Riding Places 3rd & 9th at Holiday Tournament of Champions

Photo of the Lyons riding team at the 2017 Holiday Tournament of Champions event.

FINDLAY, Ohio – The Mount Holyoke College riding team was in action on Saturday, as two squads of riders competed at the Holiday Tournament of Champions at the University of Findlay. The Lyons saw team C.A.U.S.E finish third overall, while team Effect was ninth.

The day's action opened with sophomore Franny Eremeeva, who was the first rider in the ring for MHC in Open Flat. She rode beautifully to earn a third place for team C.A.U.S.E. Senior Maddy Skrak followed in the second section of Open Flat and had a solid ride, but was unfortunately out of the ribbons. Skrak was up again in the next class and had a gorgeous round in Open Fences to earn a blue ribbon for team Effect.

Fellow senior Mollie Kowalchik entered the ring next in the second section of Open Fences, earning sixth overall for team C.A.U.S.E. Up next was first year Sara Hearn, who celebrated her birthday with a second-place finish in Intermediate Fences. Rounding out the second section was senior Anna Rzchowski, whose ride was unfortunately cut short, leaving her out of the ribbons.

Next, the flat phases of the medal classes began, with Eremeeva entering the ring for the second time in the first section of the High Medal flat. She had a lovely ride, ultimately earning a call-back to the fences phase. Sophomore Sarah Etzel followed in Walk Trot Canter with a dazzling ride to earn Mount Holyoke's second blue ribbon of the day, this time for team C.A.U.S.E. Kowalchik followed in the second section of the High Medal Flat with a strong ride, but unfortunately did not make the call-back. Next up was first-year Libby Sams in Novice Flat. She had a solid ride, finishing just out of the ribbons. Junior Lily DeBenedictis was next in the first section of the Low Medal flat, where she put in a great ride, but unfortunately was not called back.

A break from the medal flats phase led into Walk Trot as sophomore Honami Tanaka put in a stellar ride to earn a third place for team C.A.U.S.E. Rzchowski entered the ring again next, this time in Intermediate Flat, garnering fifth overall for team Effect. First-year Sinead O'Sullivan followed with a gorgeous ride in Walk Trot Canter to earn second place for team Effect, while sophomore Sesil Lee went on to receive fourth place for team Effect.

Returning to the medal flats, Hearn entered the ring for the second time with a wonderful ride in the Low Medal Flat, earning herself an invite to the jumping phase.

In a return to the jumping classes, Sams entered the ring again in Novice Fences, putting in a nice round but finishing just outside the ribbons. Senior Sabrina Fox followed in the second section of Novice Fences, with a great round worthy of a third place for team C.A.U.S.E.

Eremeeva was next up in the fences phase of the High Medal. She had a marvelous round, finishing second overall in the class. Fox returned to the ring next in Intermediate Flat, putting in a lovely ride for eighth place for team C.A.U.S.E. Finishing the team classes, Hearn followed in Novice Flat with a beautiful ride, earning fourth place for team C.A.U.S.E. Concluding the day, Hearn competed in the jumping phase of the Low Medal with a strong ride to earn fourth place overall.

In the end, both Mount Holyoke teams finished in the top ten out of eighteen highly competitive teams. Team C.A.U.S.E. finished third with 28 total points and team Effect finished ninth with 17 points.

Team Results:

1. Savannah College of Art and Design - 39
2. Goucher College - 34
3. MHC C.A.U.S.E. - 28
4. Miami University - 28
5. Randolph College - 27
6. Penn State Blue - 27
7. University of Findlay "Let's Get Oily" - 22
8. University of Rhode Island - 20
9. MHC Effect - 17
10T. Lafayette College - 17
10T. West Chester University - 17

The Lyons are now idle until January 20th when they return to the Tournament of Champions series at the Winter 1 Classic, hosted by Ohio University.

Release courtesy of Lyons senior captain Mollie Kowalchik. Photo courtesy of the Lyons riding team.