Most sports teams have to show up to play. The equestrian team actually had to build the show around it.
Saturday, the squad spent the afternoon setting up the course. Yesterday morning it arrived at 6:00 am, in the middle of an ice storm to put up the final touches.
At that point head coach Christopher Mitchell found out that three of the teams attending canceled attendance due to inclement weather. The week’s worth of planning had to be rewritten in fewer than two hours.
Despite having to address all the extra responsibilities of entertaining six teams, the Red was able to respond with strong performances throughout the separate competitions.
“Usually we ride very well at home. Because the women are Cornell students, they are used to a lot of pressure and lack of sleep,” Mitchell responded when asked about the stress of hosting and riding on the squad.
Nevertheless, the Red persevered and placed second in its home, and third-to-last show of its campaign.
Skidmore won the event with 41 points, followed by Cornell with 34. Colgate, Hartwick, Ithaca, and Siena placed third, fourth, fifth and six, respectively. Currently, Cornell is second in the region, trailing Skidmore by 41 points. Mitchell hopes that his team can overcome the deficit within the team’s next two shows in time to attend Zonal Championships as a team.
The day belonged to junior Zoe Orecki, who captured HIgh Point rider of the day and secured a spot at the regional championships.
“She had a wonderful day,” Mitchell exclaimed. “She won the Open Flat and stayed on a roll for the Open Fences. This was definitely her best performance this year.”
Had Mitchell chosen Orecki as a team point rider, Cornell could have beaten Skidmore, but unfortunately for the Red, he did not anticipate Orecki’s breakthrough performance. Instead junior Julie Cantor, starting the day as High Point rider for the league, was a team point rider. She placed third in the fences and fourth in the flat. Cantor is now reserve Point rider, only one point out of first place. Orecki lags by two points in third place.
Senior Laura Rubinate and Kate Cornell came in first and second in the Open Flat, respectively while junior Stacey Olexy won the Intermediate Flats. Senior Stacey McGlashan and sophomore Mari Waterman swept the one and two spots in the Advanced Walk-Trot-Canter. Freshman Lindsay Campbell placed second in the Beginning Walk-Trot-Canter in her first show.
Cornell has two shows left on the year — at Morrisville in two weeks, followed by another at Skidmore. The Red hopes that it can catch the Thoroughbreds and overtake first place in the Region.
“It’s going to be tough to cancel [the point deficit] out,” Mitchell said. “But we’re staying focused on winning. We could still qualify for Zones.”
Archived article by Amanda Angel