Equestrian jumps to second place in region with first-place finish

Amy Hewlett

Lafayette’s club equestrian team finished first overall at two shows at the Keystone Horse Center in Bloomsburg, Pa. Bloomsburg University hosted the show on Saturday, Oct. 13 and the University of Scranton hosted on Sunday, Oct. 14.

The team’s first-place finish moved them up to second place in their region of eleven schools.

“It was a really fun weekend,” sophomore Charlie Brownstein said. “Bloomsburg is a weekend where all the freshmen really become a part of the team. It’s usually the show where we start to do really well in and it sets us up to have a good time for the rest of the season.”

Senior president and show captain Justine Perrotti was awarded reserve high point rider for the show, winning two events. Sophomore Amanda Fanning was also named reserve high point rider and high point rider, with four first place finishes in one weekend.

“Throughout the weekend, everybody had the chance to show,” Perrotti said. “All of our walk trotters placed. That was awesome because they were our new riders who just started learning to ride when they came to Lafayette.”

Perrotti attributed some of the team’s success this fall to new head coach Kelly Poff. Thus far, Perrotti and other board members of the team have worked closely with Poff to improve the program.

“I help [Poff] pick which riders we will use at a show, figure out lessons with other board members, make sure all the paperwork and dues are in on time, and organize the team in a way that we can use our funds efficiently and actively,” Perrotti said.

Poff has also been putting in the extra time and effort to work with the riders on their technique, Perrotti said.

“Our coach is very dedicated to the riders and works with us individually,” she said. “She teaches our lessons and makes direct points to us which is really helpful, especially for the younger riders.”

“She’s been nothing but wonderful,” Perrotti added. “Everyone on the team talks about how much they love having her. We’re all glad we found such an amazing coach that will help our team grow for years to come.”

The equestrian team has competed in the first four of their six fall shows. Lafayette will cohost a show with Moravian the weekend of Saturday, Oct. 20. According to Perrotti, the team has earned 30 points on their point card so far and hopes to earn more this weekend.

“We want to learn how to organize everything so we can host our own show in the spring,” Perrotti said. “We have two more shows to get through this semester, and then of course the rest of the shows and regionals and nationals are next semester.”

In the 2017-2018 season, the team won their region, qualifying them for zones. The team also competed at nationals and sent two riders to the American National Riding Commission Championships (NRC).