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In only its second year of competition since more than a decade of inactivity, the Equestrian Club finished second overall in the region among 13 schools this season. Coach Heather Clark was awarded the zone 3, region 4 Coach of the Year Award for 2004-2005.

“The unique thing about intercollegiate equestrian competition is that every rider is important and can make an equal impact on a team,” says team captain Nicole Prestiano ’05 (Ansonia, Conn.), a biology major. “This is one of the great things about our competitions, because it is not only a few top athletes that carry the team — everyone plays a significant part.”

Five team members qualified to compete in the regional year-end tournament this season: Prestiano, mechanical engineering major Erin Githens ’06 (Glen Ridge, N.J.), government & law and psychology double major Allison Ligorano ’06 (Clinton, N.J.), English major Marianna Macri ’06 (Malvern, Pa.), and economics & business and art double major Katie Miervaldis ’07 (Basking Ridge, N.J.). Githens competed in Open Fences, Katie Miervaldis in Novice Flat and Novice Fences, and Prestiano in Walk/Trot/Canter. (Macri is studying abroad in England this semester and Ligorano could not compete for medical reasons.)

“Erin Githens is perhaps one of the three most improved riders in the entire IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) from a year ago,” says team adviser Christine Gale, secretary in the President’s Office and parent of art major Alexis Gale ’05 (Bangor, Pa.).

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

Other schools fielding teams in the region are Bloomsburg University, Bucknell University, Cedar Crest College, Desales University, East Stroudsburg University, Kutztown University, Lehigh University, Moravian College, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Susquehanna University and University of Scranton.

Categorized in: Students