Riding Victorious in Spring Home Show

Photo of the MHC Riding team following their win on Mar. 2, 2019 at their home show.

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – It was a dominant day of action for the Mount Holyoke College riding team as the squad finished just two points shy of a perfect score with 47 points at their home show in the MHC Equestrian Center. The Lyons saw a number of outstanding performances, paced by junior Sarah Etzel, who was the event's Overall High Point Rider.

Sophomore Sara Hearn and senior Emma Recchi started the day with Open over Fences. They had stunning trips to finish one-two. In the second section, junior Franny Eremeeva and senior Rachael Fulop delivered lovely rides for second and fourth, respectively.

Two sections of Intermediate over Fences followed, in which the first saw senior Daisy Sears win the class with a beautiful ride. The next section saw junior Harriet Thomson and first year Tori Fletcher deliver strong rides for third and fourth, respectively.

Next in the ring was Novice over Fences with four splits. In the first split, junior Lexi Lobdell and sophomore Libby Sams rode beautifully to finish second and reserve, respectively. First year Piper Lacy and junior Abby Watkins followed into the ring to deliver lovely trips, finishing in second and sixth places. In the third section, senior Jordan Green had an excellent ride, unfortunately finishing just out of ribbons. In the last class of a large novice division, Etzel rode beautifully to secure a blue ribbon.

The last jumping class of the day was Alumni over Fences. MHC Assistant Coach (UConn grad) Tara Mathews and MHC IEA Coach (Westfield State University grad) Sam Trase had lovely rides to finish in first and third places, respectively.

Following in the ring, the Lyons honored all graduating seniors in the region with flowers, which were handed out by their coaches.

After phases of flat schooling, Mathews and Trase returned to the ring for Alumni Flat. They both rode beautifully for a one-two finish.

Next in the ring was Open Fences with two sections. In the first section, Eremeeva and Recchi returned to the ring to have strong rides, securing first and third places, respectively. Sears also returned to the ring in the second section and had a lovely ride for a third place finish.

The ring then moved onto a large division of Novice Flat. The first section saw first year Isabelle Dow with a stunning ride to post third. In the second section, first year Kristina Lester finished her class in first place with a beautiful ride. First year Kristina Honour followed in the ring for the third section of Novice Flat, where she delivered a strong ride to finish second in her IHSA debut.

Following a short break from Novice, the action moved on to Intermediate Flat with three sections. In the first section, Thomson returned to the ring and had a lovely ride, unfortunately finishing just out of the ribbons. In the second section, Fulop and Sams rode beautifully for another one-two. In the last section of Intermediate Flat, Hearn returned to the ring and won the class with a strong ride.

The ring then moved on to finish the remaining classes of Novice Flat. Lobdell returned to the ring with senior Tess Ahlers in the fourth section of Novice Flat, having wonderful rides to finish in second and fifth places. The final class of Novice Flat saw Etzel and Green return to the ring with lovely rides to post first and fourth, respectively.

Next in the ring was Beginner Walk-Trot-Canter. In the first section, first year Hannah Brown delivered a stunning ride to secure another blue ribbon. This pointed her out into Advanced Walk-Trot-Canter. In the second section, junior Hanye Chen made her debut in Beginner WTC, having a lovely ride for a first place finish.

Three sections of Walk-Trot followed, resulting in a clean sweep of the division. The first section saw beautiful riding from sophomore Yixuan He who won her class. In the next class, sophomore Tzujung Hung had a beautiful ride for a second place finish. In the third section, junior Angela Cheng delivered a fantastic ride to finish first.

The last division for Mount Holyoke to compete was Advanced Walk-Trot-Canter. In the first section, first year Genevieve Franck won her class with a beautiful ride. Junior Maya Brody wrapped up the class with a nice third place finish.

At the end of the day, Etzel and Hearn were called back for additional testing for the overall High Point Rider Award. After a series of testing, Etzel was earned the High Point Rider of the day and Hearn was named Reserve High Point Rider. Etzel additionally had a quizbowl for Novice High Point and won the High Point Novice Award.

The team finished the day with 47 points, just two points shy to a complete score, and won the High Point College Award. UMass Amherst was named Reserve High Point College with 39 points.

Congratulations to Brody for qualifying for regionals in Walk-Trot-Canter with her ride today!

Overall Team Results:

Mount Holyoke - 47 points
UMass Amherst - 39 points
Hampshire College - 28 points
Westfield State College - 26 points
Springfield College - 25 points
Smith College - 19 points
Amherst College - 17 points
Worcester State University - 15 points
Williams College - 9 points
Bennington College - 6 points 

The Lyons continue their regular season slate on Saturday March 23 at Hadley Farm hosted by UMass Amherst, Amherst College, and Hampshire College.