Riding Opens Spring Season at UMass Show

AMHERST, Mass. (Feb. 23, 2013) – Powered by a number of outstanding efforts, the Mount Holyoke College equestrian team opened their spring season with a strong showing at the University of Massachusetts Show on Saturday. The Lyons posted second overall, just one point behind first-place Smith, but maintained a solid 51-point lead in the regional standings.

Action kicked off with Open Fences where junior Felicia Harrsch put in a good ride to a fourth place ribbon, followed by senior Allison O'Neill in fifth and junior Lexie Lohrer in reserve. In Novice Fences, the Lyons captured a pair of runner-up finishes by first year Claire Herlin and sophomore Anne Waldo, while first year Catherine Borgnis was sixth in the event.

Intermediate Fences saw senior Clara Tate received the first blue ribbon for the team, which was followed by sophomores Abby Raucher in third, Madeline Shortt in fourth, and Erinn Lew in fifth. Mount Holyoke received more blue in Walk Trot Canter where junior Sarah Clinchy and sophomore Emily Bessette both won their classes. Also finishing well in the event were seniors So Jin Lee and Paulina Erni, who were fifth and sixth, respectively. First year Heather Armstrong and junior Catherine Geeslin were both reserve.

Senior Morgan Cooley continued her impressive Intermediate Flat blue ribbon streak, while Tate captured second place and sophomore Maura Zaldonis was fourth in the same event. The Lyons then went 1-2 in Walk Trot with junior Olivia Chance taking first and sophomore Maneh Kotikian in second.

First year Genevieve Couldwell led the riders in Novice Flat earning a blue ribbon, while junior Emily Denisco, first year Tilar Martin and senior Jessica Law took home third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Mount Holyoke continued its impressive showing in Open Flat as Lohrer won her section, while junior Eleanor Maynard was second, O'Neill placed fourth and Harrsch was fifth.

Earning show awards was Tate, who received both Reserved High Point Rider and High Point Intermediate Rider for her rides. Additionally, Clinchy and Chance both qualified for regionals in Walk Trot Canter and Walk Trot, respectively.

Final College Standings: Smith College (36), Mount Holyoke College (35), UMass-Amherst (32), Westfield State University (29), Amherst College (23), Springfield College (16), Williams College (13), Hampshire College (9).

Story courtesy of Madeline Shortt, MHC equestrian team rider and manager.