Both the Mount Holyoke dressage team and the hunter seat equitation team capped their seasons as national reserve champions at competitions over the past two weekends. The dressage team, competing in the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) National Championship at Centenary College in New Jersey April 28-29, lost by a single point to perennial equestrian powerhouse, Virginia Intermont. Coach Rebecca Schurink received the Coach of the Year award. Emily Maus '09, competing as an individual, was introductory level champion.
Mount Holyoke will host next year's IDA National Championship on April 27-28. Team member Ana Schreck '09, said, "We look forward to hosting a successful national competition with many instructional opportunities, talented horses, and top-notch riders."
The hunter seat equitation team tied for reserve champion with the University of Findlay, behind Virginia Intermont, at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championship hosted at the Eastern States Exposition at the Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts.
Captain Nathalie Cooper '07 garnered many points, taking first place in both of her team classes, open flat and open fences. In the Cacchione Cup class, she led the competitors after both the open flat and open fences round. Despite drawing a difficult horse in the Cacchione test, she took third place in a field of 30 of the best college riders in the country. Cooper also earned a third place in her individual open flat class and sixth in the open fences event.
Paula Pierce, director of the MHC Equestrian Center, said, "People might wonder how we feel this year after winning IHSA Nationals last year. I have to say I am even more proud of our teams and coaches this year than last. The dressage team improved their standing from last year--but more important than this statistic is how much these young women grew and learned this year. They put in countless hours of hard work to get this result. I am also very, very proud of coach Rebecca Schurink. To be chosen by her peers for the Coach of the Year Award is clear proof that she is doing an outstanding job. Furthermore, our hunter seat team not only had to defend their title, but play an active role in running the Nationals event. Nationals this year was widely recognized as one of the best IHSA competitions ever, and this was due to the incredible work ethic of both the team and coach C.J. Law. I can only say thank you and congratulations--to one and all!"
MHC Riding Teams Head to Nationals - Story from April 27, 2007