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USHJA Congratulates 2012 USEF Equestrians of the Year and 2012 USEF Horses of the Year


As the U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) concludedtheir Annual Meeting, they announced the 2012 USEF National and International Horses of the Year, plus the Equestrian of the Year awards.

Jersey Boy, the 11 year-old Hanoverian superstar, the popular chestnut gelding owned by SBS Farms, was named the 2012 USEF National Horse of the Year.  Jersey Boy has dominated the USHJA International Hunter Derby series since its inception four years ago. He is the leader on the International Hunter Derby lifetime earnings list with a total of $196,640, has won 20 Hunter Derby classes, and has three Derby series titles to his name.

2012 was another year full of accolades and accomplishments, but one event title eluded both Jersey and professional partner Jennifer Alfano- theUSHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. The 2012 championship, at the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park, saw one of the largest and most talented rosters of competitors assembled. At the conclusion of the Classic Hunter round, Jersey and Alfano were in third place. But Jersey Boy’s near flawless performance during the Handy Hunter round was the turning point, securing a 588.25 score and clinching the USHJA International Hunter Derby.

After the Derby Championships, Jersey Boy continued to garner major wins that included the $10,000 International Hunter Derby at the State College Classic, the $15,000 International Hunter Derby at Skidmore College Saratoga Classic, and the Chicago Hunter Derby.

Alfano also had reason to celebrate: the following evening at the Pegasus Awards dinner she was honored with the 2012 Emerson Burr Trophy. She was among the six other Equestrians of Honor considered for the coveted Equestrian of the Year title.

In the realm of US show jumping,one dynamic duo ruled the world in 2012:Rich Fellers of Sherwood, OR paired with the diminutive but immensely talentedFlexible, a 17-year-old, 15.3 hands Irish Sporthorse Stallion. The pair made history with the first American Rolex/FEI World Cup Finals victory in 25 years. From there they landed a coveted spot on the USA Olympic Show Jumping team.

In the nominations for the 2012 USEF International Horse of the Year and Equestrian of the Year Rich Fellers and Flexible were headliners. Known for an unusual style of jumping, it took pairing Flexible with Fellers to show the world what “the little man” could do. Starting in s’Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands at the Rolex/FEI World Cup Finals, not only did the duo become the first Americans in 25 years to win, but they also bested eventual Olympic Gold medalistsSteve Guerdat and Nino de Buissonnets by a heart-stopping 0.64 seconds difference in an unbelievable jump off.

Returning to the U.S.,Fellers and Flexible continued to take top call in the U.S. Olympic Team Observation events at the $50,000 Surfside Grand Prix and the $100,000 Hermes Grand Prix in Del Mar, CA. Follow upvictories at Spruce Meadowswith the $35,000 Husky Energy Cup and the $200,000 CN Performance Grand Prix assured the pair a trip to the London Olympics. Fellers and Flexible were the highest ranking U.S. pair with an eighth place finish in the Individual Olympic Show Jumping with only five faults.

USHJA congratulates Jersey Boy and Jennifer Alfano, along with Flexible and Rich Fellers for their well-deserved honors - 2012 USEF National Horse of the Year, 2012 Equestrian of Honor, 2012USEF International Horse of the Year, and 2012USEF Equestrian of the Year and wish continued success to all.

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