Mount Holyoke College Equestrian – Last Home Show of the Season
By Clara Tate
On March 2, the Mount Holyoke Equestrian team hosted their final home show of the regular IHSA season.
Preparations for the show began Friday afternoon with the entire team convening at the barn to begin the daunting task of “home show set up.” Hosting a regional IHSA show is no walk in the park, as it takes the efforts of all team members to orchestrate and host a show for seven regional teams. Despite the frigid weather on Saturday, spirits remained high as the team worked together to tackle the many tasks, which include scrubbing white horse legs, combing sleek tails, perfecting the colorful prize table and moving heavy bleachers.
The Lyons started off the day strong in open fences with senior Allison O’Neill and junior Felicia Harrsch both earning second place, sophomore Heather Zadra earning third place, and juniors Lexie Lohrer and Ella Pittman earning fourth and fifth place, respectively. Intermediate fences followed with a first place win to junior Emily Denisco, second place went to senior Clara Tate, third place went to sophomore Abigayle Raucher, fourth place went to both junior and captain Flynn Vickowski and senior Morgan Cooley, fifth place went to sophomore Madeline Shortt and sixth place went to sophomores Erinn Lew and Maura Zaldonis. Novice fences concluded the jumping portion of the day with a first place win to sophomore Claire Herlin, followed by Catherine Borgins in second place, Tahlia Hodes in fourth place, senior Isabelle McGovern and sophomore Jessica Murray in fifth place, senior Jessica Law in sixth place and junior Sarah Clinchy in reserve honors.
After the jumps were cleared and the arena was dragged, there was a brief hiatus to recognize the seniors of each collegiate team. The seniors on the MHC Equestrian team- Morgan Cooley, Paulina Erni, Jessica Law, So Jin Lee, Isabelle McGovern, Allison O’Neill and Clara Tate, all linked arms and brushed away tears as they were individually recognized and received flowers and hugs from Coach CJ Law and their teammates. Coach Law contributed, “It is a happy time to see how far my group of seniors have progressed and improved over the years. They will continue to improve and make a mark in life. These wonderful women have a great attitude of excellence in many ways and it will take them far! I will miss these students and especially having my oldest daughter, Jessica Law, on the Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Team.”
After the senior ceremony, open flat began with second place going to both Lexie Lohrer and Claire Herlin, third to Felicia Harrsch, fourth to Nell Maynard, and sixth to Allison O’Neill. MHC was extremely successful in the Beginner Walk Trot Canter and Walk Trot Canter divisions. Senior So Jin Lee won her class, followed by wins from sophomore Samantha Stone and freshman Suyin Tauton. Sophomore Kathleen Kelly received second place and first year Jackie Azelby and senior Paulina Erni received third places. MHC had strong performances in novice flat, with wins from Catherine Borgnis, Anne Waldo, and Jessica Law. Tahlia Hodes took second, followed by Tilar Martin and Emily Denisco, who received third, fifth to Sarah Clinchy and reserve honors to Erinn Lew. Morgan Cooley and Clara Tate won their sections of intermediate flat, which was followed by Heather Zadra in second, Flynn Vickowski in fourth, and Olivia Barry and Isabelle McGovern receiving reserve honors. Walk Trot concluded the day with sophomores Katie Knutson and Maneh Kotikian earning second place and sophomore Phyu-Sin Than earning sixth in her first ever IHSA show.
MHC came out victorious at the end of the day as they received high Point College with 38 points. Captain Flynn Vickowski was all smiles, “It’s always great to see our team working together to put on a successful home show and it’s even better to see them win while doing it. On the other hand, it was both exciting and sad to honor yet another year of seniors at their final home show celebrating their involvement with the IHSA”.
Smith College received Reserve High Point college with 32 points, followed by University of Massachusetts Amherst with 25 points, Amherst College with 25 points, Springfield College with 24 points, Williams College with 16 points, and Hampshire College with 13 points. All teams will meet again next week for the final regional show of the season!