The State University of New York at New Paltz Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) team had a great showing at Crosswinds Equestrian Center Saturday. The team stepped up and each rider contributed solid points to the team’s point card, and the Hawks finished in a tie for third place with United States Military Academy with 25 points, behind Marist College (34) and Centenary University (45).
Fourth-year Katie Zacharda started the day in intermediate fences, drawing Zander and placing fourth, and then competed in the intermediate flat aboard Rio, also finishing fourth.
Next up for SUNY New Paltz was the limit flat. Third-year Frances Baldinucci rode Tito and put in a good ride, finishing sixth. Second-year Sara Marriott drew Belle and rode to a sixth place finish as well. Second-year Jillian Kahrs finished out limit flat for the Hawks, riding PJ Mask and came out with a second place standing. Kahrs and Baldinucci both drew Quantum for their limit fences classes, placing fifth and sixth respectively.
“I think we [Quantum] both did very well. We really molded together on our ride and I’m very proud of how he did and I did,” Kahrs said. “It feels amazing to be able to see the progress I’ve had since my first show to now. I’m feeling a lot more confident in this style of riding and it’s a great feeling.”
The Hawks then moved to the pre-novice flat, starting with second-year Brie Costello who drew JB and finished fourth. First-year Abby Artz put in a great ride aboard Addy and rode to a first place finish, giving her enough points to move from pre-novice into novice flat.
“It felt great to win and point out! I’m a little nervous to go into novice but I know that I’ll be able to really grow as a rider,” Artz said. “I thought Addy was great! She was a little quick at certain parts but overall she was an amazing ride.”
Last up for the team was second-year Paige Parker, who rode in introductory flat on her draw, Jake, and finished in second place.
“I felt really happy about placing second today, and it has boosted my confidence as a rider,” Parker said. “I thought my horse Jake was very friendly and a great ride.”
“I am happy with our third place finish. With missing two key point spots in the open fences and open flat classes, third really means all our riders worked hard to gain points in their classes,” said SUNY New Paltz coach Brooke Nestor. “The focus going to Centenary will be to fine tune everyone’s position on the flat that we have continued to be working on as well as working on track and pace on our course work at home before the show.”
SUNY New Paltz competes next at Centenary University on Nov. 16 for their last show of the fall season.
After this weekend’s results, the Hawks are proving to be strong, despite having only seven riders in a highly competitive region. They are currently sitting fourth out of eight teams in their region, and have two riders who are qualified for regionals.