Riding Posts Outstanding Effort at Regional Championship

Group photo of the Lyons riding team following competition at the Regional Championships

HADLEY, Mass. – It was championship Saturday as the Mount Holyoke College riding team tackled the Zone 1, Region 3 Regional Championship, hosted by Bennington College at the UMass Hadley Farm. The Lyons saw 27 rides on Saturday from 18 different riders.

The first of those riders in the ring was sophomore Franny Eremeeva, later accompanied by seniors Mollie Kowalchik and Maddy Skrak, all with stellar rides in open fences. After delivering their initial fences rides, Kowalchik and Skrak were called back to the ring to test over a shortened course. Following testing, Eremeeva was announced the winner of the class, with Kowalchik finishing in second and Skrak finishing in third.

A large intermediate fences class entered the ring next and saw five lovely rides from Mount Holyoke, delivered by seniors Anna Rzchowski, Taryn Isenburg, Emily Holowczak, and juniors Rachael Fulop and Emma Recchi. After each delievering a solid round, Fulop finished in second, followed by Rzchowski in fifth and Isenburg in sixth.

Novice fences saw another slew of outstanding rides from the MHC team by seniors Avery Hanlon and Haley Lamoureux, as well as junior Lily DeBenedictis and sophomore Harriet Thomson. After their initial fences rounds, DeBenedictis and Lamoureux were called back to the ring to test over a shortened course. After two additionally beautiful rides, Thomson secured the blue ribbon, followed by Lamoureux in second, DeBenedictis in third, and Hanlon in fifth.

MHC assistant coach and alumni rider Tara Mathews entered the ring next for alumni fences, where she delivered a beautiful ride for first place. Mathews also kicked off the flat classes of the day with another stellar ride for the blue in alumni flat.

Open riders returned to the ring next to compete on the flat, where they again swept the class. Kowalchik secured first place, followed by Eremeeva in second and Skrak in third.

Mount Holyoke continued its winning streak in intermediate flat, as Isenburg, Holowczak, Recchi, and Rzchowski  finished in first, second, third, and fourth, respectively.

Novice flat entered the ring next in two splits, after which the top six riders would be called back to test. In the first split, Lamoureux and sophomore Indra Rapinchuk-Souccar both posted solid rides to make the call back. The second section saw additional strong rides from Hanlon and senior Sabrina Fox, who also made the call back. After seeing additional stunning rides, Fox secured the first place spot while Rapinchuk-Souccar secured second, Lamoureux third, and Hanlon secured sixth place.

Walk trot canter followed suit in two splits, the first of which saw a beautiful ride from senior Morgan Brachfeld. Senior Cat Lamond entered the ring in the second split with another lovely ride. Brachfeld was called back to the ring for the ride off, where she secured a first place finish after another stunning ride.

The final class of the day was walk trot, where Mount Holyoke saw two beautiful rides delivered by sophomores Sesil Lee and Hanye Chen to finish in first and reserve, respectively.

At the end of the season, Kowalchik garnered the overall high point rider title, with Eremeeva finishing as the overall reserve high point rider. Kowalchik was also named the year end high point fences rider, with Eremeeva finishing as the reserve high point fences rider. Eremeeva also secured the year end reserve high point flat rider title.

Today's first and second place riders will advance to the Zone 1 Championships on April 7th at the Mount Holyoke Equestrian Center. This means the Lyons will see a total of 13 individual rides at zones, delivered by 11 riders. In addition, MHC will have eight rides in the team competition classes.