May 1, 2009

Bears Take Tenth at IHSA Nationals

May 1, 2009

Murfreeboro, TN - The Brown equestrian team rode at the IHSA Championships over the weekend, proving their mettle on the national stage by finishing tenth in the country. Junior Liz Giliberti (Washington, D.C.) led the impressive showing by the Bears, finishing second in the overall Cacchione Cup standings after a terrific final ride.

Freshman Rebecca McGoldrick (Virginia Water, UK) led off the action for Brown, competing in the Novice Fences. Despite a solid ride, she fell just short of placing. In Open Flat, Giliberti competed in her first event, pinning sixth in the competition to earn the first team point for Brown.

Giliberti was back in action the following morning, as the Cacchione Cup competition began. Despite riding early in the class, generally a disadvantage, she finished the jumping portion in sixth place, solidly in contention. The action then moved to the Flat portion, which bumped Giliberti back down to 10th overall. However, this proved to be just enough, as the top-10 riders were called back for a "work off" the following day.

After the Cacchione Cup wrapped up for the day, team events continued, highlighted for the Bears by junior Kona Shen's (Seattle, WA) ride in the individual Walk Trot. Shen turned in one of her best rides of the season, and pinned seventh in her class. That was quickly followed by another terrific performance, this one from fellow junior Rebecca de Sa (Rye, N.Y.). De Sa earned three more points for Brown with a fourth-place ride, moving the Bears into a tie with Penn State and USC after two days of competition.

On the third and final day of the event, Giliberti was in action again, leading off the morning with the team Open Fences. Though she did not pin, she still had the Cacchione Cup work off to compete in, with a chance to make a move. Though it is generally considered very difficult to move up during the work off, Giliberti came through with a terrific all-around ride, and was bumped up eight places into second overall for her efforts.

Despite having just four days to prepare for the event, after qualifying late due to a disqualification from Stonehill College, the Bears still finished with four team points, tying them for tenth in the country with USC.