Smith Equestrian’s sweeping finish

Jenny Park ’18
Staff Writer

The Smith Equestrian team finished its regular season strongly on March 26, with a string of victories at the UMass Horse Show at the Hadley Farm, placing third amongst the eight collegiate equestrian teams at the competition.

Four athletes from the equestrian team qualified for two divisions of the Regional Championships at the UMass Horse Show. Alistaire Ruggiero ’16 qualified in both Novice Equitation on the Flat and Intermediate Equitation Over Fences, while Peyton Higgins ’18, Jordan Menter ’16 and Sarah Pavlich ’19 also qualified for the Regional Championships in their respective flat and jumping classes. Nine other athletes qualified to compete in the Regional Championships at the UMass Horse Show including Jesse Azevedo ’18, Charlotte Berg ’18, Dara Brena ’17, Anna Carroll ’16, Kaitlin Doherty ’16, Julia Greider ’16, Morgan Schwartz ’18, Deidre Sullivan ’19 and Qingyun Zheng ’16. Among the several other exemplary riders were Elisbeth Pendleton Wheeler ’19, who placed second in walk, trot, canter Equitation and Alessia Woods ’19, who finished third in Intermediate Equitation on the Flat.

Throughout the season, 13 riders from the team qualified for 17 spots at the Regional Championships held at the Biscuit Hall Farm on April 2. Five riders from four different classes will advance from the Regional Championships to compete at the New England Zone Championships next weekend at Mount Holyoke College. Brena was awarded the championship ribbon in Intermediate Equitation Over Fences while Higgins and Zheng won the championship ribbon in Novice Equitation Over Fences and Walk-Trot Equitation. Sullivan ’19 and Berg also won championship ribbons in Reserve Champions in Walk, Trot, Canter Division and Walk-Trot Equitation, respectively. These Smith athletes join a cohort of 16 riders from collegiate equestrian teams who will compete next weekend at the Zone Championships.

At every single competition throughout the season, Smith riders won an impressive numbers of ribbons (totaling forty ribbons for this season) and placed highly in numerous different classes to send the majority of its team 13 out of 24 riders to the Regional Championships. The team has performed consistently well throughout their regular season.

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