With Regional and Zonal championships long past and nationals just past, the women’s equestrian team had to focus on teams within the conference. Last Saturday the squad showed in the Ivy League Championship at Dartmouth. The Red’s intention was to capture the Ivy Crown that Dartmouth took from Cornell last year.
“We won the trophy in ’98 and ’99,” senior co-captain Brooke Hafets said. “We definitely went to Dartmouth with the idea that we were bring it back.”
And they did, winning with 40 points. Princeton had the next highest point total at 33 followed by Dartmouth (32), Brown (30), Yale (26) and Harvard (10). Neither Columbia nor Penn participated.
The entire team traveled to Hanover, N.H. and a almost all of the members were able to compete in their respective events. Because the Ivy League Championship isn’t as cut-throat competition as the regular season, due to being scheduled after qualifying tournaments, there was less stress on the women to perform. Also, head coach Christopher Mitchell was able to veer from the roster he used from most of the season.
“It’s an important event with a little less pressure,” Hafets explained. “The twenty-five people on the team got to show. Some of them had only shown one or two times this season.”
“Usually only a small group gets to go to the shows,” sophomore Kate Cornell said. “It was fun to have the entire team cheering you on [at the Ivy Championship].”
Last weekend’s show was conducted in a different manner than the Regional shows. Each rider rode in a section for an event: the top two riders in each section qualified for the championship heat.
Cornell qualified riders in every event. And it had five Ivy League Champions out of the eight titles awarded.
Sophomore Dawn Greenberg only placed less than first in one of her four heats on her way to being dubbed Ivy League Champion in the Intermediate Fences and Intermediate Flats. Senior Christie Schneckner was right behind Greenberg in the Flats.
Cornell was the top competitor in the extremely deep Open Fences division for the Red. She placed first and junior teammate Helen O’Brien finished second.
“I felt like I put in a really good ride, but there was a lot of competition,” Cornell commented.
Hafets, who considers herself a Fences rider, ended up with the Ivy title in the Open Flats.
“We were all happy for her,” Cornell said.
The biggest story of the day came in the Walk-Trot Canter championships. Freshman Lindsay Campbell, one of the Red’s riders competing in her third show ever, qualified for the finals after finishing second in the beginning class. However, she beat the number one and two qualifiers from the advanced class to give the Red its final title on the day.
“I was hoping to get first or second [in my class],” Campbell explained. “At that point I told my coaches ‘it didn’t matter how I did — I was going to get a ribbon.’ I was really, really shocked.”
The tournament was the last of the season and the final for the seniors on the team. But no one could think of a more appropriate way to end the 2000-2001 campaign.
“I am so proud of the people on this team. And it’s only going to get better,” Hafets emoted.
“Everyone is happy about our success,” Cornell said. “We’re looking forward to giving Skidmore a challenge next year.”
Archived article by Amanda Angel