Riding Finishes Strong at Regional Championships

Riding Finishes Strong at Regional Championships

AMHERST, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College riding team saw 18 members in action on Sunday, competing at the Regional Championships, hosted by Amherst College at Biscuit Hill. The Lyons battled it out for the coveted first and second place ribbons that would advance them to the Zone 1 Championships. 

The day started with Open Fences, with sophomore Bridget Finnerty coming out as the victor, senior Maura Zaldonis claiming the second place ribbon, and first year Mollie Kowalchik finishing third.

The next class was Intermediate fences, and with Mount Holyoke riders making up more than half the class, it proved to be extremely competitive. Seniors Anne Waldo and Jess Murray earned their place at Zones as the first and second place riders, respectively, after an intense call back flat phase. Also making it into the flat phase after a lovely jumping round was senior Maddi Shortt, who finished in third.  Senior Erinn Lew finished with the sixth place ribbon, and seniors Claire Herlin and Abby Raucher rode well but did not place. 

Following was Novice Fences, with junior Genevieve Couldwell clinching a spot at Zones with a second place, senior Sam Stone finishing up fourth, and junior Laura Von der Porten as an honorable mention on a tough draw. Finnerty continued her winning streak with another blue ribbon in Open Flat, and Raucher finished in second place, sending two more riders to Zones from Mount Holyoke.

In the Intermediate Flat class, after a nerve-wracking bout of testing, senior Heather Zadra came out on top with the win. Shortt followed closely behind with the third place ribbon, sophomore Cam Carter with the fourth, and Waldo with the fifth. Novice flat proved to be competitive with Von der Porten coming in third, and Stone and Lew finishing in fourth and sixth, respectively. Murray rode beautifully but did not place. 

In the last class of the day for MHC, walk-trot-canter, senior Maneh Kotikian took home the yellow ribbon in third place, senior Kathleen Kelly was sixth, and senior Emily Bessette and junior Jackie Azelby rode well, but did not place. MHC IEA coach Tara Matthews also qualified for Zones with two second place ribbons in alumni flat and fences.

After an extremely successful day of showing for Finnerty was also named the Reserve Cacchione Cup rider for Region 3, reserve high point open fences rider, and high point open flat rider, sending her home with a plethora of prizes.

Zone 1 qualifiers:

Bridget Finnerty- Open Fences/Flat

Maura Zaldonis- Open Fences

Anne Waldo- Intermediate Fences

Jessica Murray- Intermediate Fences

Genevieve Couldwell- Novice Fences

Abby Raucher- Open Flat

Heather Zadra-Intermediate Flat

These riders, as well as the Mount Holyoke Intercollegiate Team will compete for a spot at the IHSA National Horse Show at the Zone 1 Finals held at Mount Holyoke College, this Saturday, April 4th.