SHELBURNE FARMS, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College riding team saw 13 riders in action on Saturday, competing at the 2016 Regional Championships, hosted at Biscuit Hill Farm. Five of those riders were competing in both flat and fences for the right to advance to the Zone 1 Championships on April 9th at the MHC Equestrian Center.
Open fences got things going as first year Grace Tice and junior captain Bridget Finnerty were in action. Since there were only two riders in the class, both automatically qualified for zones, no matter the outcome, but both put their best ride forward. Tice finished first, followed by Finnerty.
In intermediate fences, senior Genevieve Couldwell put in a stunning round, but unfortunately went off course. Novice fences followed soon after with solid rounds from all of our riders. Senior Suyin Taunton placed fourth and junior Cam Carter placed sixth. Junior Allee Platanitis was out of the ribbons today.
In both alumni flat and fences, Tara Mathews and Ila Addanki placed first and second, respectively to advance to Zones next week.
The super competitive open flat division saw Tice, Finnerty, and sophomore Maddy Skrak place third, fourth, and fifth, respectively. Couldwell got into the zone for intermediate flat and came out with the blue ribbon.
Next up was novice flat with the class split into two heats and then four riders were called back for additional testing. Taunton and junior Sarah Felman put in beautiful rides, but did not make the call back, while sophomore Emily Holowczak earned the win and Platanitis came in third.
In walk-trot-canter, senior Callie Schultz rocked the first heat then came back in for the call back and won the class.
The Lyons also swept the year-end open awards. Finnerty received high point fences championship honors and Tice was reserve. Skrak was the high point flat champion and Finnerty earned reserve.
Mount Holyoke returns to action next Saturday when it hosts the Zone 1 Championship at the Equestrian Center. Our five individual qualifiers will be competing for a spot at Nationals. The Lyons will go head-to-head with URI, Tufts, UConn, and UVM in the team competition. The top two teams will move on to Nationals.