November 11, 2003

Equestrian Claims First Place in Hartwick Show

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The Red equestrian team came home from the Hartwick show on Sunday with the victory it was looking for.

“We are off to the best start in school history,” said head coach Chris Mitchell.

Cornell accumulated 43 points in the different events of the show, edging rival Skidmore by three points. Cornell was first in a field of 11 schools.

“The girls did an excellent job of keeping focus,” Mitchell said. “It came down to the last rider. Everyone contributed.”

The first category of competition was the open, or the most advanced level. Junior co-captain Erica Rosen started the Red off with a third-place finish in her section of the open fences competition. Junior Samara Ringer, in her first year of competition, followed up with a third-place showing in her section of the same event. Sophomore Angie Barclay earned a fourth-place finish in another section. The point rider for this event, or the rider who competed to earn points for Cornell’s overall standing, was sophomore Asta Torkvei. She got the Red ahead early by coming in first in her section.

In the intermediate fences event, senior Alaina Hoffman rode to a fifth-place finish. Point rider junior Gillian Pech earned another individual first place finish for the Red with her performance in this category.

The last fences event was at the novice level. Senior Eva Conant earned second place in her section. Sophomore Mary Slocum also had a strong ride, finishing in sixth place. Point rider freshman Laura Acker was competing for the first time in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and earned a second-place finish in her debut.

The next series of events began with the open riders in the flats event. In the open category, Rosen moved up in the standings to finish second in her section. Barclay placed fourth in a different section. Senior co-captain Jeannette Petit also finished well for the Red, finishing in fifth place for her section. Point rider Torkvei finished third to earn more points for the Red.

The Red was successful in the intermediate flats, with Hoffman finishing second. This earned her enough points to become the Red’s first Regional Qualifier of the year. When a rider earns a total of 35 points in a category, she moves up to the next level. Hoffman now moves up to the open category of competition. Also in this category, point rider Pech earned another first-place finish, becoming the Red’s high point rider for the competition.

In novice flats, Slocum was fourth and Conant fifth in their respective sections. Acker finished fifth to earn overall points for the Red.

In the walk-trot-canter division juniors Linda Nguyen and Caitlin O’Shea earned second place, with O’Shea scoring for the Red. In the walk-trot division, senior Jes Enes earned a second-place finish.

“We have never won our first show,” said Mitchell. “And we have never scored so many points at our first show.”

The Red will look to continue its success next weekend at the Morrisville show in Morrisville, New York.

“We’re going to stay on course and take it one week at a time,” Mitchell said. “They do an excellent job of keeping focus.”

Archived article by Olivia Dwyer