Riding Dominant in Home Show Victory

Riding Dominant in Home Show Victory

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College riding team dominated action at Saturday's home show, not only taking home the win, but also capturing blue ribbons in 19 of 25 classes and increasing its regional lead to 19 points.

The show began with a sweep of Open Fences; first-year Mollie Kowalchik and sophomore Bridget Finnerty each had beautiful rounds to win their section.  Senior Hannah Thornton placed second, senior Heather Zadra was fourth, and senior Maura Zaldonis finished sixth. 

In Intermediate Fences, first-year Maddy Skrak won the blue ribbon, senior Abby Raucher was second, junior Genevieve Couldwell placed fifth, and senior Erinn Lew was sixth. Novice Fences came next, where first-years Anna Rzchowski and Emily Holowczak and sophomore Romy Faucher-Mayhew each won their sections, seniors Laura Von der Porten and Emily Bessette along with first-years Taryn Isenburg and Laura Bartlett placed third, junior Suyin Taunton was fourth, and senior Sam Stone and first-year Shannon O'Connor were fifth.  MHC's IEA head coach Tara Mathews then won the blue ribbon for UConn in Alumni Fences.

Mathews began the flat portion of the day with another win, this time in Alumni Flat.  Open Flat followed, with Raucher placing second, Zadra and Thornton were third, Finnerty and senior Claire Herlin placed fourth, Skrak was fifth, and Zaldonis finished sixth. In Walk-Trot-Canter, senior Maneh Kotikan won her section while first-year Brina Fox and senior Kathleen Kelly each placed second. 

The Lyons dominated from that point on with victories in every single remaining class. Beginner Walk-Trot-Canter began the streak with senior Katie Knutson and first-year Morgan Brachfeld winning and senior Callie Calder placing third. 

In Intermediate Flat, Kowalchik and senior Jess Murray each won their section while senior Anne Waldo placed second and sophomore Cam Carter was fifth.  Next came Novice Flat with Von der Porten, Rzchowski, Isenburg, and first-year Mika McKinney winning their sections, Lew and Holowczak placing second, and Faucher-Mayhew and O'Conner in third. 

Finally, in Walk-Trot first-year Illianna Termuehlen and junior Stephanie Lewis each won their section, first-year Poppy Cai placed third in her IHSA debut, and junior Alexis Holliday came in fifth. 

Both Kowalchik and Rzchowski took home blue ribbons in their flat and fences classes, necessitating a ride-off between the two.  Kowalchik was named High Point Rider while Rzchowski claimed Reserve High Point Rider honors.  Rzchowski also took home the Novice High Point Rider award and Holowczak was Reserve Novice High Point Rider with her blue ribbon over fences and second-place finish on the flat.

The Lyons will compete next Saturday, November 1st, at the Amherst College horse show held at Biscuit Hill Farm.

Team results:

High Point College - Mount Holyoke College, 41 points

Reserve High Point College, Westfield State University, 37 points

3rd Place - University of Massachusetts Amherst, 30 points

4th Place - Springfield College, 23 points

5th Place - Smith College, 19 points

6th Place - Williams College, 16 points

7th Place - Amherst College, 7 points

Team standings:

1st Place - Mount Holyoke College, 122 points

2nd Place - University of Massachusetts Amherst, 103 points

3rd Place - Westfield State University, 92 points

4th Place - Smith College, 91 points

5th Place - Springfield College, 63 points

6th Place - Williams College, 52 points

7th Place - Amherst College, 35 points

Story courtesy of Anne Waldo, Mount Holyoke riding team member.