South Hadley, Mass. - November 17, 2019 - Competing for the last time at home during the Fall Semester, the Mount Holyoke College riding team claimed a share of the High Point College Title with 41 points on Saturday at the MHC Equestrian Center.
The Lyons tied with UMass, which also produced 41 points on the day, while Springfield College was third with 28 points. Amherst College was next with 27 points, while the Mammoths were followed by Smith, which notched 21 points on Saturday.
The show started with Open Over Fences, where the ring saw two beautiful rides from junior Sara Hearn (Tallahasee, Fla.) and Indra Rapinchuk-Souccar (Cummington, Mass.) with Hearn delivering a first-place finish, followed by a sixth-place result from Rapinchuk-Souccar.
Next was three sections of Intermediate Fences. Here, Harriet Thomson (Carlisle, Mass.) took third in the first section of the day, while Emy McLaughlin (Portland, Maine) followed with a fourth-place finish. Junior captain Libby Sams (Atlanta, Ga.) won the next section as she was followed by Georgia Fish (Baltimore, Md.), who took third overall following a pair of standout performances for the Lyons. In the final section, Katerina Alvarez (Miami, Fla.) produced a first-place result following a stunning ride, as she was followed by Sierra Dunn (Northampton, Mass.), who was the runner up.
The show then moved to Limit Over Fences with four splits. In the first section, Isabelle Dow (Yarmouth, Maine) was fourth and Maya Brody (Weatogue, Conn.) took sixth, before in the next section, Sarah Etzel (Northampton, Mass.) and Caroline Sullivan (Groton, Mass.) finished first and second overall, respectively. In the last section, Marina McDonald (Northampton, Mass.) and Kristina Lester (West Suffield, Conn.) put forth great efforts, as McDonald took first and Lester followed up with a second-place finish.
Following the Alumni Fences section, the show moved to the Flat portion of the day with three sections of Intermediate. The first section saw Thomson return to the ring and put forth a beautiful ride, resulting in a second-place finish. The next was Alvarez, who earned another blue ribbon for the Lyons before McLaughlin wrapped up the division with a second-place finish.
Sophomore Anya Benson (Amherst, Mass.) started things off for Mount Holyoke College in the Novice section, earning a fifth-place finish, before first-year Marlene Healey (Coventry, Conn.) won her class with a great ride. The last rider for the Lyons was Aihua Boothroyd (Maynard, Mass.), who took fifth overall.
Following the ring was Open Flat, where Hearn and Rapinchuk-Souccar returned to the ring with gorgeous rides in a big class, taking second and sixth, respectively.
Next was four sections of Limit Flat. In the first split, Lester and Dow came back to the ring with strong rides, before Cropper and Sullivan returned to earn second and fifth, respectively, in the next section. In the third section, Johanna Sullivan (Worcester, Mass.) was first overall, while McDonald took second, followed by Fish, who was fourth. In the final section, Dunn and Brody put forth impressive efforts, leading to a first-place finish for Dunn and a fifth-place finish for Brody.
Wrapping up the day was Introductory Equitation. Sophomore Crystal Yuan (Ningbo, China) and Luhan Wang (Nanjing, China) demonstrated strong rides, finishing first and third in the first class, before in the section section, Tzujung Hung (Qingdao, China) finished first overall. Lastly, the final class saw a fantastic ride from Xike Zhao (Shenyang, China), who ended second in her class.
At the end of the day, Alvarez was called back to the ring for additional testing for the High Point Rider tie-breaker. After demonstrating a series of tasks, she was named High Point Rider of the Day. Alvarez also earned the High Point Intermediate Title. Additionally, McDonald was named Reserve High Point Limit Rider of the Day.
At the end of the fall season, Mount Holyoke College leads Region 3 with a total of 253 points. UMass Amherst is next with 223, while they are followed by Amherst (138), Smith (132) and Worcester State (128).
Mount Holyoke College has the following 7 riders qualified for regionals in 11 divisions so far:
Kristina Lester: Limit Fences
Emy McLaughlin: Limit Fences, Limit Flat
Katerina Alvarez: Limit Fences, Limit Flat
Indra Rapinchuk-Souccar: Intermediate Flat, Intermediate Fences
Sara Hearn: Open Fences, Open Flat
The Lyons will now send a team to the Holiday Tournament of Champions on Saturday, December 7, as Mount Holyoke College will be competing at Penn State.