May 4—Raleigh, N.C.
During the second day at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association  National Championships, St. Lawrence University pulled away from the pack for the Collegiate Cup.
The team ended the day with 29 points with the help of walk/trot rider Timothy Moore. He won his class, adding 7 points to the team’s total.
“It took a little pressure off me, but I still had to contribute to the team,” said Moore, 22. “It felt good to have a lead, but at the same time, the horse show can turn around. Just because you have a lead now doesn’t mean you are going to win.”
Moore, a senior majoring in physics and math, started riding two years ago when he joined the team, and he said getting his diagonals correct has been a big challenge. However, many hours and extra practices helped smooth over his inexperience.
He's also the only male rider on the St. Lawrence team (N.Y.). “Being the only guy on the team has been interesting, but the girls have all been welcoming. Everyone in the horse world is so welcoming. It’s been the best college experience I’ve ever had,” he said.
Centenary (N.J.), who was in a close second place after Day 1 , dropped to fourth place when Skidmore College (N.Y.) riders won the intermediate equitation over fences and placed second in both the walk/trot and walk/trot/canter hunt seat equitation. They currently have 21 points.
Centenary coaches Heather Clark and Michael Dowling said their team is very young this year. The riders they brought to nationals include only one junior. The rest are freshman and sophomore riders.
“These kids have never been here,” Dowling said, adding they aren’t as familiar with the procedures and the atmosphere.
“We make them watch a lot,” Clark added. “A lot of them have never competed in a ring this big.” This helps them get used to what the judges are looking for and get a better sense for how the competition works.
With two more team classes scheduled for Saturday, St. Lawrence is well positioned to sweep the team competition, but coach Mary Drueding said she doesn’t pay attention to the team standings.
Her riders, on the other hand, are more aware. Anna Haron, walk/trot/canter hunt seat equitation rider for the team, paid attention to every detail of her preparation to make sure her presentation was flawless. “At zones I crossed my legs and got boot polish all over my pants,” she admitted.
Cacchione Cup Judges Pick Finalists
The judges narrowed the field of 36 Cacchione Cup riders after the fences phase and tested 24 on the flat.
After a long afternoon of waiting, they decided to bring back the top three riders—Kels Bonham from Savannah College of Art and Design (Ga.), Claire Margolis from Stanford University (Calif.) and Kelly Campbell from Skidmore College—on Saturday morning to decide the winner.
The Cacchione Cup riders navigated a looping course with one trot fence in the first phase. The top 24 riders were split into two sections for the flat portion, where they were all required to do work without stirrups and complete a flat pattern. The judges tested the riders’ control and precision with counter canters and sitting trots.
Although the riders each received a numerical score, the top three were close enough—within 3 points—to necessitate additional testing on Saturday.
- Nicole Adams of the University of Delaware won the alumni equitation over fences class. Adams, 23, graduated in 2010 and is finishing her second year of law school. “It’s really exciting,” Adams said. “I don’t think I breathed the entire ride.”
- In the individual walk/trot hunt seat equitation class, Kayla Kleinman, Skidmore College, took the top place. She had never sat on a horse before last September when she saw a sign at school calling for riders. Kleinmann said she had never competed on any type of sports team, but she was pleased to find the sense of community with which she was familiar from her days in theater production.
- For more Chronicle coverage from the event, visit the 2012 IHSA National Championships page.