Sweet Briar’s Old Dominion Athletic Conference riding team placed third in the ODAC Conference Equestrian Championship Wednesday, April 2, at Bridgewater College. The Vixens finished three points behind the Washington and Lee Generals, who earned the conference title with a team score of 17. Bridgewater placed second with 16 points.
Also competing were Randolph College, Lynchburg College and Hollins University. According to an ODAC news release, “Team scoring is based on 7-5-4-3-2-1 points system with the class winner receiving seven points and working down to the sixth-place team, which garnered one point.”
Riding for Sweet Briar were seniors Katie Drake and Olivia Smith, junior Kathryne Richard and sophomore Abigail Strohmeyer. Strohmeyer tied with W&L’s Claire Stevenson for the show’s high-point rider, but just missed winning the title. The tiebreaker went to Stevenson for earning the highest single score — a mark Strohmeyer fell short of by just half a point.
“For Abby’s first time competing at ODACs, we were thrilled,” said coach and riding program director Mimi Wroten.
Other highlights for Sweet Briar included Smith’s first-place finish in the equitation on the flat class. One judge awarded 90 points and another 86 for an impressive average of 88. Two Sweet Briar riders, Strohmeyer and Drake, were named to the All-ODAC team, which is comprised of the conference championship’s top-10 finishers.
“Congratulations should be given to the SBC horses and riders,” Wroten says. “The team rode well and is looking forward to three more zone and national shows to finish the year.”
Sweet Briar riders will compete in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Zone 4 finals on Sunday, April 6, at Hollins University, and hope to move on to nationals. Smith also has already qualified to represent Zone 4, Region 2 in the IHSA national finals the first weekend in May.
Sweet Briar will host the American National Riding Commission National Intercollegiate Equestrian Championship April 25-27.