FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (Jan. 28, 2012) – The Mount Holyoke College riding team took home top honors at the prestigious Tournament of Champions Winter Classic today at Hazelwind Farm . As a result of their performance at the event, the Lyons also secured first place in the final Tournament of Champions standings for the season. It was their fifth title overall and their first since 2007. Prior to that, they were crowned champions in 1993, 1997 and 2002. This year's show was hosted by the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va.
Mount Holyoke cruised to high point honors with 42 points. The Lyons finished nine points in front of Virginia Intermont College's Team Black thanks to outstanding performances from all 10 of their riders. They were paced by sophomore Felicia Harrsch (intermediate flat), junior So Jin Lee (walk-trot), sophomore Alexa Lohrer (open fences) and first year Hannah Thornton (open flat), who each earned blue ribbons in their respective divisions.
Sophomore Eleanor Maynard (intermediate fences) and first year Samantha Stone (walk-trot-canter) turned in second place performances, while first year Abby Raucher (novice fences) chipped in with a third place showing.
Mount Holyoke also received outstanding efforts from sophomore Flynn Vickowski and senior Margaret Swanson, who each advanced to the jumping phase of the medal class. The competition featured 24 of the top riders in the nation. At the end of the day, Vickowski finished eighth, and Swanson took ninth.
The Tournament of Champions series takes place annually and includes three events throughout the season. In addition to the Winter Classic, teams also compete in the Pre-Season Classic in September and the Holiday Classic in December. Final standings are determined by adding each team's top two scores. Mount Holyoke's tally of 77 points was good for first place overall.
The Lyons will resume their regular season schedule with a 30-point lead over the University of Massachusetts in the Zone1, Region 3 standings. They are slated to take part in the UMass Horse Show on Saturday, February 25.
With three shows remaining, Lohrer (2nd), Swanson (3rd) and Thornton (4th) hold three of the top four spots in the regional Cacchione Cup standings.
Tournament of Champions Series Standings
1. Mount Holyoke College – 77
2. Virginia Intermont College – 61
3. Delaware Valley College - 58
4. Virginia Tech – 47
5. Goucher College – 45
6. University of Massachusetts - 43
7. Cornell University - 38
8. Penn State University – 35