April 25, 2012

EQUESTRIAN | C.U. Finishes Show Season

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The show season came to an end Sunday for the equestrian team with a second place finish at the Ivy Show. The season started off strong — the Red was nearly undefeated and won its region — but the end was not quite what the team had been hoping for. However, the squad gave it its all and did what it could to perform to the best of its ability.

“It wasn’t a stellar day, but we did everything we could,” said head coach Chris Mitchell. “The results are disappointing but the way that they rode and the way that they handled themselves was not at all.”

Since there is no clear way to earn points in horseback riding, it is a very subjective sport. While the team rode well, its performance was not quite reflected in the results.

“There was a lot of great riding [but] we didn’t always agree with what the judge was thinking,” said senior co-captain Katie Fink. Mitchell also didn’t see eye-to-eye with the judge.

“It’s a completely different perspective [from] where the judge is sitting and where you’re sitting, so you could see something and the judge could miss it or visa versa,” said junior co-captain Emily Kowalchik.

“Our level of riding wasn’t reflected in the ribbons,” Fink said.

Despite the judging disagreements, the Red still managed to finish second as a team. The squad scored a total of 38 points, falling eight points behind Brown but 12 points ahead of Dartmouth.

“It was pretty wide at the top,” Kowalchik said. “We definitely got second; it wasn’t close.”

Brown will be competing at nationals as a team, so it was certainly a tough competitor.

“It feels better to be beat by a team like that,” said Kowalchik. Still, it has been three years since Cornell has won the Ivy Show.

This year, the Ivy Show was co-hosted by Yale and Columbia at Yale’s home barn in Connecticut. Typically, the host team has a slight advantage because it knows the horses better than its competitors. Yet this did not seem to help Yale, according to Kowalchik. The squad came in fifth place with a score of 21 points.

The show was a milestone for sophomore Grace Bradshaw and senior Caroline Rusk. Both competed in new divisions for the first time — Bradshaw in novice flat and Rusk in open fences. Bradshaw won her class, while Rusk placed sixth. The Red also had five reserve champions.

“I’m very proud of the girls for the way they stuck together and kept going with a smile on their face[s],” said Mitchell.

“I think we went in with a positive attitude and we kept that up all day even though the results weren’t what we wanted,” echoed Fink.

The Ivy Show was the Red’s last opportunity to show as a team. All that remains is nationals in Raleigh, N.C., which will take place next week. Only senior Bronwyn Scrivens and freshman Georgiana de Rham qualified to compete. For the rest of the team, this season has come to a close.

“It was a disappointing end because it was our last show as a whole team,” said Kowalchik. “It was kind of the same feeling as zones … we were doing our best and we were riding well and we just couldn’t catch a break.”

Although the result wasn’t what the team had hoped for, there are no bitter feelings.

“I’m very proud of every one of them,” said Mitchell. “It was a great team effort

Original Author: Ariel Cooper