The equestrian team came in second place in its first home show of the semester on Sunday at the Oxley Equestrian Center. The Red, who earned a total score of 41 points, lost by a narrow margin of four points to eight-time Regional champion Skidmore, who finished with 45 points overall. Binghamton came in third place with 37 points, while Hartwick and Morrisville both earned 35 points and tied for fourth.
Although the Red was hoping for a victory, head coach Chris Mitchell stated in an e-mail that he was very pleased with the results. The Red managed to stay tied with Skidmore for the majority of the competition, with the Thoroughbreds only pulling in front at the last minute. This was also the first time the Red has broken the 40-point barrier this season.
“The girls rode great all day and we were neck and neck with Skidmore all day,” Mitchell stated. “I mean, I cannot remember a day when it stayed tied that long.”
The Red started off the morning with the open fence division. Senior Brooke Cagwin took second place, while classmate Nicole Finazzo took third. Senior Heather Sherman came in fifth overall. Finazzo and Cagwin also competed in the open flat event where they earned fourth and first, respectively.
Next came the intermediate fence division, in which the home team impressed its fans with a Cornell sweep. Junior Kelsey Craig, sophomore Katie Fink and freshman Emily Webster all took home blue ribbons, keeping the Red in close standing with the Thoroughbreds.
Sophomore Caroline Rusk also earned first in her division (novice fences), with teammate Mary Winons taking third. Freshman Justine Gentillini earned fourth place but qualified for Regionals in this event.
As of now, other Cornell riders already qualified for Regionals are senior Zoe Samuel in the intermediate flat, junior Morgan Broccoli in walk-trot-canter, and sophomores Charmaine Tan in walk-trot and Katie Fink in novice fences.
In the intermediate flat event, freshman Emily Webster earned second place while teammate Kelsey Craig became High Point Rider of the Day with her first place performance. Caroline Rusk tied for High Point Rider after earning first place in the novice flat division.
Mitchell acknowledged the team’s success, attributing much of it to Cornell’s fans.
“The girls did great and what a turnout we had to support us,” Mitchell stated. “I think one of the reasons that we did so well was because of the support we had all day.”
The Red will be back in action next Saturday, February 27th, for a rematch as it hopes to beat the Thoroughbreds on their own turf at the Van Lennep Riding Center in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Original Author: Katie Schubauer