March 3, 2008
Gales Ferry, CT - As quickly as the Brown equestrian team built a commanding lead in Region 1 during the fall portion of the schedule, so has that lead steadily disappeared this spring. After a fourth-place finish with 24 points at Mystic Valley Hunt Club on Saturday, the Bears now lead Connecticut by a single point in the standings with one show remaining, setting up a showdown in two weeks at the Johnson & Wales Equestrian Center between the teams for the Regional Championship and a birth at Zones.
The show started with the fences divisions. In Open, sophomore Elizabeth Giliberti (Washington, D.C.) was pointed by Head Coach Michaela Scanlon, as normal point rider Whitney Keefe (Wellesley, MA) had been feeling under the weather. That situation turned out to be a wash, as Giliberti matched Keefe's fifth-place ribbon for two team points. Sophomore Emma Bogdonoff (New London, CT), riding at her home barn, got the Bears seven crucial points with a blue ribbon in Intermediate, followed by senior Irmak Tasindi (Istanbul, Turkey) pinning sixth in Novice. After three events, UConn held a 10-9 lead.
Keefe was pointed in Open Flat, but did not pin. Tasindi pinned fifth in Intermediate, followed by sophomore Emily Bourdeau (Longmeadow, MA) pinning sixth in Novice, as the Huskies built a nine-point lead. However, the Bears got some points back in the final two events, as senior Stephanie Carmack (Pawcatuck, CT) pinned third in Walk Trot Canter, just missing a blue ribbon after being slightly thrown off by an unorthodox command by the judge, and sophomore Jill Griffith (Chatham, MA) pinned first in Walk Trot.
Earning non-pointed blue ribbons for the Bears were senior Sarah Morris (Silver Spring, MD), who qualified for Regionals in Walk Trot Canter, and senior Emily Cole (Clayton, MO). Carmack also moved up from Beginner to Advanced Walk Trot Canter, although that does not qualify her for Regionals in that event.
The team with the highest season point total after the final show of the season will qualify for the Zone 1 Championship, competing against the other three Regional Champions in the Zone for one of two spots at IHSA Nationals. Regardless of their team finish, the Bears will have at least 18 riders eligible to compete as individuals at Regionals, with two more within range to qualify next week. That number also does not include Courtney Pope '07.5, who qualified in Intermediate Flat in the fall, but graduated and will not compete.
Show Standings: Post 36, Connecticut 30, Roger Williams 29, Brown 24, Conn. College 23, Rhode Island 23, Johnson & Wales 18, Wesleyan 14, Rhode Island College 11, CCSU 7, Trinity 0
Regional Standings: Brown 307, Connecticut 306, Roger Williams 248, Post 243, Rhode Island 241, Johnson & Wales 190, Wesleyan 190, Rhode Island College 173, Conn. Coll. 157, Trinity 119, CCSU 114