AMHERST, Mass. –The Mount Holyoke College riding team was in action on Saturday at the final show of the regular season, co-hosted by UMass and Westfield State. The Lyons finished second overall, just one point behind overall winner, Smith College. Despite snow, wind and several difficult draws, MHC amassed 36 points, winning the region by a 56 point margin to advance to the Zone Finals next weekend.
Starting off the day, senior Maura Zaldonis placed third in Open Fences and sophomore Bridget Finnerty received fifth place, both riding tough horses. In Intermediate Fences, senior Ruby Rodell had a nice round for third place, junior Genevieve Couldwell placed sixth, and senior Laura Von der Porten rode well for a reserve call. Novice Fences followed with senior Sam Stone winning her section and first-years Haley Lamoureux and Emily Holowczak each placing fourth. Lamoureux was riding in her IHSA debut.
After a brief schooling break for the flat horses, Stone came right back to place second in her section of Novice Flat. Also in Novice Flat, sophomore Allee Platanitis placed third, Holowczak placed fourth, and sophomore Romy Faucher-Mayhew placed sixth. In Intermediate Flat, senior Jess Murray won her section, Rodell placed second, sophomore Cam Carter was third, Von der Porten finished fifth, and senior Erinn Lew was sixth.
In a large class of 9 riders, Finnerty rode to second place in Open Flat while Zaldonis had a nice ride on a difficult horse. Walk-Trot-Canter followed with senior Callie Calder winning her section, first-year Morgan Brachfeld placing third, and sophomore Regina Brecha fifth. To wrap up the day, the Lyons took the top spots in Walk-Trot with first-year Alexandra Friedman winning and junior Alexis Holliday placing second.
Stone ended the day tied for Reserve High Point Rider with her first and second place finishes, and was named Reserve Novice High Point Rider after participating in a quiz bowl. In addition, Rodell was the Intermediate High Point Rider for the day.
With Regionals taking place on Sunday, March 29th, three additional riders from Mount Holyoke qualifed at the show on Saturday. Those riders were:
Cam Carter - Intermediate Flat
Sam Stone - Novice Flat and Fences
Maura Zaldonis - Open Fences
A total of 18 riders from Mount Holyoke qualifed for Regionals, with some riders qualifying in flat and fences to make 26 rides for MHC. Those riders are:
Novice Flat: Erinn Lew, Jess Murray, Sam Stone, Laura Von der Porten
Novice Fences: Genevieve Couldwell, Sam Stone, Laura Von der Porten
Open Flat: Bridget Finnerty, Abby Raucher
Open Fences: Bridget Finnerty, Mollie Kowalchik, Maura Zaldonis
Finnerty began the day tied with Westfield State University's Paige Hedrickson for the Cacchione Cup, but after a difficult fences draw ended up 5 points behind. Despite riding very well on the flat, Finnerty was unable to catch up to Hendrickson, so Zone 1 Region 3 will be represented by Hendrickson at IHSA Nationals for the Cacchione Cup class.
Team results for the day:
High Point College - Smith College, 37 points
Reserve High Point College - Mount Holyoke College, 36 points
3rd Place - University of Massachusetts Amherst, 33 points
4th Place - Westfield State University, 28 points
5th Place - Amherst College, 19 points
6th Place - Springfield College, 7 points
7th Place - Williams College - 3 points
Overall team results:
1st Place - Mount Holyoke College, 312
2nd Place - University of Massachusetts Amherst, 256
3rd Place - Smith College, 219
4th Place - Westfield State University, 217
5th Place - Amherst College, 122
6th Place - Williams College, 120
7th Place - Springfield College, 115
Story courtesy of MHC Rider, Anne Waldo.