November 12, 2008

Equestrian Hosts Show, Takes Third

Print More

The equestrian team put forth a solid effort this past weekend, as it played host to the Cornell Show on Sunday afternoon. The Red managed 37 points, which placed them third behind Skidmore (47) and Colgate (40). Rounding out the standings were Hartwick (31), Morrisville (19), Hamilton (16), Elmira (13), Albany (11) and RPI (6).
“I’m very proud of the girls,” said head coach Chris Mitchell. “It’s very hard to run a horse show and participate in it as well, since we do all the work.”
Indeed, the preparation and show itself proved a grueling, two-day affair. The team arrived at the barn at 3 p.m. on Saturday, and remained there until 8:30 p.m. The riders were back early the following day at 6 a.m., and didn’t get out until over 12 hours later, well after all the other teams had departed.
“It’s a really intense weekend, but it’s also a huge team bonding experience,” said senior tri-captain Dana Kendrick.
The week-long preparation process also provides ample opportunity for bonding with the Red’s “other” teammates — the horses.[img_assist|nid=33502|title=Holding the reins|desc=Junior Zoe Samuel scans the Oxley Equestrian Center.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“We each have our own horse to make pretty,” said Kendrick.
Such a procedure typically consists of clipping and cleaning, as well as ensuring that the horses are ready to compete on time.
The Red opened the day with a second-place finish by senior Jessica Bemis in the Open Fences class. Senior captains Caroline Shulman and Kendrick both finished third in their respective sections.
The first win of the day for the team belonged to sophomore Georgina Melbye, in Intermediate Fences. Finishing sixth was senior Candace Berne.
In Novice Fences, sophomores Kelsey Craig and Rachel Klion placed fifth and sixth, respectively. Klion would return to the ring after the lunch break to claim her first blue ribbon of the season, in Novice Flat.
“[Rachel] did a great job on the type of horse that she’s not used to…that was a really good ride for her,” said Mitchell.
In the Open Flat class, Bemis, Shulman and Kendrick went Nos. 3, 4 and 5, respectively. Junior Zoe Samuel claimed first place in Intermediate Flat, and was joined by Melbye in third. Placing second in advanced Walk-Trot-Canter was sophomore Morgan Broccoli, followed by senior Marie Ceranowicz in fourth.
Competing in only her second horse show ever, sophomore Scotty Weber took home the blue ribbon in her Walk-Trot class, ensuring that the Red closed out the day with a win.
“It was great,” said Weber, “I was a little nervous, but I just went out there and did everything that I’ve been practicing and it worked out…[the ride] was over before I knew it.”
Kendrick acknowledged that the Red “started out the day a little weaker than normal, but we came back fighting towards the end…the teammates in the afternoon really picked it up.”
With two shows now in the books, Mitchell praised his team’s consistency.
“At the Hartwick Show we rode really consistently — we finished up in second place behind Skidmore by three points. They are the perennial powerhouse in our region. … We traditionally do very well, but we have a hard time getting over that hump of beating them.”
While Mitchell would like to see the Red’s placing improve, “We don’t have any control over that,” he said.
He admitted that frustration is inevitable in any sport where order of finish is so heavily contingent upon another person’s judgment.
“When you have 18 people riding individually, to create a team atmosphere, you’re going to have errors, and that’s okay. … We just have to watch that we don’t get frustrated throughout the day and start to beat ourselves,” Mitchell said. “All we have control over is how well we prepare and how well we ride on that day.”
The equestrian team will be back in action this upcoming weekend, as it travels to Morrisville, P.A., for a two-day show.