SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - Behind a number of outstanding rides and 41 point effort on the day, the Mount Holyoke College riding team took top honors at the 2017 Zone 1 Championships to advance to the IHSA National Championships in Lexington, Kentucky from May 4-7.
The day opened with several rides from senior Bridget Finnerty, the first of which was in individual open fences. After her initial trip, Finnerty was called back to the ring for additional testing, which secured her a second place finish and a spot at nationals in the class. After only a short break, she returned to the ring for team open fences, putting in another beautiful trip to secure fourth place. Finally, Finnerty returned to the ring for the jumping portion of the zone one high point rider class, where she put in yet another outstanding ride to secure her a strong position moving into the flat phase of the class at the end of the day.
Team intermediate fences was the next class in the ring to see action from Mount Holyoke. Junior Maddy Skrak laid down a great trip to secure the blue ribbon in the class.
The event moved next into individual novice fences, which saw beautiful rides from sophomore Daisy Sears and junior Emily Holowczak. After initial rides, Sears was called back to the ring and put in another stunning effort in the testing phase to secure a second place finish and a spot at nationals in the class. Holowczak secured seventh place with her efforts.
Team novice fences was next in the ring, and the class saw a beautiful trip by junior Sabrina Fox for a second place finish.
Senior Allee Platanitis and junior Mollie Kowalchik entered the ring next for individual intermediate flat. After beautiful riding from both in the initial phase of the class, Kowalchik was held in the ring for additional testing. She finished the class in first place after another solid phase of riding, securing a spot at nationals in the class. Platanitis finished in eighth place after her beautiful efforts.
Team intermediate flat entered the ring next, with junior Anna Rzchowski representing Mount Holyoke well with a lovely ride to secure the blue ribbon. She returned to the ring a few classes later for her ride in individual novice flat, where she put in additional lovely efforts for a seventh place finish.
Fox returned to the ring next to represent the team in novice flat. She put in yet another stunning ride to secure first place for the team once again. First year Sarah Etzel entered the ring next for the team walk trot canter class. After putting in a beautiful ride, she finished the class in fourth place.
Team walk trot entered the ring next with first year Honami Tanaka representing the Lyons. She put in a great ride to secure the blue ribbon once again for MHC.
Kowalchik returned to the ring next to wrap up the team action for the day. She put in another lovely ride in a competitive team open flat class for fifth place.
Individual open flat began to bring the day to a close, and Mount Holyoke saw rides from first year Franny Eremeeva and Finnerty. After great initial rides, both were held in the ring for additional testing. Ultimately, Finnerty secured the second place ribbon and a spot at nationals in the class, and Eremeeva finished the class in third place.
Finnerty ended the day with a strong ride in the flat portion of the zone one high point rider class. This ride, combined with her efforts in the jumping section of the class this morning, earned her a third place finish. She will ride at nationals in the Cacchione Cup class as the high point rider from zone one, region three.
Mount Holyoke ended the day with four individual qualifiers and 41 points from the team classes, which secured the college a first place finish and a trip to nationals, which will take place at the Kentucky Horse Park, May 4-7. Mount Holyoke will be joined by the second place team, University of Rhode Island, in representing zone one at nationals.
Mount Holyoke- 41
University of Rhode Island - 36
Sacred Heart University - 34
University of Vermont - 29
Boston University - 28
Story courtesy of Taryn Isenburg, MHC Riding team manager. Photos courtesy of MHC Riding.