November 29, 2012

2012 WINTER SUPP | Back on Track After Cornell Show

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After a rough start to the season, the Red has gained momentum after a strong showing at the Cornell show.The equestrian team had a rocky start to this season, struggling to match last year’s nearly undefeated record. While it has been difficult to adjust to the changes in its roster and coaching staff, the Red’s almost perfect victory at its home show two weeks ago gave the team a confidence boost  for the rest of the season.“We’re really confident now after the Cornell show that we can make up the point deficit and end up the regional champions,” said senior tri-captain Emily Kowalchik.The Red currently sits in third place in the region behind Alfred and Ithaca, according to Ko­walchik. There is only an eight point gap between the two teams. “I’m hoping that we can go ahead and win the rest of the horse shows as a team and that the girls will do well individually to qualify for the nationals,” head coach Todd Karn said.However, regional champion is not the only title that the squad is looking for this season. There is another competition, the Cacchione Cup, in which the team’s open riders compete against other individuals in the region. The rider who gets the most points during the season wins the Cup and goes on to nationals to compete in a special class against the other region’s Cacchione winners.“It’s the most prestigious award that an IHSA rider can achieve,” Karn said.  Last year, Bronwyn Scrivens ‘12 won the Cacchione Cup and rode to 11th place in the Cacchione class at nationals. At the moment, freshman Meridith Meyer, Kowalchik, and sophomore Georgiana de Rham are in second, third, and fourth places respectively in the Cacchione Cup competition.For Meyer, placing this high in the Cacchione during her first year on the team is a big achievement.“It’s really cool and unexpected,” she said.Meyer came to the team with a lot of previous experience. In high school she competed on the A circuit, which are high level horse shows. In terms of her chances of moving up in the Cacchione, Meyer said.“You never know,” she said. “I’m not saying it’s not possible but I won’t be too disappointed if I don’t because I still have three more years.”For de Rham, improving her riding skills means more to her.  “For me, it’s not really about the point standings or being the Cacchione rider,” she said. “I really care a lot about learning how to ride well and being consistent and effective on a horse.”Meyer, de Rham and Kowalchik are separated by only a few points.“This year has by far been the closest race between Cornell teammates,” Ko­walchik said. “At this point it’s hard because Maria van Buskirk from Ithaca ran away with the lead very early on. But we made a lot of headway at the Cornell show. We closed the gap [and] there is no longer anyone between her and Cornell riders.”Still, the Red is confident that it will go far as a team this season. The team plans to attend a Tour­nament of Cham­­pions in January, which will mean that it will have attended one more show than the rest of the region before the season starts up again. The last show before break falls on Dec. 8.“This is the first time that we’ve ever had a show in the mid­dle of exams so I don’t know how that will go, but I think … [the] general attitude is so much more positive after our huge win at the home show,” Kowal­chik said.After his first semester with the team, Karn is im­pressed by the team and the way that the season has been going. “It’s a real team effort and it’s nice to be a part of and nice to see.”

Original Author: Ariel Cooper