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Riders return national title to Skidmore

May 6, 2013

Riders return national title to Skidmore

May 6, 2013

riding team at nationals
National champions with coaches and
(Photo by Lauren Bosche '15)

The Skidmore riding team won its seventh Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (ISHA) national championship May 4 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.
The Thoroughbreds and St. Lawrence University were declared co-champions after each team finished with 22 points. Stanford University was third with 20 points, and Savannah College of Art and Design was fourth with 18 points.
Skidmore's last national title came in 2010. The Thoroughbreds were reserve champions with second-place finishes in 2011 and 2012. Coach Cindy Ford called it a "thrilling victory, especially for our 15 graduating seniors. Six of them are four-year members who have now experienced two national championships ('10 and '13) and two reserve championships ('11 and '12). This has been the best four years ever."

Ford praised her fellow coaches. "Special thanks to Belinda Colgan and Karen Hurff, who worked side-by-side with me to make these young women the best of the best." In addition, Ford noted that the horses traveling with the team "were amazing!"

St. Lawrence had a substantial seven-point lead over Skidmore going into Saturday's final two events. With a 7-5-4-3-2-1 point scale, the Thoroughbreds had their work cut out for them.
Skidmore standout Flavia D'Urso'13 came through in the clutch, winning the Open over Fences and the category's seven additional points. The Saints were shut out. Neither team scored points in the final event, Open on the Flat, leaving the teams deadlocked.
It was a busy final for D'Urso, who also finished second out of 37 in the Cacchione Cup for the nation's top riders. She  totaled 169.00 points for two phases, finishing just 5.25 points behind winner Cori Reich of Centenary College.
Skidmore also had second-place finishes in the team competition from Jessica Stoukides '16 in the Novice on the Flat, Emory Wonham '13 in the Intermediate on the Flat, and Jiakun Fu '15 in the Walk-Trot. Others competing in the team competition were Keena Newton '13 (Walk-Trot-Canter), Natalie Williams '15 (Novice Over Fences), Olivia Cameron '13 (Open on the Flat), and Madeline Frank '13 (Intermediate Over Fences).

In addition to the team competition, Julia Mazzarella '13 and Sandrine Couldwell '13 won individual national titles. Mazzarella won the Open Over Fences, narrowly finishing in front of D'Urso, and Couldwell won the Novice on the Flat. Bettina Salfeld '14 was fourth in the Walk-Trot.
IHSA Final Standings
1. SKIDMORE COLLEGE -- 22 points
1. St. Lawrence  University -- 22
3. Stanford University -- 20
4. SCAD -- 18
5. Mount Holyoke College -- 17
6  Goucher College -- 13
T. Centenary College -- 13
8. Berry College -- 12
9. Otterbein University -- 11
T. Delaware Valley College -- 11
11. St. Andrews Univ. -- 9
12. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder --  4
13. Univ. of Findlay -- 4

(Cover photo: Belinda Colgan, assistant coach; Emory Wonham; Keena Newton; Natalie Williams; Olivia Cameron; Jessica Stoukides; Madeline Frank, co-captain; Jiakun Fu; Flavia D'Urso, co-captain;  Cindy Ford, coach; Robert (Bob) Cacchione, president, IHSA. Photo by Lauren Bosche '15)

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