Riding Victorious in Home Show on Senior Day

Riding Victorious in Home Show on Senior Day

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College riding team opened the spring semester with another victory, claiming top honors at the MHC Home Show on Saturday and increasing their lead over the University of Massachusetts Amherst to 47 points in the region. 

The Lyons honored their 16 seniors on the team in a ceremony held between the jumping and flat portions of the day.  Among those graduating are Emily Bessete, Callie Calder, Claire Herlin, Kathleen Kelly, Maneh Kotikian, Katie Knutson, Erinn Lew, Jess Murray, Abby Raucher, Ruby Rodell, Maddi Shortt, Sam Stone, Hannah Thornton, Anne Waldo, Heather Zadra, and Maura Zaldonis

Starting off the day was a series of wins in Open Fences by seniors Maura Zaldonis and Abby Raucher.  Second place ribbons in Open Fences went to seniors Claire Herlin and Hannah Thornton, third went to senior Erinn Lew and sophomore Bridget Finnerty, fifth went to senior Heather Zadra, and sixth went to first-year Mollie Kowalchik.

Intermediate Fences followed with seniors Jess Murray and Maddi Shortt taking home second and third place ribbons, respectively.  In Novice Fences, senior Kathleen Kelly, junior Laura Von der Porten and first-year Laura Bartlett won their sections, senior Sam Stone placed second, senior Ruby Rodell and first-year Taryn Isenburg placed third, first-year Mika McKinney placed fourth, junior Jackie Azelby placed fifth, and senior Emily Bessette placed sixth.

IEA head coach, Tara Mathews piloted her horse to first place for UConn.  Alumni Flat followed, where Mathews again won.

Switching back to the regular classes, the Lyons managed to sweep Open Flat with Finnerty and Raucher winning their sections, Zaldonis placing second, Zadra third, Herlin and first-year Maddy Skrak fourth, and Thornton sixth.  In Intermediate Flat Shortt won her section while senior Anne Waldo received second place. 

Novice Flat followed with McKinney, Von der Porten, and Bessette all winning their sections, Kelly and Lew receiving second place, and Bartlett, Isenburg, Rodell, and Azelby each receiving third.  In Walk-Trot first-years Alexandra Friedman and Wendy Ho made their IHSA debuts with Friedman winning, junior Alexis Holliday placing second, and Ho riding very well on a difficult draw.  Beginner Walk-Trot-Canter followed with senior Callie Calder winning, first-year Morgan Brachfeld placing second, and sophomore Regina Brecha coming in third.  To round out the day, sophomore Liana Ghiron rode to a fourth place finish in Walk-Trot-Canter and senior Maneh Kotikian placed sixth in her section of the same division.

Raucher and Von der Porten, as well as UMass rider Emily Curran, each qualified for a High Point ride-off with their wins both over fences and on the flat.  After a lengthy ride-off with several tests asked of the riders, Raucher was named High Point Rider and Curran was named Reserve High Point Rider.  Von der Porten received Novice High Point Rider honors and Kelly received the Novice Reserve High Point Rider award.  In addition, Shortt was the Intermediate Reserve High Point Rider.

Several riders qualifed for Regionals today, which will now be held on March 29th rather than the 28th as a result of the postponement of the show that was to be held last weekend.  Those riders are:

Bridget Finnerty - Open Flat

Erinn Lew - Novice Flat

Maddi Shortt - Intermediate Fences

Laura Von der Porten - Novice Flat and Fences

Anne Waldo - Intermediate Flat

In addition, Morgan Brachfeld and Callie Calder pointed out of Beginner Walk-Trot Canter into advanced Walk-Trot-Canter.

The next show for Mount Holyoke is next Saturday, March 7th, at the University of Massachusetts.


The college points for the day were:

High Point College - Mount Holyoke College, 41 points

Reserve High Point College - University of Massachusetts Amherst, 32 points

3rd Place - Westfield State University - 26 points

4th Place - Smith College, 21 points

5th Place - Amherst College, 18 points

6th Place - Williams College, 11 points

7th Place - Springfield College, 8 points


The regional standings are:

1st Place - Mount Holyoke College, 244 points

2nd Place - University of Massachusetts Amherst, 197 points

3rd Place - Westfield State University, 162 points

4th Place - Smith College, 161 points

5th Place - Williams College, 100 points

6th Place - Springfield College, 98 points

7th Place - Amherst College, 87 points


Story courtesy of Anne Waldo '15, MHC Rider.