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Equestrians Focus on Regional Berth

By Jenny Lee

Team Member

On Saturday, the equestrian team traveled to Apple Knoll Farm in southern Massachusetts for a horse show hosted by Tufts University.

Due to extremely windy conditions, the competition was held in the indoor arena. MIT got off to a slow start in the morning jumping classes. The team lost potential points due to the unexpected absence of Kristen Landino ’02, the only MIT rider competing in the open division.

Tara Mullaney ’02 had a promising round in her intermediate jumping class, but had an unfortunate refusal at the second to last fence, which took her out of the top six. Junlin Ho ’01 was the first MIT equestrian to win a ribbon for the day, placing fifth in a large intermediate over fences class. New rider Paige Hopewell ’02 gave an impressive performance, placing sixth in her novice jumping class, despite having made the transition to the English style of riding shortly before the show, after many years of riding Western.

Flat class brightens MIT’s hopes

Things took a turn for the better with the start of the flat classes in the early afternoon. Jenny Lee ’02 had a solid ride, winning second in the intermediate flat division. Sara Etemadi ’01 had a stunning victory in her advanced walk-trot-canter class, clinching the blue ribbon. Diana Cheng ’03 also rode exceptionally well, placing second in the walk-trot category.

Cynthia Randles ’00 won a third place in the beginner walk-trot-canter division, and Mullaney placed fourth in her intermediate flat class. Four riders placed sixth: Sarah Low ’02 and Ho in their respective intermediate flat classes, Megan McLemore ’00 in the advanced walk-trot-canter division, and Hopewell in the novice flat category.

Several riders close to regionals

The results of this show brought three riders within reach of qualifying for this year’s regionals. In order to qualify for regionals, a rider must accrue 35 points in his or her jumping or flat class.

Lee has 31 points in the intermediate flat division, and both Etemadi and McLemore have 29 points in the advanced walk-trot-canter division. Each of these riders has a chance of attaining the 35 point requirement and pointing up to the next higher division at the last competition of the spring season, to be hosted by Boston University next Saturday.

Two MIT riders have already qualified for regionals this year: Ho in both the novice jumping and flat categories, and Randles in the walk-trot division. Regionals will be held at Holly Hill Show Stable next Sunday, also hosted by Boston University. The team will continue to train with Coach Kate Alderfer-Candela in preparation for next weekend.