Equestrian tramples the competition at UNH show

by Elizabeth Bissell | 11/10/05 6:00am

Dartmouth equestrian gave coach Sally Batton the best possible birthday present last Sunday: a victory at the University of New Hampshire show. The win was equestrian's first of the fall season.

"I was so proud of the team bringing home the High Point College ribbon," Batton said. "They have worked hard all year to get this victory."

Dartmouth finished with 38 points, three ahead of second place Colby Sawyer College. Rival and current regional leader Vermont finished third with 34 points.

"UVM better watch out. We have a regional title to defend," co-captain Abby Donahue '06 said.

Individual winners on the day included Tim Malone '07 in Open Fences, Daisy Freund '08 in Open Flat, Taylor Smith '06 in Intermediate Flat, Lily Macartney '08 in Novice Fences, Jane Park '06 in Walk Trot and Jeff Brown '05 in Walk Trot.

Park's blue ribbon on Sunday capped off a very successful rookie season of competition.

"I'm thrilled with Jane Park's performance this fall, it is unusual to get so close to qualifying for Regionals in only one term," Batton said. "Jane is a natural rider and although she doesn't have a lot of riding background, she's really listened in lessons and practices and has come a long way!"

Park has thus far secured 34 points, only one away from moving up to Walk/Trot/Canter and qualifying her for Regionals. New to the team this year, Park has enjoyed her experience.

"Dartmouth definitely brings some flavor to the IHSA competitions with our team flair and beloved whoopee cushion," she said, "I've had the best time with these guys."

Brown, another Walk/Trot rider and equestrian team rookie, savored his first intercollegiate victory Sunday.

"I had come in second pretty consistently, and I convinced myself I wasn't really doing better than anyone else in my class, the judges were just rewarding me for being a guy," he said, "They couldn't move me all the way to the top, but they could hand me second. This time I feel like I really accomplished something."

Second place finishers Sunday included Freund in Open Fences and Kate Wooler '08 in Intermediate Fences. Thirds went to Malone in Open Flat, Donahue in Open Flat and Tami Martin '08 in Novice Fences.

Freund, Malone and Smith joined the five other Dartmouth riders already qualified for Regionals this spring.

"Having the qualifying process all out of the way before we break for winter is nice. I'm just happy to have qualified because it's the first step of a long road to nationals," Freund said. "Whatever happens with the Cacchione Cup I would be psyched if I made it to nationals the really tough way, which is by being first or second at Regionals and then first or second at Zones. That is my ultimate goal."

Freund and Malone still sit atop the region's Cacchione Cup standings, with 68 and 63 points respectively.

Next Sunday, Dartmouth equestrian will head to the University of Maine to compete in the final show of the fall season and attempt to cut into Vermont's 14-point lead in the region. Whatever happens, it will be done with the team's customary sense of style.

"It's easy to recognize Dartmouth at our shows. They are the ones with rainbow sweatbands and neon slap bracelets out of the ring, but strong performance and some seriously neat hair while showing," Brown said.