Riding Concludes IHSA Regular Season Slate With A Victory

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (Mar. 2, 2013) – The Mount Holyoke College equestrian team celebrated Senior Day in fine fashion on Saturday, cruising to victory in the final home show of the ISHA regular season at the MHC Equestrian Center. The Lyons battled back from last weekend's one point loss to beat Smith College by six points and win today event.

The victory increased MHC's lead to 57 points in the region over second place Smith. On the day, five riders, including juniors Felicia Harrsch and Alexa Lohrer, along with senior Allison O'Neill in Open Fences, all qualified for Regionals. Additionally, junior Eleanor Maynard qualified in Open Flat, while sophomore Anne Waldo is headed to regionals for Novice Flat.

Saturday's action kicked-off with Open Fences as O'Neill and Harrsch both finished second. Sophomore Heather Zadra rode to third, while Lohrer and junior Ella Pittman were fourth and fifth, respectively. Additionally, sophomore Olivia Barry earned reserve honors.

Intermediate Fences followed immediately after, with a first place finish going to junior Emily Denisco. Senior Morgan Cooley was second, sophomore Abby Raucher third and junior captain Flynn Vickowski and senior Clara Tate both took fourth. Sophomore Madeline Shortt was fifth in the event, while sophomore Erinn Lew and Maura Zaldonis both placed sixth.

To round out the jumping portion of the competition, the teams dove in to Novice Fences where sophomore Claire Herlin rode to victory. First year Catherine Borgnis began what would prove to be a very successful day for her with a second place trip, while sophomore and newcomer Tahlia Hodes earned a fourth place ribbon.  Senior Isabelle McGovern and sophomore Jessica Murray received fifth place honors in the event, while senior Jessica Law, in her second competition in this division, rode to a sixth place. Junior Sarah Clinchy, in her novice debut, earned reserve honors.

Lohrer and Herlin rode to second places in their competitive sections of Open Flat, followed by Harrsch with a third place finish, Maynard in fourth and O'Neill in sixth place. Next, Mount Holyoke dominated the Beginner Walk Trot Canter and Walk Trot Canter divisions with wins from senior So Jin Lee (BWTC), sophomore Samantha Stone (WTC), and first year Suyin Tauton (WTC).

Sophomore Kathleen Kelly (WTC) rode to a second place while first year Jackie Azelby (BWTC) and senior Paulina Erni (BWTC) received third place. Next came the large division of Novice Flat, which saw firsts from Borgnis, Waldo, and Law, a second from Hodes, a third from first year Tilar Martin and Denisco, fifth to Clinchy in her Novice Flat debut, and reserve honors to Lew.

Intermediate Flat followed, in which Cooley and Tate won their sections, Zadra was second, Vickowski was fourth, and McGovern and Barry earned reserves. Next came Walk-Trot, in which sophomores Katie Knutson and Maneh Kotikian earned second places. Sophomore Phyu-Sin Than, in her IHSA debut, rode to sixth.

In addition to being the high point college of the show, Mount Holyoke also had a collection of high point riders. First year Catherine Borgnis was reserve high point rider and the novice high point rider, senior Clara Tate was the intermediate high point rider and senior Morgan Cooley was reserve intermediate high point rider.

Final team placing for this weekend: Mount Holyoke College (38), Smith College (32), University of Massachusetts-Amherst (25), Amherst College (25), Springfield College (24) , Williams College (16), Hampshire College (13).

Today's show also recognized the squad's senior class - Morgan Cooley, Paulina Erni, Jessica Law, So Jin Lee, Isabelle McGovern, Allison O'Neill and Clara Tate.

Story courtesy of MHC sophomore and rider Madeline Shortt.