By ANNA JOHNSON
The horses are not the only ones chomping at the bit this week as the Cornell equestrian team prepares for the first home show of the season. This Sunday, Feb. 16, the Red hosts the Cornell Show on its own turf, and the riders as well as the horses will enjoy home-field advantage.
Last year, the team rode to victory by winning almost every single class. This year, the Red leads its region by approximately 23 points, and hopes for a repeat performance.
“Typically we do pretty well at our home show because we have ‘home team’ advantage and know our horses well,” said junior co-captain Georgiana de Rham.
The home show also comes with the price of extra preparation.
“The night before the show, we spend six hours setting everything up in the barn. At the show … we don’t sit down from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s a lot of time and energy and organization for us,” said junior co-captain Sofia Steinberger. “We’re at a little bit of an advantage.”
While the Red enjoyed success on its home turf last year, fall semester’s narrow loss gave the team extra motivation to claim its victory this coming weekend. After weeks of grueling 6 a.m. practices in subzero temperatures, the team is prepared to do what it takes.
“Our commitment and work ethic has been tested by our 6 a.m. practices in frigid weather,” said freshman Chelsea Huss. “I think that the perseverance has been proven by the results of all of our shows, as the team is currently leading the region.”
Practice makes perfect, and the Red has been fine-tuning its performance, streamlining flow and minimizing the chance of any slip-ups that could jeopardize a victory.
“In practice, it’s a lot of keeping ourselves accountable and making sure our basics are ready. … Everyone is really supportive of each other,” Steinberger said. “We don’t want to not win because we made a mistake. We make sure we have everything prepared.”
In equestrian especially, winning is in the details.
“The team approaches each practice with an open mind and resolve to not only correct mistakes in each rider, but the horses as well,” Huss said. “Consistency is one of the most important factors that the team focuses on during each and every competition. Every rider and every point matters, so for both the short and long term, the team is developing and fostering a talent that will be unrivaled each and every show.”
Andy Johnson/Sun Staff PhotographerHurdling onwards | Junior co-captain Georgia de Rahm, along with the rest of the Equestrian team, has been practicing hard and organizing for Cornell’s first home show of the season.