First-year riders shine in season's first equestrian shows
The Dartmouth equestrian team began their season strongly in the first two shows of the season with a second place finish last Saturday at the University of Vermont and a win Saturday, Oct. 2, at home.
"The team has had an outstanding start to the season," said coach Sally Batton. "We won our first show, at home, by one point over UVM and had an amazing day of first place finishes. We came a close second to UVM at their home show Saturday and are only a couple points behind UVM for the high point team."
At the first two shows, Dartmouth riders accumulated a large number of first place individual finishes. At the first show at home, the blue ribbon winners include Kate Wooler '08 in novice fences, Daisy Freund '08 in open flat, Tami Martin '08 in novice flat, Katherine Scovner '08 in novice flat, Janelle Moerlein '06 in novice flat, Celeste Griffin-Churchill '07 in walk/trot/canter and Mitzi Huang '05 in walk/trot.
About her rides, Scovner said, "I was proud of my first place on DJ, but my second place [in novice fences] means more to me. Hook was a more challenging ride than the horse I was assigned for my flat work and horse assignment can greatly affect how you do in a class."
Many of these strong performances, like Scovner's, were contributed by freshmen that very recently joined the team with no preseason training. 10 freshmen have been added to the team this year, replacing five seniors who graduated last spring.
Batton said, "I'm am very excited about our new riders this year. We have a group of ten new riders who are talented, enthusiastic and anxious to be a part of this team!"
The team also has two new captains, Abby Donahue '06 and Janelle Moerlein '06, and a returning manager, Annie Trumpold '05, to help lead the team.
Batton adds, "Janelle and Abby have done a fantastic job leading the team and handling their new responsibilities. Annie has experience as manager, having done it a previous year, which makes it all easy for me because she anticipates what needs to be done and gets it done quickly."
Last Saturday at UVM, many riders again won their individual classes. The first place finishers were Moerlein in novice fences, Wooler in novice fences, Taylor Smith '06 in intermediate flat, Donahue in intermediate flat and Lizzy Rauner '06 in intermediate flat.
Another exciting event at both shows was the overall finishes of novice rider Scovner at the home show and intermediate rider Rauner at UVM. Both riders placed first in their individual flat classes and second in their fences classes. The combination of the two high finishes meant that each had the honor of riding in the high point rider class at the end of the show. Scovner placed second overall at the home show earning the Reserve High Point Rider award.
"Riding in the high point class was very exciting for me," said Scovner. "I wish I had had a better ride, but hopefully I'll have another opportunity to ride in the class and win it."
The team began the season with a preseason competition at the University of Connecticut. Despite it being a large show with last year's IHSA National Champions, Virginia Intermont, in attendance, several riders excelled. Lauren Phisterer '07 placed third in walk/trot/canter at her first competitive show and Tim Malone '07 won his open flat class. Malone had a strong season last year finishing second in the overall open rider standings and is expected to do well this year.
The team is looking forward to its next show Saturday at Colby-Sawyer. Donahue added, "I think this is the best start to a season that Dartmouth has had since I've been here. I'm really excited to keep the pressure on UVM and hopefully beat them this year."