Riding Rolls to Third Straight High Point Title

HEBRON, Conn. (March 27, 2010) – Led by senior Tara Bliss and sophomore Courtney O’Connell, the Mount Holyoke riding team grabbed its third straight High Point Championship today at the College of the Holyoke Cross Intercollegiate Horse Show. The show took place at Windcrest Farm in Hebron, Conn.

With its sixth title of the season, Mount Holyoke secured its second straight Zone 1, Region 3 Championship. The Lyons finished 38 points in front of the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the final regional standings. They will face off against the three other regional winners at home in the Zone 1 Championships on April 10. The winner of that event will advance to the National Championships.

Bliss was crowned High Point Rider and Intermediate High Point Rider after taking top honors in her sections of the intermediate flat and intermediate fences divisions. Meanwhile, O’Connell secured Reserve Intermediate High Point Rider accolades after winning her class of the intermediate flat division and taking second place in her section of the intermediate fences division.

In addition, junior Lindsay Sceats secured High Point Rider honors for Region 3, guaranteeing her a spot in the National Championships. She will compete in the Cacchione Class. It was the second straight season that a Mount Holyoke rider earned the Cacchione Cup for Region 3. Last year, the honor went to Cassie Herman ’09.

Mount Holyoke racked up 42 points on the day to secure the title. The University of Massachusetts took home Reserve High Point honors with 33 points, while Smith College (31), Westfield State College (29), Becker College (27), Holy Cross (26), Williams College (19), Amherst College (19), Assumption College (13), Hampshire College (9), Springfield College (9), Clark University (7) and Landmark College (3) rounded out the 13 team field.

The Lyons racked up 11 blue ribbons overall. In addition to Bliss and O’Connell, Julia Frankenback (walk-trot-canter), Sally Gibb (intermediate flat), JoJo Gutfarb (open flat), Hadley King (walk-trot), Allison Reding (walk-trot-canter), Haley Streibich (walk-trot-canter) Wenye Tao (walk-trot) and Allison Walters (novice flat) each posted first place finishes.

Twelve Mount Holyoke riders have qualified for the Zone 1, Region 3 Regional Championships, which will take place at UMass next Saturday. The group includes Bliss (novice fences), Sceats (open flat, open fences), Gutfarb (open flat), Emily Coler (novice flat), Teresa Campbell (walk-trot), Ashley Burka (walk-trot-canter), Caroline Daly (novice flat), Caitlin Dickinson (walk-trot-canter), Jasmine Haddad (walk-trot-canter), Margaret Swanson (novice fences) and Elizabeth Tripp (intermediate fences).