The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team competed in four shows this weekend, ending the regular season as the Zone 4, Region 2 reserve champions. Sweet Briar riders qualified in six divisions in the Region 2 finals. All of them finished as either champion or reserve champion in their classes to earn the opportunity to represent Region 2 at the Zone 4 finals in April. Additionally, for the second year in a row, Olivia Smith ’14 will represent Region 2 at the IHSA national finals in the prestigious Cacchione Cup competition.
The first show, hosted by Bridgewater College on Friday Feb. 21, was rescheduled from Feb. 15 due to the winter storm that struck the area Feb. 11-12. Sweet Briar finished the day as reserve champions. Smith finished second in open flat and fourth in open fences; Sarah Hibler ’14 was second in both open flat and open fences; Kathryne Richard ’15 was fifth in intermediate fences; Kathleen Drake ’14 finished fifth in intermediate flat; Olivia Hurt ’14 won her novice fences class and was third in novice flat; Madison Cromwell ’16 was third in novice flat; Madalyn Lee ’17 was second in walk, trot, canter; and Natasha Cross ’16 was second in walk, trot.
On Saturday, Sweet Briar tied with Randolph College for the show championship at Hollins. Individually, Smith won her open flat class and was second in open fences; Hurt was first in novice flat and second in novice fences; Richard was sixth in intermediate fences; and Hannah Bowers ’15 finished second in walk, trot, canter. Smith and Hurt tied for high-point rider. They agreed to a coin toss to decide the winner in order to spare the Hollins horses another ride. Smith won the toss, taking the high-point award with Hurt winning the reserve high-point rider ribbon.
The team traveled to The Barracks in Charlottesville on Sunday, where the University of Virginia hosted the last regular-season show in the morning and regional finals in the afternoon. The Vixens finished the day as reserve champions. Individually, Mary Kate Bailey ’16 was second in walk, trot; McKenna Wilder ’16 was fourth in walk, trot, canter; Hurt was fourth in novice fences and sixth in novice flat; Drake finished sixth in intermediate flat and fourth in intermediate fences; and Smith won her open fences and was second in open flat. Smith finished the morning as high-point rider.
In Sunday afternoon’s region finals, Sweet Briar had five riders qualify for six divisions. Drake and Richard won regional championships in novice flat and novice fences, respectively. Three riders claimed reserve championships, Bowers in walk, trot, canter; Hibler in intermediate fences; and Smith in open fences and open flat. Smith again was high-point rider in the regional finals.
The team’s next outing is the Zone 4 finals on April 6 at Hollins University.