Equestrian Team Qualifies for Nationals

April 16, 2002

STONELEIGH-BURNHAM, MA -- The Brown Equestrian team qualified for Nationals in dramatic fashion on Saturday, April 13, in the Zone competition at Stoneleigh-Burnham.

The top four teams from Zone 1, which is comprised of all of New England, met to determine which two would go on to Nationals. Stonehill College won the team competition with 39 points, followed by Brown and the University of Vermont with 38 each, and Mount Holyoke College with 37. Brown broke the tie and qualified for Nationals in a final ride-off at the end of the day.

In the team competition, senior Amanda Forte started the day with a third place finish in open fences, followed by a win from fellow senior Heather McCrea in intermediate fences, and a fourth place showing from senior Caroline Preston in novice fences. In the flat portion of the team competition, sophomore Cindy Willner took fourth in the intermediate division, Preston placed third in novice, sophomore Amanda Burden '04 placed first in walk-trot-canter, and freshman Galyn Burke placed third in walk-trot.

Coming into the last regularly scheduled class of the day, Brown stood in fourth place. The only way that the team had a shot for a place at Nationals was for Forte to place first in open flat and UVM rider John Pigott to take fourth. Forte rode with confidence under pressure. However, Pigott, made the error of picking up the wrong lead at the canter directly in front of the judge. Forte placed first and Pigott fourth.

After the open flat team competition, Brown and UVM were tied at 38 points apiece. The rules of the competition required that a tie be broken by a ride-off between riders in the same randomly selected division. Intermediate fences was chosen, making McCrea Brown's final hope for a berth at Nationals. McCrea had already won the regular intermediate fences team class for the day. She rode first in the ride-off, before UVM rider McKenzie Rollins. Rollins got off to an excellent start, but another mental mistake cost UVM a trip to Nationals when she jumped the wrong fence and was eliminated. McCrea was declared the tie-break winner, and Brown earned its second consecutive trip to Nationals.

In addition to qualifying with the team, both Forte and Willner will be competing at Nationals as individuals. As high point rider of Region I, Zone 1, Forte will compete in the Cacchione Cup, a competition she won last year. She also took first in individual open flat at Zones to qualify for the Nationals in that event as well. Willner will compete in novice flat, after placing second at Zones.

Five other Brown riders also had the honor of competing at Zones as individuals, although they did not qualify for Nationals. Co-captain and senior Elizabeth Quadros placed sixth in open fences. Junior Sarah Staveley-O'Carroll placed seventh in intermediate flat and senior Megan Burke took seventh in novice flat. In walk-trot-canter, senior Amanda Henry placed eighth, and senior Katja Goldflam took seventh in walk-trot.

Brown will be back in action for the All-Ivy competition on April 27 at Dartmouth before competing at Nationals on May 3-5 in Cazenovia, NY.