Storrs, Conn. - September 21, 2019 - The Mount Holyoke College riding team had an impressive start to the 2019-20 season, as the Lyons claimed the Reserve Championship at the Pre-Season Tournament of Champions, hosted at UConn's Horsebarn Hill Arena.
Mount Holyoke totaled 35 points en route to its Reserve Championship. Competing against some of the top programs in the nation, the Lyons were only defeated by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), which recorded 43 points on the day. Following the Lyons was Bridgewater University with 29 points, Sacred Heart, which also recorded 29 points and Goucher (27) to round out the top five.
With a pair of teams competing for Mount Holyoke, the day started with Sierra Dunn (Northampton, Mass.) completing a beautiful ride in the first section of the Intermediate Flat, as she finished second overall. Next up was Sarah Etzel (Northampton, Mass.), who put forth a stunning effort for another second-place finish for the Lyons.
First-year Georgia Fish (Baltimore, Md.) competed in the Open Fences, and earned a fifth-place result for her team. Next up, junior Sara Hearn (Tallahassee, Fla.) entered the ring and made a beautiful trip over the fences in the second section of the division, securing a second-place finish for the Lyons.
Next up was two sections of Intermediate Fences, which saw senior Indra Rapinchuk-Souccar (Cummington, Mass.) have a strong round, finishing fifth overall. In the second section of the division, Dunn returned to the ring and put together a gorgeous round, but just falling short of the ribbons.
The next event was the flat phases of the Tournament of Champions High Medal. Hearn returned to the ring and delivered an impressive performance, progressing to the jumping phase of the Medal. Next up was Libby Sams (Atlanta, Ga.), who had a beautiful ride but was not called back to the jumping phase. Sams would go on to once again deliver an impressive performance in the Open Flat division, but just fell short of the ribbons.
The first split of Novice followed, where Maddi Grossman (Richmond, Va.) had a standout performance, before Johanna Sullivan (Worcester, Mass.), who competed in the first section of Limit, produced another solid ride.
Junior Yixuan He (Nanjing, China) rode in the first section of the Introductory Division, as she placed third overall before Sullivan returned to the ring, this time for the first section of the Low Medal flat phase. In the second section of the Introductory class, Angela Cheng (Shanghai, China) posted a fifth-place finish for Mount Holyoke College.
Competing in the Open Fences, Hearn secured a blue ribbon for the Lyons with another beautiful ride, before Sinead O'Sullivan (Worcester, Mass.) took second in the second split of Novice.
First-year Marina McDonald (Northampton, Mass.) and sophomore Faith Wang (Southwick, Mass.) had lovely rides in the second split of the Low Medal flat phase, with McDonald proceeding to the jumping phase in her first collegiate competition. McDonald then went on to earn the Champion title in the Low Medal Class, as Hearn was also announced as the tenth-place competitor in the High Medal class.