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 team takes on regionals

The equestrian team placed second overall at the show. (Photo courtesy of Emma Sylvester ’25)

The equestrian team wrapped up its regular competitive season this past Sunday at the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association Zone Three Region Four regional show.

Lafayette placed second to Delaware Valley University, but four of the team’s seven riders individually qualified for zones — where most of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania compete — which will be held on Sunday at Brookside Show Stable in Ringoes, New Jersey.

Two Lafayette riders took home blue ribbons — senior Grace McEneaney in open fences and sophomore Lily Bentley in the introductory class.

McEneaney noted that she needed to mentally prepare for her last postseason competing with the team. 

“I’m a senior this year, so I had in the back of my mind that this past weekend could have potentially been my last ever horse show with the Lafayette team, so I was trying to push down some of my nerves,” McEneaney said. “I always get a little bit nervous before horse showing but I feel like the nerves are a good thing because they let me know that I care about showing and riding and I care about wanting to do well.”

Sophomore Lily Bentley and senior Grace McEneaney both placed first in their respective classes. (Photos courtesy of Emma Sylvester ’25)

Second-place finishers included senior club president Anna Paulsen in intermediate fences and junior Kristina Torkelsen in limit flat and limit fences. 

“No matter what pull that they had, everybody rode to the best of their ability and I think felt good about their ride so it was definitely a good day,” Paulsen said. “I think it was a very good showing of everybody’s ability and hard work that they put in throughout the semester.” 

McEneaney also won the region’s sportsmanship award, while junior Connor Port won the incentive award, which recognizes the most improved rider.

Paulsen noted that Sunday’s show at Brookside will “level the playing field” for everyone because no one will be riding a horse they practiced on in-competition. 

To advance to nationals from zones, riders will have to place in the top two in their class, which will comprise the top two qualifiers from each of the five regions in Zone Three. Nationals will take place the first weekend of May in Mill Spring, North Carolina.

Although only four Lafayette riders will have the chance to advance to nationals, Paulsen noted that the entire team is expected to go to zones and support the competitors. 

“As much as it is an individual sport, it’s also as much a team sport, and I think that really shone through for us this semester and helped us achieve what we did,” Paulsen said. 

While the end of Paulsen and McEneaney’s competitive careers is fast approaching, both seniors emphasized how much they have learned from the team. 

“​​I feel like even though I came in with a lot of experience in riding, I still was able to learn a lot about myself as a rider and what it’s like to be a part of a team and ride,” McEneaney said. “That was a really fun aspect that I hadn’t experienced before with being a part of a team and having that sense of camaraderie around.”

“​​It’s definitely helped me figure out how to be a leader but also how to be a leader that is empathetic towards others, is able to lead with kindness, is able to figure out that happy balance between being firm and being fair,” Paulsen said. 

Disclaimer: Photo Editor Emma Sylvester ’25 is a member of the equestrian team. She did not contribute writing or reporting. 

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About the Contributor
Grace Sanborn
Grace Sanborn, Assistant Sports Editor
Thinks hitting a ball with a stick outside for four hours is fun.

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