Outstanding Efforts Lift Riding to High Point Championship Title at Smith Show

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (Oct. 6, 2012) – Fresh off their season-opening victory at the Preseason Tournament of Champions, the Mount Holyoke College Equestrian team headed to Smith College and claimed victory in their first regional show.  The Lyons won high point college honors in addition to a number of individual titles.

The Lyons got out to an outstanding start despite foggy and cold conditions to kick-off the morning.  In Open Fences, Mount Holyoke posted a one-two-three finish with junior Alexa Lohrer winning her class, followed by senior Allison O'Neill and junior Felicia Harrsch.

The blue ribbons continued to pour in as sophomore Erinn Lew won her section of Intermediate Fences, while senior Sally Gibb took fourth and sophomore Maura Zaldonis posted sixth on a difficult draw.

Mount Holyoke continued its strong showing where senior Morgan Cooley won her section as did first year Genevieve Couldwell. Sophomores Jessica Murray and Anne Waldo were third and fourth, respectively in their sections.

As the weather improved and the sun came out, the show continued outside with the Lyons excelling in Open Flat with both O'Neill and sophomore Hannah Thornton winning their section. Lohrer and Harrsch each finished second in their sections, while junior Eleanor Maynard was third.

In Walk Trot Canter, junior Sarah Clinchy and first year Suyin Taunton earned seconds, while sophomore Laura Von der Porten was third and first year Jackie Azelby was fourth, continuing Mount Holyoke's strong showing on the flat. Mount Holyoke then swept Intermediate Flat with sophomore Abby Raucher and junior Ella Pittman winning their sections and Zaldonis coming in second.

Senior So Jin Lee won Walk Trot, which qualified her for regionals, while teammate Lexi Marek came in fourth.  Mount Holyoke finished the day strong in Novice Flat with Couldwell and sophomore Madeline Shortt winning their sections and Waldo and Murray coming in second and third, respectively.

Couldwell, who was making her IHSA debut, was the overall high point rider, as well as the novice high point rider. Lohrer and O'Neill tied for the reserve high point rider, while Murray and Waldo tied for reserve novice high point rider.  

The final team standings: High Point Team - Mount Holyoke College (38), Reserve High Point Team - University of Massachusetts (29), Smith College (24), Springfield College (21), Westfield State College (18), Williams College (15), Amherst College (11), Hampshire College (7).

Photo courtesy of the Equestrian team.