Three Sweet Briar riders qualified to compete for Intercollegiate Horse Show Association individual zone titles at the back-to-back regular-season finale and Region 2 final competitions at the University of Virginia on Sunday, Feb. 26. As a team, the Vixens held on to their second-place standing to close regional IHSA competition for the year.
At the final show of the regular season in the morning, senior Sarah Hibler took first place in intermediate flat to qualify for the afternoon’s Region 2 finals in that class. Sophomore Kathryne Richard also qualified to compete later in the day for novice flat with her first-place finish in the morning. A third Sweet Briar rider, Katie Drake ’14, placed in the morning, taking fourth in novice over fences.
Bridgewater College, which led Sweet Briar in the Zone 4, Region 2 standings heading into the weekend, maintained the lead to win the regional title. Sweet Briar also stayed in place, claiming the reserve championship. Hollins University finished third.
Individual highlights in the regional final include senior Townsend Horvath’s sixth-place and junior Kendall Harris’ fifth-place finish, both in walk, trot, canter.
Richard had another good ride in novice flat, finishing first and qualifying for zones. Hibler’s second place in intermediate flat also was good enough to send her to zones, as was sophomore Olivia Smith’s second place in open flat. Smith also placed fourth in open over fences.
In total, five Sweet Briar riders accumulated enough points during the year to compete in the Region 2 finals: Harris, Hibler, Horvath, Richard and Smith. Richard, Hibler and Smith are advancing to zones.