Harrisburg, Pa. – May 2
Two riders from St. Lawrence University (N.Y.) won blue ribbons in the first day of competition at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championships, putting them in good contention for a second consecutive Collegiate Cup.
Katherine Figueroa won the first team class, novice equitation on the flat, which she also won in 2012. The strong start for St. Lawrence continued later in the day.
In the last class of the day, team intermediate equitation on the flat, Alyssa Bokor, a rookie team member from Buffalo, N.Y., also earned blue, ending the day with 14 points for St. Lawrence.
The current second-placed team is Skidmore College (N.Y.) with 12 points after two second-placed finishes. Mount Holyoke (Mass.) isn’t far behind with 10 points.
“I feel a bit better now going into tomorrow since Katherine Figueroa and I were first. The team intermediate rider tomorrow is Jessie Lewis, and she is a fantastic rider so I feel really confident,” said Bokor, who rode Lucy, from West Point Military Academy (N.Y.).
Skidmore Sweeps Open Equitation Over Fences
In a class with some of the top riders in IHSA, Skidmore College’s individual open equitation over fences riders couldn’t be beat.
Julia Mazzarella and Flavia D’Urso both rode flawlessly through the open fences class, and when the judges called for additional testing, neither one was too concerned. The judges had the top four riders return on a no-stirrups course. Two trot jumps and a sitting trot added an additional challenge.
“I felt like I really figured out the horse in the first round and so I really figured out what I needed to do. My biggest concern was keeping my position over the jumps without stirrups, but Sean was so comfortable that I didn’t have an issue,” said Mazzarella, who came out on top. Sean, from Centenary College (N.J.), came through for her.
As a graduating senior, D’Urso is riding in her last intercollegiate competition, but she’ll return tomorrow to contest the U.S. Equestrian Federation/Cacchione Cup.
After graduation, D’Urso plans to move to New York City to pursue a career as an artist. She creates paintings with three-dimensional elements like colored wax emerging from the canvass.
While she will miss riding with the team, she will finally get back in her own saddle after a lengthy lameness issue kept her horse out of commission. In the past, D’Urso, whose horse will live with her parents at their horse farm in New Jersey, has traveled to compete in jumper shows in Italy.
“It’s very different. They break for lunch—it’s very civilized. They just go through the day, and then they’re done,” she explained with a laugh. “They go very, very fast. I thought I had gotten my times pretty down doing the jumpers in America, and then I went over there.”
As a team, Skidmore doesn’t entertain some of the same superstitions as other teams.
“We try to keep it just about riding,” D’Urso said. “We did have a team party before we left, and we had to do a tag line for every person on these silver plates. I was the ‘Rock Smuggler’ because I needed this big rock for a piece of art, so I was stealing a rock and taking it across campus. That was my plate.”
-Abigayle Raucher won the individual novice equitation over fences class and quickly passed her gloves to her teammates at Mount Holyoke College for luck. She rode Charlie, a "perfect angel," and she hoped wearing her gloves would help her teammates ride just as well. Next year Raucher, a sophomore, will help lead the team as the assistant manager.
-Jacqueline Yeager of Miami University of Ohio won the individual intermediate equitation over fences. Everyone on her team wore some type of mustache for good luck. Yeager’s bracelet with a mustache decoration did the trick for her round.