SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke riding team took to action on Saturday, hosting the first show of the spring semester at the Equestrian Center. The Lyons, who celebrated Senior Day at the show, put forth a strong effort to grab the victory and secure their sixth win of the season.
The action got underway in open fences as junior Mollie Kowalchik secured second and first year Franny Eremeeva received sixth. The second section saw senior Bridget Finnerty post the first blue ribbon of the day with a lovely ride.
Intermediate fences was next in the ring with three sections. The first saw strong rides from sophomore Rachael Fulop and seniors Sarah Felman and Allee Platanitis to secure second, fifth and reserve, respectively. In the second section, senior Cam Carter and junior Taryn Isenburg rode well to post first and third, while the final section saw sophomores Emma Recchi and Daisy Sears, along with junior Emily Holowczak, post first, second, and fourth.
Novice fences was next in the ring to wrap up the jumping classes for the day. Junior Anna Rzchowski and first year Indra Rapinchuk-Souccar opened the division with great rides to post first and third, respectively. The second section also saw outstanding rides as first year Katerina Alvarez and senior Ellie Demmons post one-two. The final section continued to see strong riding, with sophomores Lily DeBenedictis and Avery Hanlon, along with junior Mika McKinney taking the top three spots, respectively.
The show continued with the flat portion of the day following a short break with the beginning of three sections of advanced walk-trot-canter sections. In the first, sophomore Jordan Green and first year Anne Bevin, in her IHSA debut, had solid rides to pin second and fourth, respectively. The second section saw beautiful rides from first year Charlotte Pletsch and senior Regina Brecha to post first and fourth, respectively. The final section got underway with two outstanding rides from sophomores Maggie Stuart and Tess Ahlers, who finished second and fifth, respectively.
Open flat took to the ring next in three sections. The first section saw great riding from Eremeeva and Finnerty for first and sixth, respectively. In the second, Kowalchik and Carter had lovely rides to finish one- two. The final section also saw strong riding from junior Maddy Skrak to finish in second place.
Mount Holyoke swept the novice flat division with four rides, earning the blue ribbon in each split. The winning rides came from first years Harriet Thomson and Rapinchuk-Souccar, as well as Rzchowski and Isenburg.
Two splits of intermediate flat also saw strong riding from Mount Holyoke. McKinney and Demmons were first in the ring to finish one-two. The second split saw beautiful rides from Platanitis and Felman, as well as Recchi to post first, second, and fourth, respectively.
Walk Trot was next in the ring with a number of rides from Mount Holyoke. In the first section, sophomore Karen Dong and first years Sesil Lee and Wenjie Li each had beautiful rides, earning the top three spots in the class, respectively. The second section saw another three strong rides from first year Hanye Chen, sophomore Jessica Feng, and first year Doris Wang. This class also marked IHSA debuts for all three riders, who finished in second, fourth, and reserve, respectively.
We wrapped up the day with one section of beginner walk-trot-canter- which saw a beautiful ride from sophomore Sea Thomas for the blue ribbon.
With her two blue ribbon rides, Rzchowski was named overall high point rider and novice high point rider. Kowalchik and Carter participated in a ride off with one other UMASS rider for the overall reserve high point honors, with Carter besting the field for the title. Recchi was also awarded the high point intermediate rider title, and Rapinchuk-Souccar received the reserve high point novice title.
Special congratulations to the following riders for qualifying for regionals today:
And congratulations to Sea Thomas for pointing into the advanced walk trot canter group with their ride today.
Mount Holyoke finished the day with 43 points to secure the high point college title. UMASS Amherst received 33 points to secure the reserve high point college title.
Mount Holyoke- 43
UMASS Amherst- 33
Smith College- 32
Westfield State University- 18
Hampshire College- 18
Amherst College- 9
Springfield College- 6
Bennington College- 5
Additionally, before the flat portion of the day, Mount Holyoke Director of Athletics, Lori Hendricks, and our Associate Director of Athletics, Communications, Amie Canfield, awarded all of the seniors from the region with flowers in celebration of their careers in the IHSA. The Lyons are very proud of their seniors, all of whom have contributed to the team in countless ways. They are: Regina Brecha, Cam Carter, Ellie Demmons, Sarah Felman, Bridget Finnerty, and Allee Platanitis. Congratulations to them and all of their accomplishments thus far!
Mount Holyoke returns to action in its final regular season show on Sunday, March 26 in the UMass Show.
Show recap courtesy of Taryn Isenburg, MHC rider. Photos courtesy of MHC Riding.