SHELBURNE FALLS, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College riding team was back in action on Sunday as qualified individuals competed at the 2017 Zone 1 Region 3 Championships, hosted at Biscuit Hill Farm. The Lyons sent 15 riders to today's competition, five of whom qualified in both flat and fences.
The day began with open fences, which saw a beautiful ride from senior Bridget Finnerty for the blue ribbon. This class also saw the first individual zones qualifying round of the day.
Six riders from MHC made up the ten total novice fences trips in the ring next. The seniors were represented by Sarah Felman and Ellie Demmons, along with juniors Emily Holowczak, Anna Rzchowski, and Taryn Isenburg, plus sophomore Daisy Sears. After lovely trips from everyone in the first round, Holowczak, Sears and Felman were called back to the ring for additional testing. Once complete, Holowczak was named champion of the class and Sears finished in second place, securing both a ride at zones. Additionally, Felman finished in third with Rzchowski in fifth and Demmons in reserve.
Walk trot canter entered the ring next with rides from senior Regina Brecha and junior Sabrina Fox. Again, both laid down excellent flatwork in the initial phase of the class. Afterwards, Fox was called back to the ring for further testing and ultimately finished the class in third place. Brecha's efforts earned the reserve position in the large class.
Alexandra Friedman was next up in a competitive walk trot class. She had a beautiful ride for fifth place.
Two splits of novice flat came soon after, with the Lyons represented by Demmons, Rzchowski, Isenburg , and sophomore Emma Recchi. After both splits ran, Rzchowski, Demmons and Recchi were called back for additional testing. They finished in first, third, and fourth respectively, each with lovely rides.
Intermediate flat took to the ring next with junior Mollie Kowalchik and Platanitis each putting in beautiful rides to post one-two, and earn both riders a spot at zones.
In the final class of the day, Finnerty returned to the ring with first year Franny Eremeeva for open flat. After beautiful rides from both, they finished in first and second, respectively, and also each earned a spot as individual qualifiers at zones.
Region 3 also awards high point open riders at each years end, and this year MHC riders secured three of the four awards. Finnerty received the high point fences award and flat award, while Eremeeva secured the reserve high point flat award.
Mount Holyoke will now send seven individual riders on to the Zone 1 Championship, which will be held on April 8 at the MHC Equestrian Center. The seven individual qualifiers will compete for spots at nationals. Additionally, Mount Holyoke will compete with the top teams from regions 1, 2, 4, and 5 for a team spot at nationals. The top two teams will advance.