Riding Victorious; Lyons Win 10th Consecutive Region III Title

Photo of the Lyons riding team after winning the 2018 Hampshire College Show on March 24, 2018.

HADLEY, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College Riding team tackled the last show of the regular season on Saturday, competing at Hadley Farm for the Hampshire College Show. The Lyons were declared the victors after a slight scoring mishap, recording 41 points on the day.

The day opened with two splits of open fences, the first of which saw lovely rides from sophomore Franny Eremeeva and senior Maddy Skrak for third and fourth, respectively. The second section saw two equally stellar rides from seniors Mollie Kowalchik and Emily Holowczak to post first and third, respectively.

Action moved next into a large intermediate fences class, which saw solid rides from seniors Anna Rzchowski and Avery Hanlon, along with junior Lily DeBenedictis to post third, fifth, and fourth, respectively.

Novice fences headed into the ring next in several sections as strong rides from senior Cat Lamond and junior Jordan Green secured each rider a third place finish in the first two splits.

Alumni fences wrapped up the jumping portion of the day. Tara Mathews, one of the Lyons assistant coaches, and Laura Von Der Porten '16, both delivered outstanding rides in the class to secure first and second place, respectively. They went on to repeat the same results in the alumni flat class, which kicked off the flat classes for the day.

Kowalchik and senior Taryn Isenburg headed into the ring next in the first split of open flat. Each delivered a lovely ride for first and fourth, respectively. In the second section, Eremeeva and Skrak powered their way to second and third, resepctively.

Advanced walk trot canter went into the ring next in two sections. The first section saw a beautiful ride from first year Lou Jefwa for a fifth place finish. In the second section, first years Nora Cyra and Grace Herrmann also delivered outstanding rides to finish in first and third, respectively.

Mount Holyoke turned out excellent rides in the intermediate flat division, with junior Emma Recchi and senior Sabrina Fox finishing first and third, respectively, in the first section, and sophomore Indra Rapinchuk Souccar and Rzchowski finishing one-two in the second section.

Action moved next into novice flat, which saw a beautiful ride from junior Rachael Fulop in the first section for a first place finish. In the second section, sophomore Emy McLaughlin also delivered a lovely ride for fifth place. The final section saw a stunning ride from Lamond for a second place finish.

Sophomore Evelyn Li was next in the ring to start off the walk trot division. She delivered a lovely ride for a third place finish. In the second section, first year Yixuan He delivered a lovely ride for first place.

The regular classes for the day wrapped-up with Beginner walk trot canter, which saw sophomore Sesil Lee and first year Louisa Zebrowski deliver lovely rides for third and fifth place, resepctively. This marked Sesil's first time cantering in a horse show.

At the end of the day, Kowalchik was called back to the ring for a ride off with two other riders. After demonstrating a series of flat tests, she was named overall high point rider. Additionally, Rzchowski was named intermediate high point rider.

Mount Holyoke finished the day with 41 points. After some deliberation, Mount Holyoke has been named the high point college for the day, followed by Hampshire College with 36 points.


Team Results:

1. Mount Holyoke College- 41 Points
2. Hampshire College- 36 Points
3. UMass Amherst- 25 Points
4. Westfield State University- 22 Points
5. Smith College- 18 Points
6. Williams College- 14 Points
7. Bennington College- 8 Points
8. Amherst College- 6 Points

Special congratulations to the following riders, who qualified for regionals today:

Maddy Skrak- Open Fences

Anna Rzchowski- Intermediate Flat & Fences

Emma Recchi- Intermediate Flat

Additional congratulations are in order for our open riders, who have been competing for a spot to ride in the Cacchione Cup at every show. With a combined total of 94-points in open flat and fences this year, Kowalchik has secured the title of Cacchione rider for zone 1 region 3 and has secured a spot at zones in the Cacchione class, where she will compete for a spot at nationals along with the high point riders from zone 1, regions 1, 2, 4, and 5. Eremeeva secured second place in the Cahccione standings with 80-points in open flat and fences. Additionally, Skrak finished in fourth place in the Cacchione standings, with 68 total points combined in open flat and fences.

Mount Holyoke finished on top of the region with a total of 363 points this season, securing the team a spot to compete at Zones. Mount Holyoke finished with a 95-point lead over the second place team in the region, UMass Amherst, with 268 points. Smith College finished in third with 213 points, followed by Westfield State University with 192 points, Hampshire College with 182 Points, Williams College with 160 points, Bennington College with 90 points, Amherst College with 80 points, and Springfield College with 18 points.


The Lyons return to action next Saturday (3/31) when it competes at the Regional Championships. Overall, 18 MHC riders will compete for individual spots at zone finals. A total of 27 MHC rides will occur, split among every class from walk trot to open fences.