November 18, 2008

Strong Second Day Helps Red Over Skidmore

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The equestrian team was hitting on all cylinders this past weekend, as it beat rival Skidmore to claim victory in the latter portion of Morrisville’s two-day show. The Red started the weekend by scoring 34 points on Saturday, which put the team in third place behind Skidmore (46) and Morrisville (39). However, the riders came back in dominating fashion on Sunday to beat their rivals to the east by five points and secure their first win of the season.
“We had a wonderful day,” said head coach Chris Mitchell, “Everybody rode so well, it was just a good day all-around.”
Senior tri-captain Caroline Shulman got things started for the Red with a first-place finish in the Open Fences class on Saturday. Fellow captains Heather Sherman and Dana Kendrick took third and sixth, respectively, in their sections.[img_assist|nid=33680|title=Nice posture|desc=A Cornell rider competes at the Oxley Equestrian Center on Nov. 9. After taking third place that weekend, the Red came in first at Morrisville last weekend.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“I was happy with how I rode,” said Shulman, who finished as high point rider of the day and went on to score 24 points out of a possible 28 for the weekend.
“It was definitely a good [two days]…I got good draws, and I think I rode well.”
Competing in her first IHSA show, freshman Lauren Bookbinder finished second in Intermediate Fences. She was joined by senior Candace Berne in fourth.
Both sophomore Kelsey Craig and freshman Justine Gentilini had strong showings and finished Nos. 2, 3, respectively, in Novice Fences.
Kendrick won her Open Flat class, while sophomore Emily Kenyon rode to a second-place finish. Shulman also placed first in her class, which put her in the high point ride-off. Senior Jessica Bemis, who also finished first in her Open Fences section, came back with a solid effort to claim fourth.
Sophomore Morgan Broccoli had a strong ride to claim second place in Advanced Walk/Trot/Canter, and junior Elizabeth Briggs, also competing in her first IHSA show, rode to a win in the beginner class.
In Walk/Trot, sophomore Scotty Weber put forth a great effort to finish second, ensuring a third-place finish for the Red on Saturday.
Alumni riders Elizabeth Kozakiewicz ’07 and Christine Garvey ’08 placed second and fifth, respectively, over fences, and went Nos. 4 and 5 on the flat.
Not only did the team duplicate its strong showing on Sunday, but the riders mounted a comeback that eventually propelled them to the five-point victory over Skidmore.
In Open Fences, Shulman and Kendrick came away with wins in their respective classes, and Bemis finished third.
In Novice Fences, Craig and Gentilini ensured that the team finished off the morning with a bang, placing first and third. This put the Red at 17 points going into the break –– an eight-point improvement from Saturday.
Rookie sophomore Mary Winans and classmate Rachel Klion both won their respective classes to sweep Novice Flat for the team.
Broccoli and Briggs also rode to wins in Advanced and Beginner Walk/Trot/Canter, putting the Red in a great position with one division remaining.
“Everyone rode to their potential,” said Kendrick, who scored 22 points out of a possible 28 over the course of the two days, “At the end of the day, it came down to the last class, with our Walk/Trotters.”
Another clutch ride from Weber, who had to deal with a horse chasing hers, guaranteed a first-place finish for the Red, as the team was able to accomplish something that it hadn’t done in over a year by beating Skidmore.
“We know how much effort we put in, and every week we almost get there, and this week we finally did it,” said Kendrick.
The complete order of finish for Sunday’s show was: Cornell (45), Skidmore (40), Morrisville (38), Hartwick (32), Binghamton and Cobleskill (30), Colgate and Oneonta (27), Ithaca (25), Hobart (24), Siena (22), Hamilton and Albany (19), Elmira (14) and RPI (7).
Mitchell credits the Red’s success to the team chemistry and character.
“The girls never gave up, they never thought they were out of it,” she said. “They were just fighting the whole way. … We finished up nine points better [Sunday] than [the day before]…it’s a huge improvement, and to top it we beat our arch nemesis.”
“Everyone has been riding really consistently and trying really hard at the shows and having a good attitude, and that’s definitely a big part,” added Shulman.