After a two month hiatus, the equestrian team will begin the second half of its season this weekend, as it travels to Saratoga Springs, NY to partake in the second Skidmore show of the season.
Cornell is coming off a strong first half of the season, the highlight being a tie at the first Skidmore show.
“Our season has been very promising, very successful so far,” said head coach Chris Mitchell. “Every last member of the team is committed towards nationals.”
The Red currently finds itself in second place in the division.
Archrival Skidmore currently sits atop the league, leading the Red by 17 points. With four shows to go before regionals, Cornell will need to be at its best in this show and the next three to be able to overtake Skidmore for the only berth to the zone championships.
“At this point the deficit can definitely be overcome, if we continue to ride well,” senior captain Julie Canter remarked.
Interestingly enough, the Red finds itself in a situation similar to last year, where the Red trailed Skidmore by 14 points after the break.
“We were 14 points behind last year, and we let it slip away. This year we are not going to let that happen. We are more mentally prepared and a stronger, deeper team this time around,” proclaimed Mitchell.
The Red has done a lot to prepare for the Skidmore show. Some members of the team came back early from break to ride, and the whole team has been practicing hard since the first week of classes.
As Mitchell remarked, “We are definitely recharged.”
The Red will look to senior tri-captains Julie Canter, Zoe Oreki, and Helen O’Brien to lead it in the open division. Canter and Oreki, who usually trade off as the point rider in the open division have been consistently at or near the top in the open fences and flat division. Oreki has three top-place finishes in open fences and four in the open flat. Canter is not far behind, claiming two top-place finishes in the open fences and three in the open flat. O’Brien and junior Kate Cornell have also been solid, each collecting several high finishes
In the intermediate division, Cornell already has two riders; sophomores Noelle Battle and Jeanette Pettit qualify for regionals in both intermediate flat and intermediate fences. With these two already qualified, the Red will turn to freshman Kate Reynolds and Erica Rosen to act as point rider in intermediate fences and intermediate flat.
In the novice division, Junior Arianna Tunsky-Braschich has been a top point rider for the Red in most shows, taking first in the novice flat and novice fences twice this year. Junior Alaina Hoffman has also ridden well in the division, claiming first place twice in the novice flat and once in the novice fences.
In the advanced walk trot canter, sophomores Eva Conant and Emi Knafo have been the top riders, while in the beginner walk trot canter, sophomore Lindsay Campbell, has generally represented Cornell. Finally, in the walk trot, sophomore Erin Goodrich has done most of the riding for Cornell so far.
The Red will need a strong performance from everyone this weekend to gain ground on Skidmore.
As Mitchell said of his team’s outlook, “We are quite ready for the show. We have been preparing, studying and focusing. Now, we are ready to get it done.”
Archived article by Andrew Bernie