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The Equestrian Club edged Lehigh to earn second place Saturday at the Region 4 hunter seat season opener of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, which was won by Bucknell for the fourth consecutive season. The hunter seat competition is characterized by English-style riding and jumping.

Riding at Briarwood Farms in Readington, N.J., Lafayette scored 27 points, 12 behind the winners, and earned a reserve ribbon for the first time since the Leopards re-appeared as a full team in fall 2003 after a ten-year absence.

Other schools earning points were Lehigh University, 26; Bloomsburg University, 25; Rutgers University, 23; Kutztown University, 22; Princeton University, 21; East Stroudsburg University, 13; and Moravian College, 9.

“Perhaps the strangest statistic is that Lafayette went over 12 years without any rider qualifying for Regionals,” notes Campus Equestrian. “Then on Saturday two Leopard riders qualified in a half hour’s time!”

Katie Miervaldis ’07 (Basking Ridge, N.J.) and English major Marianna Macri ’06 (Malvern, Pa.) won their flat classes and qualified for Regionals, while mechanical engineering major Erin Githens ’06 (Glen Ridge, N.J.) won a blue ribbon in the open fences. Emily Cholak ’08 (Edinboro, Pa.) won the beginner walk-trot-canter class. Teammate Deirdre Maher ’08 (Merrick, N.Y.) had apparently won that competition, but it turned out that she was only riding for evaluation purposes.

“Miervaldis’s first in the fourth section of novice flat gave her the one point she needed to reach intermediate while Macri won the second section of advanced walk-trot-canter three classes later,” reports Campus Equestrian. “Macri will now ride in novice flat starting October 9th.”

Boosted by the addition of six first-year students this season, the Equestrian Club is coached by Heather Clark and advised by Christine Gale, secretary in the President’s Office and parent of art major Alexis Gale ’05 (Bangor, Pa.). Gale enabled the first seven members of the revived Equestrian Club to join the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and compete last school year. Although the team was without an official coach during that fall semester, it rose to seventh place among 14 schools.

The team returns to Briarwood for its next competition Thursday, Oct. 9, then heads to Lithia Valley Farm in Factoryville, Pa., Friday, Oct. 17.

In addition to competing, the Equestrian Club participates in hunt seat lessons, volunteering with equine assisted therapy for handicapped children, trail riding, and trips to the National Horse Show.

Categorized in: Students