Riding Earns 5th at Winter 1 Tournament of Champions Event

The Lyons and head coach C.J. Law following a fifth-place finish at the Winter 1 Tournament of Champions event.
The Lyons and head coach C.J. Law following a fifth-place finish at the Winter 1 Tournament of Champions event.

WEYERS CAVE, Va. - The Mount Holyoke College riding team kicked-off its spring semester in fine fashion this weekend, finishing fifth overall at the Tournament of Champions Winter Classic 1, the third competition in the four-part series. The show was hosted by Bridgewater College.

Senior Allee Plantanitis was the first Mount Holyoke rider to compete in intermediate flat, posting a fourth place finish to get things going. Fellow senior Bridget Finnerty was next up in open fences where she rode well and earned fifth place. Intermediate fences followed as junior Emily Holowczak rode for sixth place on a tough draw.

The first section of the flat phase for the High Collegiate Medal was next. Finnerty entered the ring for second time and rode beautifully. In the second section of the High Collegiate Medal junior Mollie Kowalchik and Plantanitis both had solid rides, including a callback for Plantanitis for the fences phase.

After a short break, sophomore Alexandra Friedman received a second place ribbon in walk trot. The flat competition continued with first year Franny Eremeeva in open flat, who had an excellent ride to earn third. Next up was walk trot canter where first year Abby Watkins made her Tournament of Champions debut with a fourth place finish. Sophomore Daisy Sears competed next in the flat phase of the Low Collegiate Medal where she had a beautiful ride on a nervous horse.

After another break sophomore Lily DeBenedictis made her Tournament of Champions debut in novice fences, earning a second place ribbon. Immediately following was the fences phase of the High Collegiate Medal where Platanitis returned to the ring for a solid round on a difficult horse. She finished eighth in a field of very strong riders.

Junior Sabrina Fox finished the day for the team in novice flat. She had a outstanding ride and was the winner of the class. The team ended up in fifth place in a very tight race.

Team Results:

1. University of Findlay - 37
2. SCAD Gold - 32
3. Bridgewater Gold - 32
4. Emory & Henry - 31
5. Mount Holyoke - 30
6. Delaware Valley - 28
7. Penn State Blue - 27
8. Bridgewater Crimson - 25

The Lyons will be back in Virginia next weekend for the fourth and final Tournament of Champions competition this season, which will be hosted by Emory & Henry.

Show recap courtesy of MHC rider, Mollie Kowalchik. Photos courtesy of MHC riding.