SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Fresh off its season-opening victory last weekend, the Mount Holyoke College equestrian team took home the blue once again with a win at its own home show on Saturday at the MHC Equestrian Center. The Lyons recorded 40 points on the day and now hold a 29-point lead in the region over Smith College.
Action began with Open Fences as senior Felicia Harrsch and junior Hannah Thornton each took home the blue in their sections. First-year Emily Allard and junior Heather Zadra placed third, seniors Nell Maynard and Ella Pittman were fourth, and senior and team captain Lexie Lohrer was fifth.
In Intermediate Fences, Mount Holyoke swept the division with senior Flynn Vickowski and junior Maura Zaldonis winning their sections and juniors Maddi Shortt and Anne Waldo placing right behind them in second.
The last jumping classes was Novice Fences, with sophomore Claire Herlin and junior Sam Stone, in her Novice debut, winning their sections. Junior Jess Murray and first-year Cam Carter placed second, first-years Sarah Felman and Allee Platanitis were fourth, first-year Colbie Chinowsky was fifth, and first-year Simi Singh-Smith was sixth on a difficult draw in her IHSA debut.
The action shifted outdoors later in the day and the Lyons took advantage once again, sweeping Open Flat, with Pittman, Harrsch, and rookie Bridget Finnerty winning their sections. This put Harrsch, with her two blue ribbons, in line for High Point Rider. Herlin came in second, while Zaldonis, Lohrer, and Maynard placed third in their sections and Vickowski was reserve on a tough draw.
Moving to Walk-Trot Canter, Mount Holyoke again swept the division with junior Laura Von der Porten and first-year Emma Blades winning their sections while sophomore Heather Armstrong was sixth. In the Beginner Walk-Trot-Canter section, junior Emily Bessette came in second, first-year Liana Ghiron in fourth, junior Maneh Kotikian in fifth, and first-year Haley Lucian was sixth in her IHSA debut.
In Intermediate Flat the Lyons once again won both sections, with Allard and Zadra placing first, Carter in fourth, and Waldo riding well on a difficult draw. In Novice Flat, Stone and sophomore Genevieve Couldwell won their sections, putting Stone and a UMass rider in the High Point ride-off against Harrsch.
Shortt placed second in Novice Flat, Singh-Smith and Chinowsky were third, Felman took fifth, and sophomore Elizabeth Brija was sixth in her IHSA debut.
In the last division of the day, Walk-Trot, MHC took home both blue ribbons, with junior Toria Bobbitt riding to an emotional win in her IHSA debut. Winning the other section of Walk-Trot was junior Katie Knutson.
Harrsch, Stone, and UMass rider Katie Spanos all won their sections in both flat and fences, requiring a ride-off for High Point rider. Stone came out on top and claimed the title of Overall High Point rider, while Harrsch rode to Reserve High Point rider. Stone and Spanos also had to do a quiz bowl for Novice High Point rider, where Stone once again won.
Emily Bessette pointed up to advanced Walk-Trot-Canter, while the following riders qualified for regionals:
Maura Zaldonis - Intermediate Fences
Laura Von der Porten - Walk-Trot-Canter
Maddi Shortt - Novice Flat
The Lyons are now idle until October 26 when it travels to the UMass Horse Show.
Final College Results:
High Point College: Mount Holyoke College, 40 points
Reserve High Point College - Smith College, 29 points
3rd Place - UMass Amherst, 28 points
4th Place - Westfield State University, 21 points
5th Place - Springfield College, 16 points
6th Place - Amherst College, 13 points
7th Place - Williams College, 11 points
8th Place - MCLA, 2 points