MIT Equestrian Team Starts Season on a High NoteBy Jenny Lee
Last Saturday, the equestrian team began their spring season with a competition at Bates College in Maine. The team rode against local colleges such as Harvard Universi-ty, Tufts University, and Boston University, as well as schools from Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Open rider Kristen Landino ’02 won second place over fences. Newcomer Caitlin Gaffey ’02 competed in the open division as well. In the intermediate division, new rider Tara Mullaney ’02 placed fourth over fences. Candice McElroy ’99 captured a second place in her novice jumping class.
On the flat, McElroy had a stunning ride and pinned first in her novice equitation class. This qualified her for a ride-off to determine the Reserve Champion High-Point Rider, the rider with the second highest number of points in the entire show. Despite a difficult horse draw, McElroy clinched the title, making her the first MIT equestrian in the history of the team to do so.
Sara Etemadi ’01 had an impressive ride as well, winning a blue ribbon in the advanced walk-trot-canter division. Jenny Lee ’02 won third place in her intermediate equitation class and Nina Kutsuzawa ’00 also placed third in the beginner walk-trot-canter division. Three members of the MIT team placed fourth: Junlin Ho ’01 in the novice equitation division, Megan McLemore ’00 in the advanced walk-trot-canter division, and Cynthia Randles ’99 in the walk-trot division. Katie Shiels ’00, Sarah Low ’02, and Mullaney placed sixth in their respective intermediate equitation classes.
Intercollegiate Horse Show Association events judge the rider's ability to control an unfamiliar horse. Competitors are assigned their mounts by random lottery. Riders are placed in divisions according to their previous riding experience. Those with the most extensive riding backgrounds compete in the open division, while beginners show in the walk-trot division.
The equestrian team will continue to train at Arrowhead Stables with Coach Kate Alderfer-Candela in preparation for a competition at Tufts University on Saturday, Mar. 13.