CENTENARY, N.J. – The Mount Holyoke College dressage team took home Reserve National Champion honors at the 2017 Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) National Championships last weekend. It was an outstanding effort for the Lyons, which saw junior captain Mika McKinney and senior Ellie Demmons garner National titles.
The first day of competition opened with the individual qualifiers, led by McKinney, who marked the start of the action in the First Level. She posted a solid eighth-place finish on a tough draw. Demmons followed in the Upper Training division, riding an absolutely stellar test to a first place finish, making her the 2017 Upper Training Individual National Champion!!! Junior Emily Tarantini rode in the Intro division, also making the best of a tough draw to finish eighth in the nation!
The second day of action turned its focus to the team completion, beginning with McKinney in the First Level. Fresh off her solid performance on day one, she put in a nearly flawless ride to earn a first-place finish for the team and also earning the First Level Team National Champion title. Demmons rode next in Upper Training, where she finished fifth in the nation, while in the Lower Training division, Shannon McCarley put in a poised ride on a very difficult draw to finish 10th in the nation. The day ended with Sarah Etzel in the Intro division, where she rode an excellent test to earn not only first place, and the 2017 Intro Team National Champion title, but also high point of the day.
At the conclusion of the event, MHC was crowned the 2017 Reserve National Champions, finishing second to only Averett University.
This year's squad captured a number of victories over the course of the year, including first-place finishes at the University of Vermont Show, the UMass Show and their own home show.
Photo and story courtesy of the Mount Holyoke Dressage Team.