April 22, 2008

Equestrian Team Finishes Second; Brown Ivy Champ

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The equestrian team’s season ended this weekend with the completion of the Ivy League Championships on Saturday at Oxley Equestrian Center in Ithaca.
Starting off the day slow, the Red came back to finish the day with strong performances, and ended up tying Dartmouth for the title of reserve champion with a score of 32 points. Brown walked away with the outright Ivy title with 37 overall points. Cornell had four of the eight individual champions and two reserve champions.
“We got off to a little bit of a slow start in the morning, and things didn’t quite go the way we wanted them to. I think overall people rode really well and were happy with their rides,” said junior tri-captain Caroline Schulman.[img_assist|nid=30113|title=Pony poise|desc=Senior tri-captain Dana Kendrick competes in the Ivy championships last weekend. She placed sixth in the open fences class, first in the open flats class and second in the open flat championships|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Every member of the Ivy League competed Saturday with the exception of Harvard. The top-6 finishers in each event went on to compete in a championship class event. Results from this class did not contribute to the total team points. The home location gave Cornell a slight advantage.
“We’re definitely more familiar with our horses which does give us a little bit of an advantage,” Schulman said, “but sometimes it can psych you out if you know the horse and you know you don’t ride it well. It kind of goes either way, sometimes it can be an advantage and sometimes it can be a disadvantage.”
The day started off rough for Schulman and fellow junior tri-captain Dana Kendrick in the first event, when both placed sixth in their class of open fences.
“I think it was partially my riding, and partially [the horse] being affected by previous riders,” Schulman said.
However, the two tri-captains came back strong later in the day. Kendrick won her open flat class, and also took the reserve place in the open flat championship. Schulman finished close behind, taking second in her class and third in the championship round.
The rest of the team showed impressive performances as well. Senior Lauren Wu won her novice flat class, and placed third in the championship. Sophomore Kim Pettit won the walk trot class, but placed fourth in the championship, while Ji Min Kim was event champion.
Many of the freshmen also demonstrated their rookie skills. In particular, Freshman Kelsey Craig, who had only jumped a few times in practice before she showed at the championships, won her novice fences class and went on to become novice fences champion.
In intermediate fences, freshman Georgina Melbye finished first in her class, and freshman Lauren Lavo placed third in walk trot cantor finishing first in the event.
While this weekend marked the end of a strong season for the team, the season will still continue for sophomore Zoe Samuel. Samuel is set to compete at the National Championships in May.