WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College riding team kicked-off its regular season schedule on Saturday, competing at the Williams College show. It was an outstanding day of action for the Lyons as three different riders took home top honors, paced by Overall High Point Rider, Allee Platanitis.
First year Franny Eremeeva was first in the ring for Open Fences, getting things going with a nice ride to finish third. Senior Bridget Finnerty followed soon after with a nice ride to win the same class.
Intermediate fences followed with two sections. The first section saw lovely rides from Platanitis and fellow senior Cam Carter, who pinned first and second, respectively. The second section saw a lovely trip from sophomore Emma Recchi to finish in fifth.
The Lyons riders continued to fare well in a large novice division. In the first of three over fences sections, sophomore Daisy Sears and senior Sarah Felman both had solid trips to finish second and third, respectively. The second section saw juniors Haley Lamoureux and Emily Holowczak continue to put in nice rides to finish first and second, while in the final section, junior Taryn Isenburg and first year Emelia McLaughlin finished first and third respectively. This show marked McLaughlin's IHSA debut.
Next came the flat classes, beginning with two sections of open. The first section saw Eremeeva and Carter return to the ring. They both put in nice rides to finish first and fifth respectively. In the second section, Finnerty returned to the ring to take the blue ribbon.
Two sections of novice flat followed, the first of which saw sophomores Lily DeBenedictis and Avery Hanlon place second and fourth. In the second section, first year Lexi Lobdell and sophomore Rachael Fulop had nice rides to finish in first and second respectively.
Following a brief break from novice flat, there were two sections of intermediate flat. The first section saw Platanitis and Felman return to ring to have nice rides. They pinned first and sixth respectively. The second section saw Sears return to the ring with a nice ride to finish in third.
Returning to novice flat, Isenburg was back in the ring and finished fifth in the third section. In the final section, McLaughlin had a nice ride to finish second.
In the only section of beginner walk trot canter for the day, sophomore Tess Ahlers had a nice ride for third place. In the same class, senior Madeline Ketley rode in her first ever english class in the IHSA to take second.
The Lyons finished the day with two sections of advanced walk trot canter. The first section saw first year Maya Brody make her IHSA debut with a nice ride for fourth place. Sophomore Maggie Stuart rode in the same class on a tougher mount to unfortunately finish out of the ribbons. The final section saw junior Sabrina Fox have a nice ride to finish second.
At the end of the day, with two blue ribbons each, Platanitis and Finnerty were brought back to the ring for a ride off for overall high point rider. After demonstrating a series of tests on the flat, Platanitis was named high point rider and Finnerty was declared reserve. Additionally, Platanitis was high point intermediate rider. Novice rider Isenburg and McLaughlin were called to a quiz bowl with another rider from Smith College to determine high point riders for the division. After a series of questions, Isenburg was named novice reserve high point rider.
Mount Holyoke College finished the day with 39 points to secure the high point college title. UMass followed with 30 points to be named reserve high point college.
The following riders qualified for regionals with their rides today:
Isenburg- Novice fences
Additionally, Tess Ahlers moved out of beginner walk trot canter and into advanced walk trot canter with her ride today.
Final college standings:
Mount Holyoke College- 39 points
University of Massachusetts- 30 points
Smith College- 24 points
Williams College- 23 points
Westfield State University-14 points
Amherst College- 11 points
Bennington College- 11 points
Photo courtesy of MHC Riding Team.