Riding Captures High Point Title; Earns Regional Championship Honors

Group photo of the Lyons riding team following their victory at the Hampshire College Show on March 23, 2019.

AMHERST, Mass. – It was a tremendous day of action for the Mount Holyoke College riding team, which took top honors at the Hampshire College Show on Saturday at Muddy Brook Farm. The Lyons finished the day with 47 points, just two shy of a perfect score, for the second straight show to earn High Point honors.

The day began with two sections of Open Fences, which saw four beautiful trips from our riders. In the first section, junior Franny Eremeeva and senior Rachael Fulop had lovely rides for first and sixth, respectively. In the second section, sophomore Sara Hearn and senior Emma Recchi also put in solid rides to post first and fourth, respectively.

Next in the ring was Intermediate Fences, which also had two splits. In the first section, senior Daisy Sears and first year Tori Fletcher put in strong rides to earn first and third places, respectively. The second section saw junior Indra Rapinchuk-Souccar deliver a beautiful trip for a second place finish.

The ring then moved on to four sections of Novice Fences, which all saw strong rides from our riders. First in the ring was first year Ana Earle, who put in a beautiful round for third place. Sophomore Libby Sams entered the ring in the next section and also had a strong ride for third. In the third section, junior Lexi Lobdell and first year Isabelle Dow both put in solid rides to finish second and sixth, respectively. Senior Jordan Green rounded up the division with a strong ride with an injured finger, but unfortunately finished just out of the ribbons.

Alumni Fences wrapped up the jumping section of the day. MHC Assistant Coach and UConn grad, Tara Mathews, and MHC IEA Coach, Sam Trase, had lovely rounds to finish one-two.

After a brief break for flat schooling, Mathews and Trase returned to the ring for Alumni Flat. Again, they put in lovely rides to pin first and fourth, respectively.

Open Flat was next in the ring, with two splits. In the first section, Recchi returned to the ring to ride well for third. The second section saw stunning rides from Eremeeva and Sears for another one-two finish.

Action moved next into three sections of advanced Walk-Trot-Canter. In the first section, first year Anya Benson had a lovely ride on a cute halfie to finish fourth. The second section saw sophomore Lu Jefwa deliver a strong ride to earn a blue ribbon. Sophomore Nora Cyra wrapped up the division with a solid ride for another blue ribbon.

Three splits of Intermediate Flat was in the ring next, the first of which saw a stunning ride from junior Harriet Thomson, who finished second. In the next section, Fulop returned to the ring for another solid ride for fourth.

Novice Flat broke up the Intermediate Flat splits, and Mount Holyoke saw two strong rides in the division. The first came from first year Kristina Honour for a third place finish, and the second from Sarah Etzel for a win.

The ring returned to the final split of Intermediate Flat, which saw Hearn and Sams put in beautiful rides for another one-two finish.

Beginner Walk-Trot-Canter followed the ring, in which junior Hanye Chen delivered a lovely ride for second.

Action wrapped up in Novice Flat division with three rides. The first came from Green, who put in a stunning ride for fifth place. First year Sierra Dunn and senior Tess Ahlers wrapped up the division with strong rides to post first and fifth, respectively in the second split.

The last division for Mount Holyoke to compete was Walk-Trot, which resulted in a clean sweep of the division. The first section saw beautiful riding from junior Angela Cheng, who won her class. In the next class, sophomore Christine Xiao had a stunning ride for another blue ribbon. In the third section, sophomore Yixuan He delivered a fantastic ride for yet another first-place-finish.

At the end of the day, Hearn and Eremeeva were called back to the ring with another rider for additional testing for the Overall High Point Rider title. After series of testing, Hearn was named the High Point Rider of the day, and Eremeeva earned the Reserve High Point Rider title.

The team finished the day with 47 points and won the High Point College Award again. UMass Amherst was named Reserve High Point College with 39 points.

Overall Team Results:

Mount Holyoke - 47 points
UMass Amherst - 39 points
Hampshire College - 28 points
Westfield State College - 28 points
Worcester State University - 22 points
Smith College - 19 points
Amherst College - 19 points
Springfield College - 9 points
Amherst College - 17 points
Bennington College - 8 points
Williams College - 7 points 

Congratulations are in order for the following riders, who qualified for regionals today:

Yixuan He - Walk-Trot
Nora Cyra - Walk-Trot-Canter
Daisy Sears - Intermediate Fences
Emma Recchi - Open Fences 

Mount Holyoke concluded the season on top of the region with a total of 371 points, followed by UMass Amherst with 310 points. The college will be represented by eight team riders at Zones, taking place at Mount Holyoke on Saturday, April 6th, to compete against the top teams from the other four regions in Zone 1. Additionally, we look forward to seeing 18 rides from 15 individual qualifiers at Regionals, taking place on Saturday, March 30th at Stoneleigh Burnham Farm. Riders advancing from Regionals will also compete at Zones as individual qualifiers.

Special congratulations to senior Emma Recchi, who finished the season as the Cacchione rider of the region. She will compete at Zones against four other riders, each representing their region.