Riding Claims Season-Opening Victory at Smith College Show

Photo of the Lyons riding team following their win at the Smith College Show on Sept. 29, 2018.

GREENFIELD, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College riding team kicked-off its 2018-19 season on Saturday, claiming victory at the Smith College Show, hosted at Stoneleigh-Burnham School. The Lyons posted 38 points on the day, earning High Point honors over UMass-Amherst by a one-point margin. Worcester State rounded out the top three with 19 points.

The day's events started with two sections of Open Fences. Senior Rachael Fulop was first in the ring, earning third with a lovely ride. Next up was senior Emma Recchi in the next section of Open Flat, in which she rode beautifully to finish second.

The next class was Intermediate Over Fences as sophomore Sara Hearn and senior Daisy Sears both had strong trips to get first and second, respectively. Recchi returned to the ring for Open Flat. She had a solid ride to place fourth.

In the first section of Intermediate Flat, junior Indra Rapinchuk-Souccar had a beautiful trip to earn the second blue of the day. In the ensuing section, Sears returned to the ring to finish second with a lovely ride.

Alumni classes moved into the ring next as Lyons assistant coach and UConn graduate, Tara Mathews, won both Alumni flat and over fences.

After schooling, action moved to two large classes of Novice fences. First-years Piper Lacy and Ana Earle, Rapinchuk-Souccar, and first-year Isabelle Dow competed in a very competitive class, finishing first, sixth, and reserves, respectively. The second section saw strong rides from first-years Kristina Lester, Faith Wang, Sierra Dunn, and senior Jordan Green in an equally competitive class to finish first, fourth, and reserves, respectively. This show marked the IHSA debut for Lacy, Earle, Dow, Lester, Wang and Dunn.

Next up was senior Lily DeBenedictis and junior Katerina Alvarez in the first section of Novice flat. They both rode beautifully to finish one-two. Lacy and Dunn returned to the ring for the second section of novice flat. They both had strong rides to earn first and third place, respectively. The third section saw Wang and Fulop return to the ring to put in beautiful rides to finish in another one-two. The large novice division was wrapped up with the last section on the flat as Hearn joined the ring with Green to get second and fifth, respectively.

Two sections of advanced Walk-Trot-Canter followed, the first of which saw senior Tess Ahlers and junior Maya Brody ride strongly to end in third and fourth. In the second section, sophomores Grace Herrmann and Lu Jefwa had great rides for second and fifth, respectively.

Beginner Walk-Trot-Canter was next and junior Sesil Lee posted a lovely ride for third.

The day was wrapped up with two sections of Walk-Trot. Sophomore Yixuan He had a strong ride in the first section to finish third. In the second section, junior Honami Tanaka and sophomore Charcy Fan complete lovely rides for first and third, respectively. This show also marked the IHSA debut for Fan.

At the end of the day, Lacy was called back to the ring for a ride-off for overall high point rider. After demonstrating a series of tests on the flat, Lacy was named overall reserve high point rider of the show. Additionally, Sears was reserve high point intermediate rider, Lacy also earned high point novice rider, while Wang was reserve high point novice rider.

Mount Holyoke finished the day with 38 points to secure the high point college. UMass Amherst followed with 37 points and was named reserve high point college.

Huge congratulations to the following riders on qualifying for regionals today:

Tess Ahlers - Walk-Trot-Canter

Lily DeBenedictis - Novice flat

Daisy Sears - Intermediate flat


FInal college standings:

1: Mount Holyoke College- 38 points

2: UMass Amherst- 37 points

3: Worcester State College- 19 points

4: Amherst College- 18 points

5: Hampshire College- 17 points

5: Smith College- 17 points

5: Williams College- 17 points

6: Bennington College- 5 points


The Lyons will return to action on October 13 when they compete at the Williams College Show, hosted a Bonnie Lea Farm.