The Mount’s ISHA (Intercollegiate Show Horse Association) Equestrian Team’s regular season might be over, but the team sure isn’t. On March 25 four Mount Equestrian Team riders made their way to the University of Maryland’s Equestrian facility to compete in Region I Finals. Regional Finals is an elite competition which, in order to qualify for, each rider must accumulate 36 points in their respective division. In order to gain points, riders must compete and pin first through sixth at regular season shows.
Juniors Afroditi Papadopoulos and Abigail Risley and sophomore Melissa Green all qualified to compete in the Advanced Walk, Trot, Canter division. Green pinned forth out of almost 20 riders and Papadopoulos, who was awarded an honorable mention, said, “it was really fun experience to go to compete at Regionals this year and to support some of my teammates.”
Junior club president, Carrie Martin competed in both the Novice Over-Fences and Novice Flat divisions. Martin pinned forth out of a very competitive class in her Over-Fences division. She also put on a stellar performance in her Flat division, being one of the top three to be called back for another round of testing. After switching horses and being asked to perform a series of difficult tasks, it was announced that Martin had pinned first out of 11 of the region’s best riders. “It was really exciting to win and to be able to represent the Mount… it was especially exciting to have the support of John Hager and other Mount club sports representatives who came to cheer us on!” Martin is the first Mount rider to have won a division at Regional Finals in the past ten years.
Along with the tri-colored ribbon and title of Region I Champion, Martin also secured herself a spot at the upcoming Zone IV Finals on April 8th. She will be competing against some of the most talented riders from schools across Maryland, D.C., Virginia, and North Carolina. The show will take place at the St. Andrews University Equestrian Center in Laurinburg, N.C.
If she were to pin either first or second at Zone Finals she would be the first rider in Mount history to qualify and compete at National Finals. The 2017 ISHA Hunt Seat National Finals will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky and the top collegiate riders from all over the country will be there competing for the top titles in the collegiate equestrian world
The Mount Equestrian Team was founded in 1998 and rides at Middle Creek Stables under head coach Janis Grooms. The team competed at eight regular season shows this semester and has a successful season despite being in a growing phase and not fielding a full team. They are currently looking for new riders, from beginners to experienced competitors, to fill their show team for the 2017-18 academic year.
The team welcomes riders of all ability levels, and are always looking for new members to join. No riding experience is necessary to join the club. Anyone interested in joining can contact Club Sports for more information or Carrie Martin at CEMartin1@email.msmary.edu.