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MIT Equestioan Team Makes Striking Debut

By Candice McElroy
team member

The MIT equestrian team made its debut in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association competitions on April 5 at the Tufts University home show and on April 6 at the Dartmouth College home show.

The three-member team made an impressive showing for its first time out. Team president Avital Rodal '97 earned fourth place in novice equitation over fences at Tufts and Dartmouth. Candice McElroy '99 earned a sixth-place finish in novice equitation on the flat at Tufts. Heather Drake '99 finished in sixth place in beginner walk-trot canter equitation at Tufts.

The MITequestrian team formed last fall. Since then, the team has been training at the Boston Equestrian Center in Revere. Intercollegiate Horse Show Association events test a rider's ability to compete on an unfamiliar horse with no time for a rider to familiarize themselves with the horse.

Riders from each team are randomly assigned horses from the home team's stable before the competition. The riders are then judged on their handling of the horse and their form while riding.

The team faced tough competition from 12 other teams, including local college teams from Harvard University and Boston University, and schools from as far away as Bates College in Maine. What MIT lacked in experience, they made up for in excellent riding.

Training will continue for the equestrian team throughout the spring and summer for the fall show season.