SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (Nov. 17, 2012) – Perfection was the name of the game for the Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Team as the Lyons rode to a perfect score during their home show on Saturday. It was a day of firsts as many riders successfully debuted in new divisions and a number of others came home with blue ribbons as MHC won 19 out of 27 classes.
The team made an opening statement sweeping open fences as senior Allison O'Neill and juniors Alexa Lohrer and Ella Pittman all won their sections. Additionally, sophomore Hannah Thornton was second, junior Felicia Harrsch finished third and sophomore Ila Addanki was fifth.
In intermediate fences, sophomore Madeline Shortt came home with the blue followed by senior Morgan Cooley in third, senior Clara Tate and junior Flynn Vickowski in fourth and sophomore Erinn Lew in sixth.
The novice riders put in a very strong showing once again as senior Isabelle McGovern, junior Ellen Lowden and sophomores Anne Waldo and Abby Raucher all came in first. First years Genevieve Couldwell, Catherine Borgnis and Claire Herlin followed in second, while senior Jessica Law was fourth and first year Tilar Martin was fifth. With her win in novice fences, Raucher qualified for regionals.
Switching to the flat, Lohrer and Thornton both brought home blue in open flat, while senior Sally Gibb was third, junior Eleanor Maynard fourth and Harrsch fifth. O'Neill finished sixth and Herlin was reserve on a difficult draw.
MHC then swept intermediate flat as McGovern and Cooley were first, Addanki and sophomore Maura Zaldonis were second and Vickowski was third. In novice flat, Tate and Lowden came home with blues with Law and Martin following in second, Borgnis and junior Emily Denisco in third, and Lew in fourth.
The Walk Trot Canter riders cleaned up with sophomores Laura Von der Porten, Emily Bessette and Kathleen Kelly along with first year Jackie Azelby all won their sections. Senior So Jin Lee and junior Sarah Clinchy were second, and senior Paulina Erni was fifth. Finishing the day off in Walk Trot was sophomore Maneh Kotikian, who was first, while sophomore Katie Knutson was second and junior Lexi Marek took fourth.
The end of the day brought exciting news as Lohrer, McGovern and Lowden would all ride off for overall high point rider. After an additional flat class and a test, Lohrer received the high point honors and McGovern was named reserve high point rider. Cooley was high point intermediate rider and Lowden was high point novice rider to cap a spectacular day for the Lyons.
Overall, Mount Holyoke received the high point college honors and had a perfect score, capping a semester of hard work and dedication by all the riders.
Final College Standings: 1st - Mount Holyoke College (49), 2nd - Smith College (39), 3rd - UMass Amherst (33), 4th - Westfield State University (19), 5th - Williams College (13), 6th - Springfield College (12), 7th - Hampshire College (6), 8th - Amherst College (3).
Story courtesy of MHC rider Madeline Shortt.