After a disappointing third place finish in last weekend’s Morrisville Tournament, Cornell’s riders find themselves 13 overall points and a season’s worth of bragging rights behind upstate archrival Skidmore. But with this weekend’s match, all that could change as the Red travels to face the Thoroughbreds in one of the team’s most important matches of the year.
“We were excited going into Morrisville, and we had the best open fences since I’ve been here,” said head coach Chris Mitchell. “It was a great thrill, and it kept going that way all morning, but then, in the afternoon, the judging was quite different and hard to follow. Most of the time, you know what the judges are looking for, but it was difficult to tweak each rider for the different judging.”
At Morrisville, Cornell’s equestrians took three out of four open fences classes. Led by senior co-captain Erica Rosen, who got the team’s first win of the day in that event and later took the open flat, the Red held Skidmore at bay temporarily, but could not pull off a victory in the end and eventually fell behind meet champion Skidmore and runner-up Ithaca.
“This weekend, there will be an entirely different set of judges, and the last two years, we’ve come away from Skidmore winning, and we hope to do that again this year,” Mitchell said. “Practice this week has been excellent. The riders are handling their horses well and executing their plans well.”
With a week of solid preparation under its belt and a new corps of judges to call the score, Mitchell and his riders think they stand a good chance of returning to Ithaca with a win and a first place ranking in the region.
“Skidmore is tough and well coached. They get more riding time on per week than we do. They ride four to five times. We ride two or three times at most,” Mitchell said. “But if we win, we’ll have a huge momentum swing heading into the second half of our season.”
Archived article by Everett Hullverson
Sun Assistant Sports Editor