Riding in its first IHSA show of the season at Hartwick Invitational on Saturday, the equestrian team braved the elements, winning six classes and finishing as reserve champions with a team total of 41 points at the show. Cornell finished just four points behind invite winner, Skidmore, and six points ahead of third-place Binghamton.
“I just kept telling the girls, the horses are the horses. … We have to go our there and get the job done,” said head coach Chris Mitchell. “The mix of rookies and veterans that we had at the horseshow worked out really well.”
[img_assist|nid=19296|title=Best in show|desc=Cornell took first place in six classes at the Hartwick Invitational on Saturday. (Eric Safstrom / Sun Senior Photographer)|link=popup|align=left|width=66|height=100]
Competing against a field of 12 teams, Cornell finished its morning rides in the middle of the pack in terms of points. However, the Red came out strong in the afternoon, putting together an impressive team performance in the flats divisions to climb up the leader board into its final second-place position.
“Going into the afternoon, I felt confident that we weren’t out of the picture,” Mitchel said. “We always finish up strong. Our flat work is extremely strong. I’d put [our riders] up against anyone, and I did that yesterday and they came up big.”
Leading the way for the Red was sophomore Caroline Shulman who won both her classes in intermediate flats and fences. Taking home reserve high-point rider of the day honors, Shulman’s victory in the intermediate fences also qualified her for the regional championships in March. Also joining Shulman at regionals will be senior Caitlin Kontak, who gave Cornell a much-needed seven points with her win in advanced walk-trot-canter.
“Caitlin came in and did exactly what I brought her for,” Mitchell said. “Caitlin qualified for regionals and she’s going to be strong there. She’s going to be a contender.”
Riding in her first IHSA show for the Red, junior Anna Flam took second place in her novice flats class, while juniors Kendall Banks and Christine Garvey both took first place in their novice flats classes.
Freshman Kimberly Brodie picked up seven points in her first IHSA show, taking home first for her intermediate fences class.
The invitational also provided a first for senior tri-captain Laura Acker, who made her first appearance in the open fences division, turning in a solid third-place finish.
“The transition from intermediate to open is big and she’s ready for it,” Mitchell said. “She’s been working very hard in practice at it. She really wants to do well and it shows in her dedication and her pursuit.”
Cornell will now take a week off to rest and prepare for the Nov. 12 Cornell Invitational.