The equestrian team was engaged in a seesaw match with rival Skidmore on Saturday at the Hartwick Show, the final show of the regular season.
Unfortunately for Cornell, the Thoroughbreds managed to edge out the Red by a point — 39-38 — to claim the high point team for the show. Hartwick was third with 33, then Morrisville with 31, Cobleskill 29, Ithaca and Colgate with 26, Binghamton 14, Siena 6, and RPI 4. The victory gave the League Championship to Skidmore over Cornell by a slim margin of 16 points for the only spot that advances to Regionals.
“The match went back and forth all day,” said head coach Chris Mitchell.
The Red rallied from a three-point deficit at the break to go up by one, only to fall behind again when the last Skidmore rider won her class.
The day started off with senior tri-captain Zoe Oreki finishing fifth in the open fences. Fellow captain Julie Canter and junior Kate Cornell both finished sixth. Senior Helen O’Brien had a strong showing as well, finishing first in her class.
The squad also had a successful performance in the open flat. Canter led the team with a first place finish. Fellow captains O’Brien and Oreki finished third and fourth respectively. They were joined by Cornell who finished fourth, and sophomores Jeannette Pettit and Noelle Battle who finished sixth and reserve.
In the intermediate division, junior Nicole Bowen, led the squad in the fences, winning her class in her first time competing. Freshman Erica Rosen finished third in both the flat and fences, while fellow frosh Kate Reynolds also received a third place finish in the fences. Sophomore Alaina Hoffman also earned a third place finish in the flat.
Hoffman continued to have success with a first place finish in the novice fences. That placement allowed her to qualify for regionals. Freshman Gillian Pech added to Hoffman’s efforts with a third place finish in the novice fences. Junior Arianna Tunsky-Brashich and sophomore Eva Conant came out strong later, both collecting a first place finish in the novice flat.
Junior Becky Hermann and sophomore Emi Knafo both finished second in the advanced walk-trot-canter while in the beginner walk-trot-canter sophomore Erin Goodrich won her class. The walk-trot class rounded out a strong team effort on the day with freshman Linda Nguyen placing first and junior Kim Huppe placing fourth.
Though the Red was unable to catch Skidmore, its efforts are the best in recent memory. The deficit last year to Skidmore was over 80 points.
“We are very proud of the girls. We set a goal and we closed the gap. Finishing 16 points behind a school that has won several national championships is quite an accomplishment. It is two points a horse show. We never gave up on the whole year,” indicated Mitchell.
Cornell had three riders in the top ten: Canter was third, Oreki was sixth and O’Brien was seventh. The Red will be well represented at Regionals next weekend as they have 10 riders competing individually. Canter will compete in the open flat & fences while Oreki will ride in the open flat. Pettit and Battle will both look to advance in the intermediate flat & fences. Bowen will ride in novice fences and Hoffman will represent the Red in the novice flat & fences. Conant and Waterman will ride in the walk-trot-canter, while Kahwaty and Goodrich will ride in the walk-trot.
Archived article by Chris Callanan