Riding Punches Ticket to IHSA National Championships

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (April 10, 2010) – For the 19th time in program history, the Mount Holyoke College riding team has advanced to the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championships. The Lyons punched their ticket with a resounding victory at the Zone 1 Championships today. They will now travel to Lexington, Kentucky to compete in the National Championships from May 6-9 at Kentucky Horse Park.

The Mount Holyoke Equestrian Center served as the venue for this season’s Zone Championships. In addition to the team competition between the four regional champions - Brown University (Region 1), the University of Vermont (Region 2), Mount Holyoke (Region 3) and Stonehill College (Region 4) - riders representing colleges from around New England were vying for individual championships in their respective divisions.

Mount Holyoke piled up 47 points to secure the team title. The Lyons ended the day nine points in front of Stonehill College, which will also take part in the National Championships as a result of its second place finish. Brown (34) and Vermont (33) rounded out the field.

Leading the way for the Lyons was junior Lindsay Sceats, who nabbed top honors in both the open fences and open flat divisions. She was crowned Cacchione Cup High Point Champion for Zone 1 and will compete for the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Cacchione Cup at the National Championships.

Joining Sceats as champions of their divisions were first years Emily Coggins (novice flat), Sally Gibb (novice fences) and Allison O’Neill (intermediate flat).

As a result of their performances in the individual portion of the Zone Championships, a pair of Mount Holyoke riders qualified for the National Championships in their divisions. Sophomore Margaret Swanson earned a Reserve Championship in the novice fences division, and junior Elizabeth Tripp claimed top honors in the open fences division.