WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Battling through rainy conditions for most of the day, the Mount Holyoke College riding team finished strong at the Williams College Show on Saturday. The Lyons, who saw a number of riders draw difficult horses, finished in a tie for first with Smith College to increase their regional lead to nine points.
The day began with Open Fences, where senior Maura Zaldonis placed third, first-year Mollie Kowalchik was fourth, and sophomore Bridget Finnerty placed fifth on difficult horses. Intermediate Fences followed with senior Claire Herlin winning her section, senior Jess Murray in second, and first-year Maddy Skrak posted fourth, again riding tough horses.
In Novice Fences, first-year Anna Rzchowski won her section in her IHSA debut, sophomore Cam Carter placed second, and sophomore Allee Platanitis was fourth. MHC's IEA coach Tara Matthews rode in Alumni Fences for UConn, placing first with a beautiful round. Matthews began the flat classes, winning on another hard draw. Open Flat came next, with Finnerty placing fourth, Zaldonis fifth, and Skrak putting in a good ride on a very tough horse.
In Intermediate Flat, Kowalchik won her section, senior Maddi Shortt came in third, and Murray rode a strong horse to fourth place. Next came Walk-Trot where the Lyons went 1-2, with sophomore Flora Fei winning and junior Stephanie Lewis placing second in her IHSA debut. The Lyons had some strong rides in Walk-Trot-Canter, with first-year Morgan Brachfeld winning the Beginner division in her IHSA debut and sophomore Regina Brecha placing third, while first-year Brina Fox came in second in the Advanced division and senior Maneh Kotikian in third.
Rounding out the day was Novice Flat where Rzchowski and sophomore Romy Faucher-Mayhew won their sections, Platanitis and junior Suyin Taunton came in second, first-year Mika McKinney in third, and first-year Laura Bartlett in fourth. Faucher-Mayhew, McKinney, and Bartlett all rode in their IHSA debuts as well.
With her two blue ribbons, Rzchowski participated in a ride-off for High Point rider just as it started downpouring. Rzchowski looked stunning and claimed the honors. She was also named Novice High Point Rider. Murray participated in a quiz bowl for Intermediate Reserve High Point rider and after several questions was named the winner.
The Lyons hosts the next show at the MHC Equestrian Center on October 25th.
College results for the day:
High Point Colleges - Mount Holyoke College and Smith College, 37 points
Reserve High Point College - University of Massachusetts Amherst and Westfield State University, 26 points
3rd Place - Springfield College, 22 points
4th Place - Williams College, 20 points
5th Place - Amherst College, 15 points
Regional team standings:
1st Place - Mount Holyoke College, 81 points
2nd Place - Smith College, 72 points
3rd Place - University of Massachusetts Amherst, 69 points
4th Place - Westfield State University, 55 points
5th Place - Williams College and Springfield College, 36 points
6th Place - Amherst College, 28 points
Show story courtesy of Anne Waldo, MHC riding team member Photo of Rzchowski courtesy of MHC riding team.