COOLVILLE, Ohio – The Mount Holyoke College riding team was in action this weekend, as nine members of the squad competed at the Holiday Tournament of Champions. The event, which is the second of three in the series, saw the Lyons finish third overall in a tight battle for this year's title.
Starting the day for the Lyons was first year Mollie Kowalchik in Intermediate flat who rode beautifully to a third place ribbon. Maddy Skrak then earned a victory in Intermediate Fences. Next up was sophomore Bridget Finnerty, who skillfully rode a tough draw to a sixth place ribbon, adding another point on the board for Mount Holyoke.
First year Brina Fox continued the successful start for the Lyons with a fantastic ride for the win in Walk-Trot- Canter, followed by senior Abby Raucher in Open Flat, who guided a nervous horse to a second place ribbon.
After a short three-class break, sophomore Flora Fei dazzled in Walk Trot, receiving a second place ribbon and continuing the successful streak for the Lyons. Up next was first year Emily Holowczak, who received a fifth place ribbon in Novice Fences after an impressive course. Sophomore Allee Platanitis finished the day for the team with a strong ride in Novice flat for a fourth place ribbon.
Following two extremely competitive flat phases in the Collegiate Medal, senior Heather Zadra and Kowalchik were chosen to continue to the jumping phase of the class. Both had solid courses over fences, and Kowalchik was called back for further testing. After performing a course without irons, Kowalchik finished fourth, and Zadra in 10th place.
The Lyons are now idle until January 24th when they compete at the third and final leg of the Tournament of Champions – the Winter event – in Weyers Cave, Va.
1st: Ryan Genn- SCAD
2nd: Allison Healy- Penn State
3rd: Chase Boggio- Tufts
4th: Mollie Kowalchik- Mount Holyoke
5th: Kayla Bean- Otterbein
6th: Devon Walther- SCAD
7th: Helen Shai- Ohio University
8th: Jen Armistead- University of Delaware
9th: Katie Gray- Sacred Heart
10th: Heather Zadra- Mount Holyoke
Story courtesy of Abby Raucher, MHC Riding team. Photo courtesy of MHC Riding team.