The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Equestrian trots to end of semester at Tournament of Champions

The equestrian team had several riders place at its final show of the semester. (Photo courtesy of Emma Sylvester ’25)

This past weekend, the equestrian team placed 12th out of 14 teams at the 32nd Annual Holiday Tournament of Champions hosted by Virginia Tech. Nevertheless, Lafayette is currently leading in the region by over 30 points.

“We were happy with a majority of our rides … We were proud to have been able to get the opportunity,” senior club president Maggie Sigmond-Warner said.

Teams were invited to the Tournament of Champions based on their record as well as a nomination by other coaches in the region.

“We’ve been doing really well recently, and so we’re really lucky that the Rutgers coach nominated us … to be able to be a part of Tournament of Champions,” junior Anna Paulsen, who finished second in limit flat, said.

“The reason we’ve qualified is because the kids on the team had ridden amazingly well – the entire team, not just the team that I took,” coach Kelly Poff said. “You can only take one rider per class, so that was hard because I would have rather taken everybody.”

Paulsen said that leading up to the show, the team worked on “horse swapping” in lessons to prepare for the random draw of different horses they could get.

Sophomores Zoe Meyer and Kristina Torkelsen both clinched fourth-place wins, in open and limit fences, respectively.

“I think that Zoe Meyer had a really nice round over fences for open for the team. I think she rode really well. She really got it together and rode the horse the best that she could,” Paulsen said. “Kristina Torkelsen also had a very nice round over fences. Those are the two people that stuck out.”

Rounding out the placing riders for Lafayette were sophomore Emma Sylvester in novice (fourth), junior Grace McEneaney in open flat (fifth) and sophmore Daisy Wheeler in intermediate flat (sixth).

“This semester, we really just went out with a bang and kind of just dominated so far, and it’s been really great,” Paulsen said. “Everybody’s been putting in a lot of work.”

Paulsen and McEneaney were eligible to compete in additional categories for the low medal and high medal, respectively.

Junior Anna Paulsen and sophomores Zoe Meyer and Kristina Torkelsen placed second, fourth and fourth in their categories, respectively, at the Tournament of Champions. (Photo by Emma Sylvester for The Lafayette)

“It’s more individual, and it was just for practice and to get used to the format of how it will be in Zones,” Paulsen said.

Poff said that Sigmond-Warner is another key member of the team who has been doing an amazing job in her role as president.

“She runs that team like a well-oiled machine,” she said. “She’s always smiling, she’s always positive, so even when I feel stressed out, she calms me down.”

Looking into next semester, the team plans to attend four more horse shows before Regionals and Zones. From there, the top five teams in Zones will compete at Nationals.

“For us being such a small school to even be able to do what we’re doing is pretty amazing,” Poff said. “It’s been a great honor to coach these young athletes, boys and girls alike. They’re all very talented riders.”

The team is in the process of switching to a nicer barn to have even more opportunities to succeed.

“The college has been incredibly generous helping the team, and I can’t be more thankful for all their help,” Poff said. “For us to be as competitive as we are with the resources we have is awesome, and I want the college to be as proud of this team as I am.”

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About the Contributors
Caroline McParland, Sports Editor
Emma Sylvester, Photo Editor

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