A commitment to excellence has helped the Mount Holyoke College equestrian team earn a national reputation. The riding team captured the 2006 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championship for the third time in school history. Prior national titles were in 2000 and 1986. The Lyons took home Reserve National Championships in 2005 and 2007. Their Zone 1, Region 3 Championship in 2007 was their eleventh in a row. Mount Holyoke earned top honors in the 2007-08 Tournament of Champions.
Town & Country recently wrote: "Hands-down, Mount Holyoke has the finest East Coast [equestrian] facilities, attracting highly motivated equestrians for classes in hunter seat, combined training and dressage." One of the most impressive riding facilities in the country, the Mount Holyoke Equestrian Center features a 60-stall barn, two indoor arenas (100' x 256' and 75' x 130'), an outdoor show ring and a permanent sand dressage arena. There are also three cross country courses that cut through 120 acres of woods, fields and streams.
Longtime head coach C.J. Law welcomes riders of all skill levels and experience. The team includes beginning riders, as well as riders who have competed at the upper levels of dressage, preliminary eventing and the Medal and Maclay finals. Practices are held year-round, and the team participates in four to five shows in both the fall and spring. Tryouts are held at the start of each semester. Coach Law believes that through riding you develop qualities such as patience, self-discipline, concentration and the determination to reach ever higher levels of performance.
Consistently ranked among the top teams within the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), Mount Holyoke has won many titles. Those championships include three IHSA National Championships (2006, 2000, 1986), four Tournament of Champions titles (2012, 2007, 2002, 1997, 1993) and a Mid-South Classic Championship (1995).
The team has also produced several individual national champions. In 2010, Lindsay Sceats became the third rider in program history to capture the presigious Cacchione Cup. She joined Claudia Barth (1990 - Fitch Cup) and Laena Romond (2002 - Cacchione Cup). In addition, Krista Johnson took home Individual Open Equitation title in 1992, while Abby Raucher was the Individual Novice Over Fences champion in 2013.
A number of Mount Holyoke riders have taken part in international competitions and have won several titles while facing off against competitors from fifteen countries. In 1995, Joy (Wiezbicki) Collins secured the National Individual Alumnae Championship.
Mount Holyoke hosted the IHSA National Championships in 1997 and has put on the event more times than any other college or university.
As a Mount Holyoke scholar-athlete, you are driven to excel in the athletic arena as well as the classroom and laboratory. The discipline, sense of accomplishment, and competitive edge that you bring to your sport resonate through every channel of your intellectual life. The desire to achieve–it's all part of the mind-body connection.