Big Green riders collect five blue ribbons
Dartmouth equestrian pulled out another strong performance Saturday at Colby-Sawyer riding to a co-champion finish with their main rival, the University of Vermont. Dartmouth is only two points behind UVM in the overall season standings, the closest competition that UVM has faced in four years.
"I think the numbers speak for themselves," said Daisy Freund '08. "We came out of nowhere so fast, UVM's heads are spinning. I'm sure that the pressure will only make them work harder. The way we've been riding hasn't been a fluke. It is representative of how we will continue to do, which is obviously good enough to make UVM nervous."
Dartmouth riders had strong individual performances with five first-place and three second-place finishes. Blue ribbon winners include B.R. King '08 in intermediate fences, Abby Donahue '06 in novice fences, Annie Trumpold '05 in novice flat, Tami Martin '08 in novice flat and Mitzi Huang '05 in walk/trot.
King was pleased with his ride. "The horse suited my style of riding and I was able to have a nice flowing round for the first time in IHSA competition. I felt when I came out of the ring that it had been my best round this year and I'm just psyched that it was enough to win."
Trumpold also commented on her ride, saying, "I've been struggling with my flat classes this year. My rides have felt pretty good, but the results haven't matched that. On Saturday, I didn't think my ride was as impressive, but the judge thought differently."
Riding on Dartmouth's equestrian team can often be a new type of riding for students who have never competed in equitation classes before. Trumpold had ridden mostly dressage before joining the team her freshman year.
"When I joined the team my freshman year, my riding style was almost opposite what it should be to win in IHSA shows," said Trumpold. "I've since learned to adapt my riding to the situation. I think I've also improved as far as riding a variety of horses, a skill that's crucial to riding in IHSA shows."
Other riders placed strongly, winning second-place ribbons in their respective classes. Daisy Freund '08 placed second in both open fences and open flat, Tim Malone '07 earned second in open fences, as did Taylor Smith '06 in intermediate flat.
Freund placed second in both of her classes to the reigning open champion of Dartmouth's region, UVM's John Pigott. Pigott has competed at the National IHSA competition for the last three years with great success.
"It's nice to have someone to work up to, and I enjoy the competition," said Freund. "I'm hoping that the judges won't get stuck in the comfortable pattern of having him win everything. If and when I ride my best and he doesn't, I would like for that to be rewarded. I was nipping at his heels on Saturday, so I don't think it's too much of a stretch."
Other achievements on Saturday include three riders earning enough points to class up into the next higher division. Huang classed up to walk/trot/canter and both Donahue and Ashley Hannebrink '07 both classed up to intermediate fences. The team is preparing this week for another face-off with UVM at the Mt. Ida show next Sunday in Massachusetts.
"I expect the team to keep up their winning streak," said King. "We have gotten off to such a great start. We have been so consistent in all the shows so far that I don't see why it would change next weekend or for the rest of the year, for that matter."