They say there is a first time for everything.
In a weekend of many firsts for the equestrian program, the Cornell riders defied inexperience as the team posted a solid showing at the Zonal Championships in Cazenovia, N.Y. The squad had never been invited to the tournament before.
Senior Missy Potter who has guided the Red’s renaissance this season had a dazzling performance in the walk-trot canter division, capturing a bid to the National Championships. She is the first from East Hill to garner a ticket to the competition.
“She was en fuego,” head coach Chris Mitchell praised.
“It was pretty amazing, I didn’t know what to expect,” added Potter.
Cornell placed fourth in the Miller Cup bracket, finishing behind three former national champions.
“We were in pretty good company,” Mitchell noted.
In another first, the Red managed to finish ahead of regional foe Skidmore. The Thoroughbreds have had Cornell’s number this season, and the win was the riders’ first against the school in recent memory.
“It was incredibly exciting. This was the best season we have ever had,” senior Brooke Hafets said.
For the veteran, finishing ahead of Skidmore was particularly gratifying.
“Beating Skidmore was the best part of the day. We knew could do it all season,” Hafets noted.
Potter’s honor should help continue to fuel the growth of the program which Mitchell has resurrected in his first two years in Ithaca.
“It shows we are not to be taken lightly,” Potter observed.
Mitchell sees rising expectations for the team following last Saturday’s competition. He reported that several riders proclaimed that a similar finish next year would be unacceptable.
Hafets sees great potential for the future.
She particularly praised the effort of freshman Jeannette Pettit, who finished second in the intermediate fences.
“[The seniors] were a huge part of the success but there is a lot of talent waiting in the wings,” Hafets stated.
Archived article by Gary Schueller