To round out a full season of hard work and training, the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center will be hosting the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Emerging Athlete finals this weekend, November 19, 20, and 21, at their indoor riding facility.
The finals weekend will showcase the top 12 junior riders from across the country. These riders were selected based on their performance throughout a series of EAP (equine-assisted psychotherapy) events. It will also consist of a three-day clinic that will offer participants instruction in various aspects of horse riding, care and barn management. “The goal of this program is to create well-rounded equestrians and enrich their knowledge of all aspects of our sport,” said Katharine Jemison.
The program is not limited solely to BTRC riders, however. The general public is welcome to come audit the clinic for a fee of $35. The clinic will include riding lessons in flat work, jumping and horsemanship with Melanie Smith Taylor, Peter Wylde and Mindy Bower. Taylor was a competitor on the United States Olympic team and in several World Cup finals. Wylde has won several competitions, including the ASPCA finals, the New England Medal finals and the IHSA Caccione Cup for college students.
In addition, the clinic will also feature horse care and barn management courses taught by Grand Prix rider Eliza Shufford and the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center’s own Jennifer Alfano, who is currently the Chronicle of the Horse Hunter Horseman of the Year and is a world class hunter rider.
“Being exposed to these top riders is a wonderful experience for the riders and auditors alike,” said Jemison. “For many it is a once in a lifetime experience and it is amazing to see how much the riders improve over the three-day clinic.”
The BTRC’s main goal in hosting this clinic is to raise money for their therapeutic riding program and to raise awareness for the Buffalo Equestrian Center’s lesson program. The BTRC facility, which is the only indoor riding facility located in the heart of the city, is home to three different organizations: The BTRC, which provides therapeutic riding programs for mentally and emotionally impaired, learning disabled and developmentally challenged children between the ages of 6 and 16. Classes are specially designed to benefit these individuals psychologically, physically, socially and intellectually. The facility also hosts the Buffalo Equestrian Center, which is a riding club open to the public for lessons and showing. Lastly, it includes SBS Farms, a top national show barn, home to professional rider Jennifer Alfano.
Each daily session of this weekend’s clinic starts at 7 a.m. The BTRC facility is located at 950 Amherst Street. For more information about the BTRC, visit www.thebtrc.org. To learn more about the Buffalo Equestrian Center, visit www.buffaloequestriancenter.org.