Cornell equestrian gelded the competition in its double header at Rochester Institute of Technology over the weekend, securing two High Point team titles in what was the team’s first taste of competition in over a year.
Multiple riders secured wins in their respective classes, including both co-captains, seniors Talia Aley and Anjali Velu.
The Red secured five individual victories in the first day of action.
Senior Tara Tremmel won the limit fences class, finishing the day tied for the Reserve High Point Rider title.
Co-captain Talia Aley pointed out of her pre novice class, moving up to novice on Sunday.
Junior Katherine Phillipp won the limit fences title, and junior Ashley Ardila took the introductory title.
Day two of shows featured 11 top-three finishes for Cornell on its way to clinching back-to-back High Point team titles. Ardila was the only rider from the Red to manage victories in both days of competition.
Aley said the team was happy with the results over the weekend.
“A lot of people were very anticipatory since it had been such a long time,” Aley said. “Getting this first weekend under our belt was a great success. ”
The equestrian team was just one of the many Cornell sports teams halted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Aley said that while competition was completely shut down, the year also gave the team a chance to build morale.
Being named captain in a year without competition put her in a unique position.
“I had to step up in different ways last year,” Aley said.
All of the responsibilities that come with being on the equestrian team still needed to be filled without the payoff of winning competitions.
She also explained that both experienced riders as well as rookies stepped up to fill leadership roles on the team, often referred to as team jobs — essential for ensuring the team continues to operate smoothly.
Aley also emphasized that the diversity of the team plays to their advantage, and that everyone stepped up regardless of their experience or circumstance.
“What’s unique about the equestrian team is that there are people of all backgrounds,” Aley said. “I really do love all my teammates.”
The equestrian team will look to extend its winning streak this weekend at its home show, which will take place at the Oxley Equestrian Center on Sunday.