The New Paltz Equestrian teams rode into some highs and lows over the weekend. The National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) team showed on Friday, Sept. 24 and Saturday, Sept. 25 while the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) team showed the next day on Sunday.
Friday’s events kicked off in Dover with fences. Third-year NCEA captain Brynley Smith took on Delaware State’s Victoria Croston on Tillie. Smith narrowly overpowered Croston 73-72 to earn the first point for New Paltz. Next up was second-year Devyn Looney on Etty who also overpowered the Hornets. Keeping the streak going, Hawk’s graduate student Alanna Ryan rode Lophius and earned a third point for New Paltz.
New Paltz did fall in the final round of fences, but going into flats they were up 3-1. Looney showed again, this time on Denali, but fell to Delaware’s Jordan Wicklund. New Paltz came back strong, however, in the form of fourth-year Lily Yampolsky on Carlus. The show was tied 1-1 on flats.
Next up, Ryan fell to the Hornets on Cici. The day would now finish the way it started: Smith versus Croston. Who would get the point?
Smith rode Finnegan and like last time, overpowered Croston by one point: 92-91. Meaning, New Paltz’s final competition totals was 620 points to Delaware’s 611.5.
Unfortunately, the same momentum could not be met the next day at the show against Sacred Heart. In fences, New Paltz only earned one point from Looney on Tilie. In flats the Hawks fared a little better. Ryan and Smith overpowered their opponents to earn two points for New Paltz. In the end, however, Sacred Heart finished with 601.5 points to New Paltz’s 490.
It was now time for the IHSA team to show at Marist, the next day on Sunday, Sept. 26 and they absolutely dominated.
Having started as a small team, they were able to grow and overpower one of the superpowers that used to beat them every time: Marist.
First to show was Smith and Looney going head to head against three of Centenary’s top riders and one of United State’s Military Academy’s (USMA) top riders in the open fences division. Smith came in triumphant in first place and Looney came in right after her in second place in fences.
First-year Winn Schmitt also showed in limit over fences, who ultimately placed second, and fourth in the limit flat.
Next up was second-year Juliette Barkman, first-year Djuna Dechert and fourth-year Sara Marriott competing in limit fences and limit flat. Barkman was able to place sixth over fences and second in her flat class. Marriott placed sixth place in both her fences and her flat class. Both were going head to head in the flat, and were able to place and gain the team points.
Fourth-year IHSA captain Brienne Costello and third-year Abigail Artz competed in the novice flat classes. Costello riding Harry placed fifth in her class and Artz placed third place on Harley.
“We all really did an amazing job at the show today and it was amazing seeing us work as a team and cheering each other on,” Artz said. “The freshmen are really starting to get the hang of the IHSA format of the shows.”
Fourth-year IHSA captain Paige Parker and third-year Emma Mearkle ended the day in the pre-novice flat class. Parker placed sixth and Mearkle placed fifth against riders from Drew, Marist and USMA.
Overall, the Hawks were able to come right behind Centenary University earning Reserve High Point for the first time as a Varsity team.
The team is looking forward to their next show at West Point on Sunday, Oct. 3.