March 4, 2005

Cornell Equestrian Looks To Play Catch Up With Skidmore

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The equestrian team’s goal of edging out rival Skidmore still remains in reach despite there being only two shows remaining in team competition. Tomorrow marks a great opportunity for the Red to make up ground, as it travels to Morrisville.

“We have two shows left and we have to try and lower the deficit from Skidmore,” said head coach Chris Mitchell. “We sit comfortably at number two overall, but we want to close the gap.”

After a un-Cornell like performance at last Sunday’s home show, the lady riders now find themselves refocused and poised to make a run for the regional title. Last Sunday’s home show, hosted at the Oxley Equestrian Center, watched the equestriennes finish third with 32 points behind first place Skidmore (49) and second place Morrisville (38).

Although the team standings found Skidmore widening its overall lead over Cornell, individuals such as senior Shannon Michaels, junior Megan Gates, and sophomore Julianne Porter all qualified for regionals at the home show. Michaels qualified for regionals with a third place finish in advanced walk-trot-canter. Gates impressed, as she won her class in open gates and Porter also assured herself a regional qualifying birth with a win in walk-trot.

Tomorrow’s Morrisville show should also feature some more individual Red achievements. Seniors Erica Rosen and Samara Ringer need only one point to qualify for regionals, which is set to take place April 2 in Saratoga Springs. Rosen and Ringer both compete in open flat, which is the highest level of equestrian competition.

The trio of Rosen, Ringer, and Gates are all making strides in qualifying for regionals in hope to make it on to zone championships, and then possibly to nationals, where they hope to contend for the Cucchione Cup, which is awarded to the nation’s top individual rider.

“You need 28 points to qualify and I need just one point in jumping,” Ringer said, who has been riding since she was eight.

With the addition of both Ringer and Rosen to the list of regional qualifiers, Cornell would claim nine spots.

The other qualifiers include Lindsey Boutote, Gillian Pech, Laura Acker and Rita Mizrahi. Although the equestrian team consists of many accomplished individuals, the team title is what they are after.

Mitchell spoke highly of his riders, stating that they are, “very solid, been working very hard, will refocus and regroup to finish on a high note.”

With a strong team lead by senior captains Rosen and Pech, the team knows the importance of March’s stretch run and its effects on the team standings.

Archived article by Tim Kuhls
Sun Contributor