LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Mount Holyoke College riding team opened its 2013-14 campaign this weekend, taking part in the Preseason Tournament of Champions, hosted by Randolph College. The event was the first of three invitational tournaments for some of the nation's top hunt seat squads in the country. The Lyons featured two teams of eight in this year's preseason event.
The action kicked off with senior Felicia Harrsch competing for MHC's first team, putting in an excellent ride in Open Flat. Junior Abby Raucher was up next and rode to a sixth-place finish in Intermediate Flat. Senior and team captain Alexa Lohrer was second in Open Fences, while first year Cam Carter had a solid ride in Intermediate Fences.
Junior Maura Zaldonis rode individually in the Collegiate Medal, which consists of a flat phase and a jumping phase (top-10 return for jumping). She put in an excellent flat ride for the event. Junior Samantha Stone then had a great ride for MHC's second team in Novice Flat – her first time in that event.
Junior Maneh Kotikian followed with a fourth-place finish for the first team in Walk Trot, while first year Sarah Felman had a strong ride in Novice Flat. Sophomore Genevieve Couldwell followed in Novice Fences, placing sixth for the first team, while sophomore Jackie Azelby competed in Walk Trot Canter for the Lyons' second team.
Winning her section of Open Flat for MHC's second team was junior Hannah Thornton, while classmate Madeline Shortt finished sixth in Intermediate Flat – her first ever ride in that event. First Year Bridget Finnerty placed sixth in Open Fences, while senior Eleanor Maynard was solid in Intermediate Fences.
Junior Callie Calder rode for MHC's second team in Walk Trot, taking fifth overall, while sophomore Heather Armstrong had a strong ride for the first team in Walk Trot Canter. Wrapping up the team competition was junior Jessica Murray, who was sixth in Novice Fences for the second team.
Additionally, both Zadra and Allard were called back to compete in the fences phase for the Collegiate Medal, and finished fourth and sixth, respectively.
Despite a number of outstanding finishes on the day, neither team finished with ribbons, but had outstanding rides at the event.
Final College Standings:
1(CH). SCAD Black Team (31 points)
2(RES). Randolph College Yellow Team (29 points)
3. Randolph College Black Team (29 points)
4. Bridgewater College Crimson Team (28 points)
5. St. Andrews University (27 points)
6. Lynchburg College (25 points)
7. SCAD Gold Team (23 points)
8. Goucher College (23 points)
Story courtesy of MHC Equestrian Team. Photo courtesy of Frank Poulin Sports Photography.