February 5, 2007

Brown Equestrian Opens Spring Season With Win

Feb. 5, 2007

Hebron, CT - Despite having to brave wind chills in the teens for the entire show, the Brown equestrian team was able to extend its lead in Region 1 with a first-place finish at Windcrest Farm on Saturday. The Bears won the event with 43 points, seven ahead of second-place Roger Williams and 14 ahead of their chief regional rival, the University of Connecticut. As a result, Brown is now 18 points ahead of the Huskies in the Region 1 standings.

Junior Whitney Keefe (Wellesley, MA) led the way again for the Bears, capturing high point rider honors for winning blue ribbons in Open Fences and Open Flat. Keefe was also able to gain some ground on URI's Amanda Tustian, who leads the Region 1 open rider standings. After entering the day six points back, the Bears' top rider was able to close the gap to one point, as Tustian finished with one second and one third to Keefe's two first-place finishes.

After Keefe got the Bears off to a fast start with a blue ribbon in Open Fences, co-captain Courtney Pope (Concord, MA) doubled the team's score with a blue in Intermediate. Junior Emily Cole (Clayton, MO) did not place in Novice Fences, but with a drop, Brown still had a five-point lead. Other notable finishes in the jumping portion of the show included freshman Emma Bogdonoff (New London, CT) taking a blue ribbon in Novice and senior Marissa Geoffroy (New York, NY) placing third in her Open class.

Keefe's second blue ribbon got Bruno up to 21 points, and the team kept pouring it on from there. Pope took fourth as the point rider in Intermediate Flat, while junior Kimberly Mickenberg (Armonk, NY) took first in her class. Junior point rider Irmak Tasindi (Istanbul, Turkey) won first place in Novice Flat in her first show at that level, while Bogdonoff and junior Katie Goetz (Barrington, RI) won second- and third-place ribbons, respectively. Bogdonoff earned her way into a ride-off for reserve high point rider with the second-place finish.

In Walk Trot Canter, sophomore point rider Leona Rosenblum (New York, NY) got Brown five points for her second-place finish in the advanced class. Junior Stephanie Carmack (Pawcatuck, CT) closed the show in style, capturing Brown's seventh blue ribbon of the day in the Walk Trot event. Sophomore Kiauntee Murray (Jersey City, NJ) also placed well, finishing second in her class.

The Bears will not compete this weekend, but will the following two Saturdays, also at Wesleyan's Windcrest Farm. While this was the planned site for the show on Saturday, which was hosted by Trinity and Central Connecticut State, and for the show on Feb. 24, the show on Feb. 17 was originally scheduled for UConn's barn in Storrs, CT. However, an outbreak of the equine herpes virus at UConn has moved the event to Windcrest.