SHELBURNE FALLS, Mass. - The Mount Holyoke Equestrian Team secured its spot as Regional Champion on Saturday afternoon, competing at the Regional competition on Saturday at Biscuit Hill Farms. The top two riders in each class earned the right to move on to the Zone Championships to compete as individuals. This is in addition to the riders who will be competing for the team at Zones.
Open Fences began the show with senior Felicia Harrsch riding to second place, qualifying her for Zones. Fellow senior Lexie Lohrer received fourth place. Next came Intermediate Fences, where senior Flynn Vickowski won and senior Nell Maynard placed second, qualifying both for Zones. Junior Maura Zaldonis then came in sixth place.
The flat classes came next, beginning with Open Flat. Here Mount Holyoke boasted five of the seven entries in the class. First-year Bridget Finnerty claimed first place while Lohrer came in second, qualifying them both for Zones. Harrsch was just behind in third place, senior Hannah Thornton was fifth, and Maynard was sixth.
In Intermediate Flat, junior Abby Raucher rode to second place, qualifying for Zones. Senior Ella Pittman was just behind, coming in third place. Novice Flat followed, where sophomore Genevieve Couldwell won and junior Maddi Shortt placed second, again qualifying both riders for Zones.
The Walk-Trot-Canter class was split into two heats, with juniors Sam Stone and Laura Von der Porten riding in the first heat and sophomore Suyin Taunton riding in the second heat. All three made the callback for the ride off. Taunton received second place, qualifying her for Zones, Stone came in third, and Von der Porten placed fifth.
At the end of the day, several other awards were announced. Mount Holyoke was recognized as winning the region and will be competing at Zones next week as a team, where the top two teams will go on to Nationals. Harrsch was named Reserve High Point Open rider and Lohrer came in third in the Open standings. In addition, Harrsch claimed the title of High Point Open Fences rider and Lohrer was Reserve High Point Open Flat rider.
Twelve Mount Holyoke riders will compete in Zones, out of 16 total spots and with at least one rider in each class. Zones will be held at the Mount Holyoke Equestrian Center on Saturday, April 5.
The riders competing in Zones are:
Open Fences: Felicia Harrsch
Intermediate Fences: Flynn Vickowski, Nell Maynard
Novice Fences: Anne Waldo
Open Flat: Bridget Finnerty, Lexie Lohrer
Intermediate Flat: Abby Raucher
Novice Flat: Genevieve Couldwell, Maddi Shortt
Walk-Trot-Canter: Suyin Taunton
Walk-Trot: Katie Knutson, Callie Calder
Photos courtesy of the MHC Equestrian Team. Story courtesy of rider Anne Waldo.