Old man winter’s last gasp could not hold the Cornell equestrian team back this past Saturday. The riders managed to place second, in a very strong showing at the Morrisville Invitational.
The Red finished behind Skidmore’s 49 points, with 35. Colgate followed with 34, Hartwick and Cobleskill had 32 each, and pulling up the rear was host Morrisville at 30 points.
“We finished very well, despite the conditions,” said head coach Chris Mitchell.
Junior Zoe Orecki claimed first place in the open fences event. Seniors Brooke Hafets and Laura Rubinate finished third and fourth respectively.
In the other half of the open fences event, junior Julie Canter and sophomore Kate Cornell collected the top two spots.
“I am very excited about both the team and my individual performance,” Orecki said.
Canter and Orecki both qualified for the Regional Championships with their performances.
In the intermediate fences, sophomore Stacey Olexy’s fifth place finish qualified her for Regionals. Senior Kristen Conner won her class and also qualified for Regionals.
The Open Flat event also featured Red riders up in the top five as Canter, Cornell, and Rubinate finished third, fourth, and fifth respectively.
In the other half of the open flat draw, Orecki whipped out another strong performance with a second place finish.
The Intermediate Flat event featured more Red riders. Christie Schnecker dropped in a solid fifth place showing. Jeannette Pettit and Olexy finished first and third, respectively, on their half of the draw.
In the last event of the show, Advanced Walk-Trot-Canter, senior Stacy McGlashan and sophomore Mari Waterman corralled third and fifth place, respectively.
From all of these performances, the Red qualified seven girls in 11 divisions for the Regional Championships. To add to the Big Red logjam at the top, several of the riders are just a few points away from qualifying.
Three of the top five riders in the region are from Cornell. Canter is second, Orecki is third, and Kate Cornell is fifth. Furthermore, only three points separate the top three riders.
“This point deficit is easy to make up with the way that points are distributed in each event,” said Orecki.
The action is getting tense, as the Red looks to overtake Skidmore in the overall regional team standings for first place in the region. Two weeks from now, a meet at Skidmore will determine the riders’ fate, as an automatic bid for nationals is up for grabs.
The winner of the Cacchione Cup, representative of the Zone 2, Region 3 champion, will capture the ticket.
Archived article by Donald Lee