Mount Holyoke Captures Preseason Tournament of Champions Meet

The Mount Holyoke College riding team kicked off its 2012-13 campaign with a first place finish at the prestigious Preseason Tournament of Champions Horse Show today. Seventeen teams from around the nation were present at the first installment of the three-part Tournament of Champions series. This year's event took place at the Goucher College Equestrian Center in Baltimore, Md.

With two full teams, one named Timon and the other Pumba in homage to The Lion King, making the trek down to Maryland, the Lyons capitalized in every aspect throughout the competition.  It was Team Pumba that started off strong in Intermediate flat with sophomore Heather Zadra riding to fifth place, then continued with a good ride on a tough draw by fellow sophomore Ila Addanki in Open equitation over fences.

Senior Sally Gibb received fourth for her round in Intermediate fences and junior Felicia Harrsch received fifth in her Open flat class. Senior Jessica Law and first year Genevieve Couldwell were reserve in Walk Trot Canter Equitation and Novice Equitation Over Fences, respectively. Junior Olivia Chance rode to fifth in Walk Trot Equitation and senior Clara Tate brought Team MHC Pumba home with third place in Novice Equitation on the Flat.

Sophomore Abigayle Raucher won her Intermediate Equitation on the Flat to get Team Timon off to a great start. This strong showing was continued with junior Lexie Lohrer (pictured on the right) receiving third in Open Equitation over Fences. A string of second places were won by sophomores Samantha Stone, Maddi Shortt and junior Nell Maynard in Walk Trot Canter Equitation, Novice Equitation on the Flat and Intermediate Equitation over Fences, respectively.

In Walk Trot Equitation, senior So Jin Lee received fifth and Team MHC Timon finished strong with sophomore Jess Murray winning Novice Equitation over Fences and sophomore Hannah Thornton winning Open Equitation on the Flat. Team Timon ended up as overall champion team with 42 points.

Capping the outstanding efforts for Mount Holyoke on the day was Lexie Lohrer, who won the Tournament of Champions Collegiate Medal after a flat, fences and testing phase.

Mount Holyoke looks to continue its winning ways on October 6th when it competes at the Smith College Horse Show. Action begins at 10am.