April 22, 2008
Ithaca, NY - After facing the same teams week after week for the entire season, the Brown equestrian team got a bit of a change of pace this past weekend, competing at, and winning, the All-Ivy Competition, held at Cornell. In a unique aspect of the show, event championship rounds are held, and three Bears took home championship ribbons - senior Whitney Keefe (Wellesely, MA) in Open Fences and Flat, sophomore Emily Bourdeau (Longmeadow, MA) in Intermediate Fences, and freshman Dakota Gruener (Berkeley, CA) in Novice Flat.
Teams from seven of the eight Ivy schools competed at the event, with Harvard the only Ivy not represented. The Bears took first with 37 points, followed Cornell and Dartmouth, who tied for reserve champion with 32 points. Columbia (30), Princeton (21), Penn (19) and Yale (13) rounded out the teams.
In the competition, teams were limited to three competitors per event. Each team pointed one rider, as usual, but after the classes, a championship class was held for the top six riders in each event.
In Open Fences, both Keefe and sophomore Elizabeth Giliberti (Washington, DC) both won their classes, with Keefe getting the team seven points. In the championship round, Keefe took the blue, with Giliberti taking third.
Sophomore Rachel Griffith (Merrimack, NH) was the point rider, taking third in her class for four points. Bourdeau, who typically rides Novice for the Bears, moved up to Intermediate at the event to get, as Head Coach Michaela Scanlon wanted to get all of her Nationals lineup practice. Bourdeau was not fazed by the more experienced competition, winning both her class and the championship round, with Griffith taking sixth.
Novice Fences saw senior point rider Emily Cole (Clayton, MO) pin second for five points, then win reserve champion in the championship class.
Keefe came back with a pair of blue ribbons in Open Flat after the lunch break. Freshman Elise Fishelson (Cold Spring Harbor, NY) won second place in her class, then pinned fifth in the championship round, while Giliberti pinned third in her class.
Senior point rider Irmak Tasindi (Istanbul, Turkey) pinned sixth in Intermediate Flat, which proved to be the Bears' drop. The other two Brown riders, Cole and freshman Allegra Aron (Burlingame, CA), qualified for the championship round with a second and a third, respectively. However, Aron topped her teammate, with a third place ribbon to Cole's fifth.
Gruener was pointed in Novice Flat, pinning third for four points, getting into the championship round and winning. Her teammates, seniors Joyce Kwok (Hong Kong, China) and Lucia Corso (New Haven, CT), also were among the six in the championship round after pinning second and third, respectively. Corso pinned fifth in her second ride, while Kwok was sixth.
Walk Trot was held after Novice Flat, and sophomore point rider Kona Shen (Seattle, WA) pinned second, later pinning second in the championship round. Cornell's point rider pinned first, however, putting the Big Red in a tie with the Bears for first entering Walk Trot Canter. Dartmouth was also within striking distance, four points back of both.
In the first class, junior Kiauntee Murray (Jersey City, NJ) and sophomore Jennifer Grover (Brooklyn, NY) rode against a field including Cornell and Dartmouth's point riders. Murray pinned first and Grover fourth, both ahead of Cornell's point rider. Dartmouth's rider pinned second, meaning senior point rider Stephanie Carmack (Pawcatuck, CT) just needed to pin sixth or better for Brown to win. She wound up in second, matching that in the championship round.
The Bears will next compete at the IHSA National Horse Show in Los Angeles on May 8-11.