The Cornell equestrian team wrapped up its regular season on Saturday placing fourth at the Skidmore Invitational. This finish placed the squad second in the region, an improvement upon last year’s fourth place finish.
Although as a team the Red did not finish as high as it had hoped, individually many Cornell riders placed in the top positions.
Finishing second in the walk/trot category were sophomores Bonnie Arzuaga and Patty Kahwaty. This finish qualified Arzuaga for the regional competition.
Head coach Chris Mitchell praised Arzuaga stating, “[We] feel that this is an amazing accomplishment, because she just started showing this year. To go into a competition having never shown before, that says a lot about a student.”
Fellow sophomore Mari Waterman also placed second in her event, the advanced walk/trot/canter, while classmate Kate Cornell won the open flat class. This finish also qualified her for the regional competition.
The highlight of the day though, had to be the impressive finish of the seniors. Leading the way was Christie Schneckner who won both of her classes in the intermediate division and was the Reserved High Point rider of the day.
Mitchell praised Schneckner stating, “It was a great way to end her career. This was the first time that she was eligible for the ride off.”
Also winning both of her classes in the novice division and qualifying herself for the ride off was senior Melissa Potter.
Mitchell stated, “They [Potter and Schneckner] both had outstanding days, right on top of their games. It was a great way to end their undergraduate careers.”
Mitchell praised all of his ten seniors, acknowledging their wonderful contributions.
“We are going to miss the seniors next year, all of them are wonderful team members and great contributors. The captains [senior] Brooke [Hafets] and [senior] Laura [Rubinate] have been wonderful… But they are leaving us in a good position to continue our quest for the regional championship with a strong group returning. We are just both very proud of this team.”
Up next for the team is the regional championships this weekend at Skidmore. Nine Cornell riders qualified for the event. They are juniors Julie Canter, Zoe Orecki and Stacey Olexy, seniors Kristen Conner and Christen Wakeley, sophomore Dawn Greenberg, Potter, Cornell and Arzuaga.
Archived article by Kristen Haunss