event like this – these are the classes that we all hope for. It’s special. There’s not another horse show going on so you’re not worried about a million other things. It makes it a really special thing. I think it’s great – great for our sport and great for where we want this to go.”

The $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby was followed on Saturday afternoon by The Derby’s inaugural $5,000 Pony Derby, held on the museum’s Village Square and surrounded by the historic buildings that comprise part of the living history museum. Victory in the Pony Derby went to Sophia Calamari riding Spellbound, owned by Ponies & Palms Show Stables, while Freeman took the second place award aboard Heidi Freeman’s Serenade in Blue.

Competition at The Derby continues on Sunday with the highlight event, the $35,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. The event kicks off at 1 p.m., and tickets are available at the door or online here.

This year, The Derby benefits Make-A-Wish Western New York. The organization grants close to 150 wishes each year to children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions, and a minimum of $7,500 in event proceeds from The Derby will be given toward the granting of these wishes.  


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