SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College riding team continued its outstanding season on Saturday, posting victory at the first of their two IHSA home shows this fall season. The Lyons saw a number of outstanding performances as three riders secured all the top honors of the day.
Open fences was the first class in the ring, and it produced three great rides from senior Bridget Finnerty, junior Mollie Kowalchik, and first year Franny Eremeeva. Finnerty and Kowalchik earned second and third place, but Eremeeva finished just outside the ribbons.
In the following intermediate division, senior Sarah Felman and junior Emily Holowczak both had nice rides in the first section to finish sixth and first, respectively. The second section saw senior Cam Carter with a nice ride for fourth place. In the final section, sophomore Rachael Fulop and junior Taryn Isenburg rode well for first and third, respectively.
The jumping portion of the day finished up with a large novice fences division. In the first section, sophomores Daisy Sears and Avery Hanlon had nice trips for first and sixth place, respectively. The second section saw first year Harriet Thomson and junior Haley Lamoureux put in lovely trips to finish first and fifth, respectively.
MHC saw nice rides from first years Lexi Lobdell and Emelia McLaughlin, and junior Mika McKinney in the third section to finish second, sixth, and first, respectively. The final section saw rides from, junior Sabrina Fox, and senior Ellie Demmons, who placed first and second.
The flat classes began with three sections of advanced walk trot canter. In the first section, junior Cat Lamond had a great ride for first place. The second section saw first years Maya Brody and Abigail Watkins ride nicely to first and third, respectively. This marked Watkins's IHSA debut. In the third section, sophomores Tess Ahlers and Maggie Stuart rode well to finish third and sixth, respectively.
Next came open flat, as Carter posted a fourth place finish, followed by Finnerty and Eremeeva, who posted first and second, respectively.
Next in the ring was first year Katerina Alvarez to begin the novice flat division. She had a nice ride to finish fourth. The second section saw Lily DeBenedictis take first place, while in the third section, Demmons had a great ride to also finish in first.
We moved next to intermediate flat, where McKinney and Kowalchik returned to the ring to finish one-two in the first section. In the second section, Holowczak returned to the ring with a nice ride to place first. The final section saw Felman and Sears return to the ring to finish first and third, respectively.
Two more sections of novice flat entered the ring next, the first of which saw Lamoreux and Fox return with lovely rides to finish fifth and sixth, respectively. The last section saw sophomores Emma Recchi and Fulop with lovely rides to finish first and fifth, respectively.
Walk trot was next in the ring with two sections. The first section saw sophomore Karen Dong have a strong ride to finish fourth. The Lyons also saw first year Wenjie Li make her IHSA debut with a lovely ride for a sixth place finish. In the second section, junior Alexandra Friedman and first year Sesil Lee both put in great rides to finish first and fourth respectively. This marked Lee's IHSA debut as well.
The classes wrapped-up with two sections of beginner walk trot canter. In the first section, first year Morgan Remillard had a fantastic ride for second place. The second section saw first year Charlotte Pletsch with another great ride for a first place finish.
At the end of the day, McKinney and Holowczak were called back to the ring for a ride off for high point rider. After a series of tests, McKinney was named overall high point rider and Holowczak was named overall reserve high point rider. Holowczak also earned the high point intermediate rider award, and Demmons was named high point novice rider.
The following riders qualified for regionals with their rides on Saturday:
Finnerty- Open Flat; Kowalchik- Intermediate Flat; Sears- Novice Fences
Mount Holyoke finished the day with 45 points, just 4 points shy of a perfect score, to be named high point college. Umass followed with 30 points to be named reserve high point college.
Mount Holyoke- 45 points
UMass - 30
Williams - 29
Westfield State - 18
Smith - 17
Bennington - 16
Amherst - 14
Hampshire - 12
Springfield - 9
The Lyons return to action on November 12th at the Amherst College IHSA Show, hosted at Biscuit Hill Farm.
Show story courtesy of MHC rider Taryn Isenburg. Photo courtesy of MHC Riding.