Riding bests the competition at Smith College IHSA Show


In a competitive field of nine teams, the Mount Holyoke Equestrian team saw a first overall finish at the Intercollegiate Horse Show this past Saturday. The equestrian team completed the day with a total score of 40, edging out local rival and host Smith College by only one point. At the second show of the competitive season, the team had seven riders take first place in their respective disciplines and 18 place in the top three.

Allee Platanitis ’17 earned the college’s first first-place finish in the show in Intermediate Fences. Novice Fences saw first place scores in two out of the three sections at the show. Harriet Thomson ’20 earned the top spot in her section, while Emily Holowczak ’18 had a nice ride to finish first in the final section. Captain Bridget Finnerty ’17 commented on the undesirable conditions that morning, stating, “the riders who went earlier in the day especially had to be tough with the cold morning.”

With more favorable temperatures, the second half of the day began with a strong performance by Sabrina Fox ’18, who rode to first place in Novice Flat. Mika McKinney ’18 and Indra Rapinchuk- Souccar ’20 also saw first place finishes in separate sections of the event.

Finnerty captured first place in Open Flat to conclude Mount Holyoke’s top rides.

The Mount Holyoke equestrian team also saw numerous other notable finishes, including six riders securing second place and five finishing at third.

Having placed an impressive first and second in Novice Fences and Intermediate Flat, respectively, Holowczak found herself in a three-way tie for High Point Rider. She was called back to the ring to compete after formal competition had finished for the day. With a lovely ride, she earned the Overall Reserve High Point Rider title.

Smith College, Williams College, University of Massachusetts and Westfield State followed Mount Holyoke in the top five places.

Three riders also secured regional qualifying positions based on their performances in Saturday’s show. McKinney will compete in Novice Flat, while Holowczak and Sarah Felman ’17 will represent Novice Fences.

After a successful show, Fox summarized the victory as a team effort. She remarked, “We placed consistently well all day, with lots of great rides across all the divisions. Starting in Open and ending in Advanced Walk Trot Canter, we rode as a team to high point college.”

The team returns to competition on Oct. 22 at the UMass IHSA Show.