BALTIMORE, Md. - The Mount Holyoke College riding team kicked-off it's 2014-15 season on Saturday, traveling to Goucher College to compete in the Preseason Tournament of Champions. It was an outstanding effort for the Lyons, who placed third overall among 18 competing teams.
Senior Heather Zadra opened the day for the Lyons, putting in a strong ride on a difficult horse in Intermediate Flat. Sophomore Bridget Finnerty followed, riding to second place in Open Fences. In Intermediate Fences, senior Jess Murray had a beautiful course, finishing in fourth place.
Open Flat followed, where first-year Maddy Skrak placed second in her IHSA debut! First-year Brina Fox then won her section of Walk-Trot-Canter, also in her IHSA debut. This began a series of wins for the Lyons, with sophomore Flora Fei winning Walk-Trot, and junior Genevieve Couldwell winning Novice Fences. Rounding out the team competition was senior Sam Stone, who rode well on a tough draw for a reserve call in Novice Flat.
Mount Holyoke also sent two riders to compete in the Medal class, where everyone rode in a flat phase. The top 10 riders are then called back for an over fences phase. Seniors Anne Waldo and Abby Raucher both competed in the Medal, with Raucher receiving a call back to jump. Raucher drew a difficult horse, riding it well for an honorable mention.
In the team competition, host Goucher College were the runaway leaders with 41 points, followed by one of two teams from the Savannah College of Art and Design with 34 points. Mount Holyoke finished just behind in 3rd place with 34 points, while traveling partners, UMass Amherst, placed 10th out of the 18 teams.
Mount Holyoke officially opens its regular season show schedule on October 4, traveling up to Northampton to compete in the Smith College Show.
The final team standings were:
1st Place - Goucher College, 41 points
2nd Place - SCAD Black, 36 points
3rd Place - Mount Holyoke College, 34 points
4th Place - Saint Andrews College, 30 points
5th Place - Randolph College, 29 points
6th Place - Bridgewater College, 27 points
7th Place - Virginia Tech and SCAD Yellow, 20 points
8th Place - Lafayette College, 18 points
9th Place - West Virginia University, 17 points
10th Place - UMass Amherst, 16 points
Story courtesy of Anne Waldo, Mount Holyoke riding team member. Photo of the team courtesy of the MHC riding team.