The equestrian team this year appears to be one of the strongest squads in recent memory. Head coach Chris Mitchell Mitchell indicated that, “the team this year has the talent to get to the nationals. In my three years of coaching here, it is the strongest it has ever been, throughout all the divisions.”
The Red this year is a balanced mix of veterans and newcomers, returning 15 riders and welcoming 15.
“The veterans returning are a solid, talented bunch, and the rookies are fitting in nicely. One couldn’t ask for a better riding ability from them,” said Mitchell.
The team will be led in the open division (where the most experienced riders compete) by senior tri-captains Julie Canter, Zoe Orecki and Helen O’Brien. All are four-year members of the team.
Canter and Orecki are both coming off exceptional seasons. They finished tied for second place in the region last year, earning reserve high point honors for the season. Canter went on to compete in the zones, placing fourth in the open fences. She was also third on the more difficult challenge of the Caccione Cup, which involves both jumping and flat work.
Fellow senior Stacey Olexy, who recently moved up from the intermediate division, will join the two captains in the open division. Juniors Kate Cornell and Megan Dines will give the Red more depth in the open division and provide leadership for the team in the future, as the graduating seniors look to hand down the reins of the still young program.
First year members, sophomore Kieva Iscol, and freshman Kate Jackson round out the members in the open division.
The intermediate division also looks to be very strong. It is composed of junior Dawn Greenberg, a three year member of the team, sophomores Jeanette Pettit and Noelle Battle, both two year members, and freshmen Kate Reynolds and Erica Rosen.
The novice division will be made up of senior Nicole Bowen, junior Arianna Tunsky-Brashich, sophomore Alaina Hoffman and freshman Julie Pech.
Making up the advanced walk-trot division are junior Sarah Cohen, sophomores Elizabeth Rach, Emi Knafo, and Eva Conant, and freshman Jean Nebaser.
The Beginner Walk class will have sophomores Lindsey Campell and Bonnie Arzuaga.
The Walk Trot squad is made up of senior Patty Kahwaty, who is on the verge of moving up to the next level, and freshmen Kimberly Huppe, Erin Goodrich and Linda Nguyen.
The Red is hoping this year for a bid to nationals. To get there, the Red will first need to win the region in which it competes in order to advance to the Zonal championships. With a good finish at Zones, it can get to Nationals. Skidmore, which has traditionally been a dominant squad will be the Red’s greatest challenge this year. The Red team hopes to usurp Skidmore’s hold in the region.
Archived article by Chris Callanan