Equestrian team competes at regional championships

Photo by Madeline Skrak '18

Photo by Madeline Skrak '18

BY LEXI LOBDELL '20

On Sunday, April 2, Mount Holyoke sent 15 riders to compete in the Zone 1, Region 3 regional championship at Biscuit Hill Farm. Of the 15 MHC riders, seven finished top two in their respective flats and fences classes to qualify individually for zones championships next weekend at the Mount Holyoke Equestrian Center.

Captain Bridget Finnerty ’17 opened the day for the Lyons with a great round in Open Fences for the Blue. Following that, Allee Platanitis ’17 and Cam Carter ’17 earned fourth and fifth place, respectively, in Intermediate Fences.

The final round of fences saw six MHC riders, Emily Holowczak ’18, Daisy Sears ’19, Sarah Felman ’17, Ellie Demmons ’17, Taryn Isenburg ’18 and Anna Rzchowski ’18, contest a competitive field of Novice Fences riders. Holowczak, Sears and Felman were called back for additional testing and took champion, reserve champion and third, respectively. Holowczak and Sears will continue on to zone championships next weekend. Rzchowski and Demmons finished fifth and seventh, respectively.

Regina Brecha ’17 and Sabrina Fox ’18 represented the Lyons in the first flat class of the day, Walk-Trot-Canter. Fox was called back for additional testing and claimed third place, while Brecha put in a great round for reserve. Alexandra Friedman ’19 contested a competitive Walk-Trot flat class to post fifth.

Emma Recchi ’19, Demmons, Rzchowski and Isenburg entered the ring next for Novice Flat. Rzchowski, Recchi and Demmons were called back and placed champion, third and fourth respectively.

Mollie Kowalchik ’18 and Platanitis were next in the ring for MHC with two rounds in Intermediate Flat to earn spots at zone championships and claim champion and reserve champion, respectively. To end the day, Francesca Eremeeva ’20 and Finnerty entered the ring to claim another pair of championship ribbons and a trip to zones. Finnerty claimed top honors while Eremeeva was reserve champion.

At the end of the day, Mount Holyoke claimed the regional championship title. Finnerty won Overall High Point Fences and Overall High Point Flat Rider for region 3, while Eremeeva claimed Reserve High Point Flat.

Finnerty reflected on the day, saying, “It was such a fun day, especially with the high energy from the MHC riders. It was bittersweet to ride and do well at regionals for the last time.”

In preparation for zones championships, Finnerty explained, “We are practicing every morning at 7 a.m. and then in P.E. classes later in the day. Some of us are also going to Muddy Brook Farm to ride in lessons on unfamiliar horses.” She also highlighted the work the team will be do- ing to prepare for zones, saying, “We are going to be working all week to prep the facility for our Harry Potter themed zones. It’s definitely going to be looking awesome, because we have some very artistic people on the team.”

Eremeeva echoed Finnerty when reflecting back on the team’s performance, saying, “The team performed incredibly, as always. We were extremely supportive of one another, and even with some of the tougher rides of the day, we all held each other up.” Looking to the end of the sea- son, Eremeeva said, “Our goal following yesterday’s successful day is to focus all our attention on bringing the team to the next level, that being nationals. The goal is simple: Make it happen; get it done. Eyes up, heels down and win win win!”

The MHC equestrian team will host zone champions this Saturday, April 8, sending seven individual riders.

Mount Holyoke News

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