Freund places 11th among best open riders in country
Freshman Daisy Freund rode her way to 11th place out 29 total riders in the Equestrian Cacchione Cup National Finals at Ohio this past Thursday and Friday.
Ashley Woodhouse from Skidmore won the class with Kyla Makholghi from Mount Holyoke, in Dartmouth's Zone taking second.
"Daisy looked awesome in both of her classes," said manager Annie Trumpold '05. "Her sitting trot is always especially impressive and she made sure to use that to her advantage in both classes and she definitely fit in riding against the top open riders in the country."
Freund competed in the most prestigious class at Nationals, which features the top individual open rider from each of 29 regions across the country.
The class is named the Cacchione Cup, after founder of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Bob Cacchione, and is composed of flat on Thursday and fences on Friday.
For the flat phase, Freund drew a horse loaned to the IHSA National Horse Show by Cazenovia College named Elliot. All of the horses at Nationals are beautiful and well trained, but they are all different and riders are not given time to warm-up on their horse.
Freund said, "I could tell within the first 30 seconds that he was going to be a little tricky, because he wasn't responding to my leg. We weren't connecting at all, but then all of a sudden he decided to start working with me."
In flat work, the judging can be very difficult between top riders. One way judges identify the top riders used in Freund's class was to have the riders perform the test of riding without stirrups.
"The judge asked us to drop our stirrups," added Freund, "and while that could be a challenge in some cases, in this case it was just what I needed to show off a little and it salvaged my flat work."
After the flat competition, Freund had earned 81 points and was in eighth place out of the 29 riders. The fences round took place the next day and Freund drew a horse named City Lights owned by Hollins College.
"Overall I was really happy with the way my course went," said Freund. "It was even, smooth, and efficient, however, I had one jump that I didn't work out as well as I should have and that resulted in a lower score."
Freund earned 76 points in the fences round dropping her to eleventh place overall, just one point out of the top ten.
Only one or two points separated each place, attesting to the exceptionally high level of competition.
Coach Sally Batton said, "She had a beautiful round but City came in a little close to one of the jumps and her score dropped her down to 11th overall. I am extremely proud of Daisy's accomplishments this year and the fact that she represented Zone I, Region Two so well at the IHSA Nationals."
Freund was accompanied to the show by Batton, who also serves as National Steward in the IHSA, Trumpold, and team captains Janelle Moerlein '06 and Abby Donahue '06.
"It was very helpful to have my two captains and manager with me, said Freund. "Not only was it nice to maintain some of the feeling of it being a team sport, which I love, but it was also helpful to have such great girls who kept up the famous and unique Dartmouth Equestrian team sense of humor."
Freund's stellar performance marks the end of the Equestrian team's successful season, in which they won Regional Champion for the first time in a decade.
With this year's strong freshman class, led by Freund, Dartmouth equestrian should make for an exciting and strongly competitive next year.
Batton said, "I'm expecting that the team will continue its strong showing in Region Two and hopefully will, again, win the Region next year and earn a spot at the Zone finals! I think that Daisy and Tim Malone will duke it out in the Open high point standings all year and we will have the two top riders in Region Two."