February 25, 2007

Brown Regains Region 1 Points Lead With Dominant Performance

Feb. 25, 2007

Hebron, CT - Last weekend was the worst performance of the year for the Brown equestrian team, but the Bears were able to put the past behind them and recover in style on Saturday. Earning 44 points out of a possible 49, Brown retook the lead in Region 1 from UConn and won its fourth show of the season. Senior Marissa Geoffroy (New York, NY) won an all-Brown high point rider ride-off, as freshman Rachel Griffith (Merrimack, NH) took reserve high point rider honors.

After failing to pin in Open Fences last weekend, junior tri-captain Whitney Keefe (Wellesley, MA) won a blue ribbon for seven points. Senior tri-captain Grace Peloquin (Peekskill, NY) took third place in the same class as Keefe, while Geoffroy won first place in the following class. Freshman Elizabeth Giliberti (Washington, DC) pinned second in her class in Intermediate Fences, grabbing five points for her team. Three Brown riders won blue ribbons in Novice Fences: juniors Irmak Tasindi (Istanbul, Turkey) and Emily Cole (Clayton, MO), and point rider Griffith. After the jumping classes, the Bears led UConn 14-9 with a drop.

The flat classes began with Open Flat, which featured a showdown between Keefe and URI's Amanda Tustian, the two leaders in the Open Rider Standings for Region 1, in the same class. Each had earned seven points with blue ribbons in Open Fences, but neither earned first place here. Tustian pinned fourth and Keefe fifth, cutting Keefe's lead to one point, 78-77. In other classes, sophomore Cody Auer (Fairfield, CT) finished in third and Geoffroy earned her second first-place finish.

Senior Rachel Lubin (Watchung, NJ) started the Intermediate Flat with a first-place showing, with Giliberti later pinning first as the point rider and senior tri-captain Courtney Pope (Concord, MA). Tasindi pinned third as the point rider in Novice Flat, with freshman Emma Bogdonoff (New London, CT) and Griffith both pinning first and Cole pinning second.

The show was brought to a solid close by Brown's 10 riders in Walk Trot Canter and Walk Trot, as they all pinned fifth or higher. In Walk Trot Canter Advanced, junior Sarah Morris (Silver Spring, MD) pinned first, junior Kristen Beck (Basking Ridge, NJ) pinned third and sophomore Hayley Goldbach (Belmora, MA) pinned first, pointing up to Novice. In Beginner, junior Joyce Kwok (Hong Kong, China) pinned first in her first competition at that level. Freshman Jennifer Grover (Brooklyn, NY) followed by pinning fifth, and junior point rider Stephanie Syc (Lake Forest, IL) pinned first.

Senior Rachel Kapelke-Dale (Milwaukee, WI) pinned second in the opening class of Walk Trot, and the next three riders did her one better, all taking first-place ribbons. Sophomore Kiauntee Murray (Jersey City, NJ) pinned first on the same horse she pinned fifth on last weekend. Junior McCall Lewis (Murray, UT) followed with a blue ribbon of her own, then junior point rider Stephanie Carmack (Pawcatuck, CT) pinned blue in the same class as UConn's point rider.

In the end, the Bears finished 15 points ahead of UConn, who finished just sixth at the show with 29 points. Two shows remain in the regular season, on March 10 at Connecticut College and March 17 at Johnson & Wales.