Both teams start season with big wins
By Larissa Holmes
The University of Findlay’s two English show teams travelled to their first shows of the 2016-2017 season on Oct. 15 and 16, and Oct. 22 and 23. The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) team travelled to Stonegate Farm in Coolville, Ohio while the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) team travelled this past weekend to Albion College in Albion, Michigan.
The IHSA team, who brought 28 riders to compete, started off strong on their first day, on Oct. 22 with amazing rides, according to the Findlay athletics sports page. The team was awarded Highpoint Team with a total of 33 points. This means that the team accumulated the most points over the first day.
“We were all very pleased with how well the team rode on day one,” said head coach Stephanie Leddy. “The first show can always be a bit of a question mark, and all of the team members stepped up in a big way and delivered very strong performances.”
Alexa Murray and Kaylyn Cole tied for Highpoint Rider, meaning they both had the highest number of points out of the entire competition by the end of the day. In addition, there were several riders who qualified individually for the 2017 IHSA Regionals. Melanie McCaffery and Courtney O’Connor qualified for novice flat while Murray qualified for novice flat and over fences (jumping). Lizzie Lengling qualified for the advanced walk, trot, canter division, and Hannah McColl qualified for walk trot.
On Oct. 16, the IHSA team was back for the second day of showing to clinch their second win. After running into some trouble in the first half of showing in terms of earning points, the team looked to the afternoon and the flat classes to make up the points.
“I was very pleased with how everyone kept fighting for the win,” said Leddy. “No one gave up, which bodes well as far as mental toughness.”
Once again, the team was named overall High Point Team with 36 points. Senior Emma Wood was awarded Reserve Highpoint Rider. Wood, along with Alyssa Simins, qualified for Regionals as well for intermediate equitation on the flat.
Looking to follow in the IHSA team’s footsteps, the IDA team brought along 13 riders to compete this past weekend. Unlike IHSA, IDA riders compete in a group of four with riders in all four of the dressage levels. These levels include intro, low training, high training, and first level. The riders are divided up into three teams of four with a rider competing at each level with only one team accumulating points. The point team earned the title of Highpoint Team for the first day with a score of 16 points. Junior and high training rider Stephanie Radloff secured Highpoint rider with an overall percentage of 74.
On Sunday, the IDA team returned to Albion college for the second day of showing. Overall the team pulled out stronger rides and the point team secured the top spot early on, maintaining it throughout the rest of the day. Carrie Woost, assistant coach of the IDA team felt all the riders rode their best by staying focused after their win from the previous day.
“They listened well to the coaching and everyone rode 100 percent,” said Woost.
The point team earned the Highpoint spot once again with a score of 14 points. Ali Morey earned Highpoint rider with her percentage of 75 and Larissa Holmes earned Reserve Highpoint rider with a percentage of 72.
Both teams, having performed well at their first show, are looking to enhance their practices in preparation of their upcoming shows. IHSA has a quick turn-around and will be once again on the road for their second show at Lake Eerie College on Oct. 29-30. The IDA team has two weeks to prepare for their first home show of the season on Nov. 5. IDA will be preparing its riders as much as possible by exposing them to as many of the farm’s own horses as possible.
“We will be evaluating strengths and weaknesses from what we saw from each rider,” said Woost. “We will be practicing to improve on their weak points and develop those strengths.”