The 72nd Buffalo International Horse Show (BIHS) kicked off on Wednesday, Sept. 12, with classes full of eager exhibitors. The historic show, which donates 100 percent of its proceeds to the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center (BTRC), attracted some of the nation’s top hunter athletes for five full days of competition.
Leading in the Green 3’6″/3’9″ Hunter division on the first day of competition was Sarah Barge and Marvelous, owned by Christine Steer. The pair rode to two first place ribbons over fences and earned a second place on the flat to set themselves up nicely for the championship on Thursday. Also in the running for the Green 3’6″/3’9″ Hunter division championship is Jennifer Alfano riding Sharon O’Neill’s Talladega. The pair received two second place ribbons over fences and a first place on the flat.
In the Green 3’3″ Hunter division, there is currently a tie for the championship between Alfano riding Kindred, owned by Kathy Chiaf, and Jaime Bates riding Lunatico Kristal B, owned by Amanda Shurr. Each have accrued a total of 17 points, with Alfano riding to a first and fourth place finish over fences and a first under saddle, while Bates rode to a second and first place over fences and another second place under saddle. The champion will be crowned after the division concludes on Thursday.
Bates is also leading the Low 3′ Hunterdivision, this time riding SWS Clarino, owned by Steve Werder. Bates and SWS Clarino earned two first place ribbons over fences to position themselves in the lead. Also in contention for the championship in the Low 3′ Hunter division is Justin Meyers riding his own mount, Cool Heart. Meyers and Cool Heart earned a second place over fences and on the flat during Wednesday’s portion of the division.
Nikko Ritter was crowned the Baby Green 2’6″ champion on Wednesday afternoon riding Elsa, owned by Ritter, taking home a first and second place over fences and another first place on the flat to secure the tricolor. Ritter also took home the reserve championship aboard his own Creme De La Creme after earning a first and second place over fences and a fifth place under saddle.