Big Green riders end fall season on top of the competition

by Meredith Hartley | 11/16/04 6:00am

The Dartmouth equestrian team dominated its last show of the fall season winning by four points at the University of New Hampshire's home show on Sunday and bringing home seven first-place individual finishes.

"I was thrilled with the team's performance at our last show of the Fall term," said Coach Sally Batton. "The entire team rode well and our point riders really pulled it out, with seven first place wins."

The seven first-place blue ribbons were won by Taylor Smith '06 in intermediate fences, Daisy Freund '08 open flat, Abby Donahue '06 intermediate flat, Elizabeth Bissell '08 in intermediate flat, Kate Wooler '08 in intermediate flat, Janelle Moerlein '06 in novice flat and Mitzi Huang '05 in walk/trot/canter.

Donahue said, "My fences round was a little disappointing, but that just made it all the more exciting to win my flat class."

The high team finish was determined by the first place finishes of the point riders, Smith, Freund, Bissell, Moerlein and Huang, whose scores contributed to the team's high point total and the team win.

"My fences round was not great, so I really wanted to come back and redeem myself with my flat class, especially because I was point rider. I'm not usually a point rider, so I definitely felt the added pressure. You are really riding for the team, not just for yourself," Bissell said.

Both team captains, Donahue and Moerlein, continued to exercise their strong leadership in both their riding and planning for the show. Both won their flat classes, boosted team spirit and prepared riders for their individual classes.

Batton noted that "Janelle and Abby and manager Annie Trumpold '05 have worked hard all season to help pull this team together and fire them up for these amazing wins."

Bissell added, "What was really cool about the team was that not only did we end up on top in the region, but we also seem to have the most fun."

Also at the Sunday show, Trumpold earned enough points to qualify for Regionals in the spring in novice flat and classed up to intermediate flat. Freund and Tim Malone '07 also earned enough points to qualify for regionals in open flat and open fences, respectively.

"I was upset about my fences round, since I didn't get along with my horse well at all, and put in a pretty poor ride," said Malone. "But I still placed third in my class, which was better than I had expected, and gave me enough points for Regionals. I'd really like to make it to Nationals this year, and qualifying for Regionals is the first step."

Dartmouth has had a strong fall season, finishing as the High Point College in four shows out of six and ending the season on top with the most cumulative points. The college with the most points at the end of spring season will advance to Zones as a team to compete for Nationals.

The team is looking forward to the winter off-season and the last three shows of the year in March. For qualifiers, Regionals will be held in early April of next year.

"I'm so psyched about the way the team has been riding this fall," said Donahue. "We are in a great position to increase our lead in the region when we pick up again in the spring."