WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College riding team was in action on Saturday, competing at the Williams College Show, hosted at Bonnie Lea Farm. The Lyons powered their way to first overall, garnering 43 points and high point college honors.
The day started with a large open fences class. Senior Mollie Kowalchik was first in the ring, followed closely by first year Kari Fossum in her IHSA debut. Both had excellent rides, but unfortunately finished out of the ribbons in a competitive class. Two sections of intermediate fences were next in the ring. The first section saw lovely rides from seniors Emily Holowczak and Maddy Skrak, who pinned first and third, respectively. The second section saw another strong trip from senior Anna Rzchowski for the win. Mount Holyokeriders continued to fare well in the novice over fences division. In the first of two large sections, junior Lily DeBenedictis, sophomore Emelia McLaughlin, and first year Ellie Hansen put in lovely trips to finish first, second, and fourth, respectively. The second section saw solid riding from seniors Sabrina Fox and Haley Lamoureux as well as sophomore Indra Rapinchuk-Souccar to finish first, fourth, and fifth, respectively.
Over fences classes wrapped up with the Alumni division, which saw a beautiful ride from UCONN grad and one of Mount Holyoke's assistant coaches, Tara Mathews, for the win. Alumni flat followed shortly after and saw another win from Mathews after another beautiful ride.
Intermediate flat moved into the ring next with two sections. In the first section, Rzchowski returned to the ring to post first with a stunning ride. The second section saw a lovely ride from senior Taryn Isenburg for fifth. Two sections of open flat followed, the first of which saw Skrak and Fossum return to the ring and put in beautiful rides to post first and third, respectively. In the second section, Kowalchik returned with a lovely ride for third. We moved next to two sections of walk trot. In the first section, junior Jessica Feng had a strongride to finish fourth. The second section saw additional strong rides fromsophomores Honami Tanaka and Hanye Chen to finish one-two.
A large walk trot canter division followed in three sections. The first section saw strong rides from senior Morgan Brachfeld and first year Lou Jefwa to post second and third, respectively. Sophomore Sarah Etzel and first year Sinead O'Sullivan both had beautiful rides in the second section to finish one-two. The final section saw additional strong riding from first year Grace Herrmann for a third place finish. This show marked the IHSA debut for Jefwa, O'Sullivan, and Herrmann.
MHC wrapped up the day with three sections of novice flat. In the first section, Fox returned to the ring with first year Sara Hearn, and both delivered lovely rides to post first and second. The second section saw lovely rides from Rapinchuk-Souccar and junior Jordan Green to finish second and sixth, respectively.
At the end of the day, with two blue ribbons each, Rzchowski and Fox were brought back to the ring for a ride off for overall high point rider. After demonstrating a series of tests on the flat, Sabrina Fox was named high point rider and also garnered high point novice rider. Rzchowski was declared reserve high point rider, as well as high point intermediate rider.
Mount Holyoke College finished the day with 43 points to secure the high point college title. UMass followed with 30 points to be named reserve high point college.
The following riders on qualifying for regionals today:
Maddy Skrak- Intermediate Over Fences
Haley Lamoureux- Novice Over Fences
Morgan Brachfeld- Walk Trot Canter
Final college standings:
1. Mount Holyoke College- 43 points
2. UMASS Amherst- 30 Points
3. Westfield State University- 25 points
4. Smith College- 22 points
5. Williams College- 17 points
6. Amherst College- 15 points
7. Bennington College- 9 points
Release courtesy of MHC rider, Taryn Isenburg. Photo courtesy of MHC Riding.