Equestrian grabs 4th at champs

by Meredith Hartley | 5/1/03 5:00am

Dartmouth Equestrian placed fourth in the Ivy League Championship show held last Sunday at Cornell. Dartmouth finished only two points behind third-place Princeton, while Cornell had a home victory followed by Brown in second place.

"I was really happy with Dartmouth's performance at the All-Ivy," captain Lindsay Clayton '04 said. "Everyone really came together, had a lot of fun and competed well."

Excellent individual performances included first-place finishes by Janelle Moerlein '06 and Hannah Haynie '03 in different heats of walk/trot/canter.

Sara Glazer '04 in open fences, Elyssa Gelmann '06 in novice fences and flat and Christina Buchter '03 in walk/trot/canter earned second-place finishes in their heats.

"I feel like I have improved just within this spring season," Moerlein said. "At this last show, everything that [Coach Sally Batton] was attempting to drill into my head finally clicked."

All riders who placed in the top two in their heat advanced to a Championship round. Moerlein led the way placing second in the walk/trot/canter championship followed closely by a fifth-place finish by Buchter.

Gelmann also turned in solid performances in finishing third overall in novice flat and sixth in fences. Glazer took sixth overall in open fences.

"Since the All-Ivy was our last show, it was great to see both how much everyone's riding had improved and how well the team has come together," Moerlein said.

The team's improvement over the season is shown by the individual performances and the overall team spirit at the Cornell show. Dartmouth arrived at the show with green ribbons in their hair and mildly obnoxious posters.

"The All-Ivy is a particularly fun competition with teams pulling pranks and heckling each other," Clayton said. "The coach's class was a particular highlight."

In the Coach's class, the coach of each team completed a fences course on foot attired in unique clothing. Batton completed the course, but was disqualified for wearing an appropriated banner that read Cornell.

The 2002-2003 season has seen the addition of nine new riders and two new captains. The mixture of old and new riders of varying experience helped the team to come together as a group.

"The whole team is incredibly supportive," Gelmann said. "I have learned a lot from riding with the more advanced riders on the team and we definitely have the most fun at our shows."

Although lots of work is involved with practice and hosting horse shows, this young team has come together to work hard and have fun.

"Everyone, regardless of whether or not they were personally competing at the home shows, came, worked and supported those who were riding," Glazer said. "This feeling of camaraderie was just what Lindsay and I set out to create and I'm happy that we have achieved our goal."

Captains Clayton and Glazer and Coach Batton are looking forward to next year and will begin planning preseason and competition schedules for the fall. Meanwhile, the team looks forward to its annual banquet at the end of May and relaxed riding lessons for the remainder of the term.