Equestrian heavyweight Skidmore hosted the Regional championships on Saturday. Cornell sent nine of its riders to the annual event. Although the number of riders invited was three short of last year’s total, the Red may have sent its strongest group in recent years.
The women competed in a familiar field, having seen all the riders in every competition over the year, but the heightened pressure of regionals can be intimidating especially when many of the women hadn’t attended the tournament in years earlier.
“It can psyche you out,” head coach Christopher Mitchell said of regionals. “We were just going to go in and ride. They were ready.”
Mitchell’s statement was appropriate as many of the women found themselves in the top three of their repective classes, earing bid to the Zonal Championships.
Junior Zoe Orecki and sophomore Julie Canter placed third and fifth respectively in the Open Fences. Sophomore Kate Cornell joined the former two for the Open Flat. Of the eight riders who rode, Canter finished fourth, and Orecki was sixth.
Junior Stacey Olexy was named Regional Reserve Rider as she was second in both the Intermediate Fences and Intermediate Flats. She garnered the most points of any Cornell woman.
Senior Missy Potter had the sole first place in Cornell’s endeavor. The Regional Champion led a strong showing in the Walk-Trot-Canter class. Classmate Chrisitin Wakeley placed second.
In the midst of the show, Canter and Orecki were set to battle each other for Reserve High Point Rider for the season. The teammates ended the regular season tied for total points behind a Skidmore rider. Canter won the separate competition, but it was not without a fight.
“Both rode especially well,” Mitchell said, insinuating that the friendly competition was still heated. “It was a good day,” he added.
Cornell qualified women for the Zonal Championships held in two weeks at Casenovia. Canter, Olexy, Potter and Wakeley are entered in the event.
More impressively, Cornell will attend Zones for the first time as a team. Ending the season as Reserve Champion High Point Team guaranteed the Red a slot in the field of six. The other teams will most likely be USMA, Sentinary, Casenovia, St. Lawrence and Skidmore. Sophomores Dawn Greenberg, Sarah Cohen and Patty Kahwaty, and freshman Jeannett Pettit will join Orecki, Potter, Canter for the team competition.
“I think that this has been a great year,” Mitchell reflected. “I know we have the talent and desire to be Zonal Champions. We’ve just been feeling that things will work out for us.”
Archived article by Amanda Angel