Smith Equestrian Rides into Regional Competition
Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 20:04
Nine members of the Smith Equestrian Team competed at the Regional Championships held at UMass-Amherst on Saturday, March 31, and three Smith alumnae from the team qualified for places in the Zone Finals to be held at Mount Holyoke this week.
The team received several awards in the alumni division. Clare Humphreys ’02 earned Champion in Alumni Equitation Over Fences as well as Reserve Champion on the Flat. Lizzy Jacobson, who is the Assistant Coach of the team, received Champion on the Flat. Sara Sandstrom, a Residential Life Area Coordinator, earned Reserve Champion Over Fences.
Joanna Winkler ’12 earned fourth place in Walk, Trot and Canter, the day’s largest class of 14 riders, followed by Madeline Smart ’12 in seventh place. Willa Neal ’14 secured the fifth place in the Novice Equitation, which included 11 participant riders.
While Ellen Margolis ’12 came in fourth in Walk-Trot, Nicole Haseltine ’13 was fifth in Open Equitation Over Fences and Lucy McAullife ’12 and Caitlin Hunter ’13 were fourth and fifth respectively in the Intermediate Equitation.
Jacobson was pleased by the team’s overall performance. “Riding at Regionals is competitive and it is great to test your skills against some of the best riders in our region,” she said.
When asked about the team’s preparations, Jacobson spoke about the team’s practice techniques and strategies and the effort that was put in before the competition, both by the team and by the coaches.
“To prepare, I reviewed the various tests that may be asked of riders in addition to riding as I normally would throughout the week,” she said. “Riding various horses is a very important part of competing in the IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association), therefore practicing on different horses helps you learn to adapt to the horse you have to compete on. As a rider, you have to listen to what your horse is telling you and try to make them happy while keeping your position correct and riding effectively. Smith’s riders performed well and we were very proud of everyone.”
The previous tournament, held at Amherst College, saw Smith walk – or rather, ride – away with six first place ribbons and nine third place ribbons.
The team will face its next challenge at the upcoming Zone Finals. Looking ahead, Jacobson said that “preparing for Zones is much like preparing for Regionals in that I will ride as many horses as I can and practice without my stirrup irons.”
“As the Assistant Coach, I am especially proud of the Walk-Trot riders and the team as a whole. It was a great season for us!”
The Zone Finals will take place on Saturday, April 7 at Mount Holyoke College.