Equestrian’s final competition clinches region win

The+equestrian+team+won+their+region+after+their+final+regular+season+competition.+Photo+courtesy+of+Shannon+Calvert

The equestrian team won their region after their final regular season competition. Photo courtesy of Shannon Calvert

Matthew Benusa

The Lafayette equestrian team competed at their last regular season show of the semester on Sunday, March 25. With the snow falling and the wind blowing at Horseman’s Hollow Equestrian Center in Zionsville, PA, the team placed fifth out of the ten teams in their region. It was an uncharacteristic performance for the team, which has won two of their three shows in the semester. Despite this average performance, Lafayette earned enough points in their final competition to win their region.

After the first two shows of the semester, in both of which Lafayette placed first, the team had a 17 point lead going into the third show, which determined which team represented the region at zones. Points are given out based on how each rider on the team places in the respective events, flats and fences. The person who is in first will be given seven points, the rider in second place is given five points, with subsequent riders getting progressively fewer points. Riders who place in less than sixth place are given no points.

Freshman Amanda Fanning, winner of the newcomer award which is given to the best new rider to the region, finished fifth in both flats and fences.

“We rode poorly last weekend,” Fanning said. “I was really disappointed in my performance. It just was not good.”

Senior captain Rebecca Bender had a great performance. Bender finished second in flats and fifth in fences. She was also in competition for the Cacchione Award, named after the President of the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA), which is given to the rider with the most points in the season. Bender missed earning the award by one point to a rider from Rutgers.

As for the team, they scraped by on the weekend with various riders getting fifth and sixth to win their region by four points. Next, the team travels to Long Valley, NJ to face off against the regional winners of the Northeast Zone of IHSA.

Individually, seven members of the team–Rebecca Bender, Justine Perotti, Cat Futterman, Amanda Fanning, Mackenzie Sangster, Monica Meng and Eddalee Hochwalt-Naumann–qualified to go to a regional show for riders who earned over 36 points during the shows from the fall and spring season.

Fanning said she is looking forward to the individual and team shows.

“All seven of us could place first or second in the individual shows, and the same goes for the team shows, which would definitely put the team into Nationals,” Fanning said.