Equestrian starts on road to redemption, taking opener at URI

Oct. 2, 2004

Greenwich, RI - Looking to avenge last year's disappointing second-place finish in the region, the equestrian team opened its season with a five-point win over host University of Rhode Island on Saturday. The Bears tallied 43 points, as URI scored 38 points to finish as runner-up. In addition to defeating URI, the Bears also outperformed a deep field of nine other schools.

The show opened with the open fences competition, where co-captain Jamie Peddy '06 captured first place and classmate Alexis Gilbard '06 took third place. Although Brown did not have a rider place in the top three for the intermediate fences division, the momentum was maintained with wins from Grace Peloquin '07 and Rachel Roemer '06, in their respective classes within the novice fences division.

Bruno met controversy in the open flat division. Peddy, the first competitor in Open Flat, drew a skittish horse and ended up finishing last in the class.

"He was so nervous that he simply couldn't stop jumping up and down long enough to do much of anything," said Peddy.

Head Coach Michaela Scanlon called a stewards meeting to decide if the horse should be pulled from competition. After the stewards consulted with the judge, they decided to keep the horse in the show. However, the next competitor fared even worse on the horse, and after much debate, the stewards reversed their decision. The horse was removed and the two equestrians were granted re-rides.

This opportunity proved to be the turning point in the day, as Peddy was able to overcome the distraction of the controversy and finish second in open flat, earning five points for her effort.

Although no Brown riders placed in the top three for intermediate flat, Bruno posted impressive finishes in the remaining classes. Peloquin earned her second first-place finish of the day in novice flat, and Kate Rae '05 captured third. Advanced walk-trot-canter proved to be an equally powerful effort by the Bears. The division featured a first-place finish by co-captain Galyn Burke '05 and a third-place showing by Katie Goetz '08.

Natalie Forbes '05 and Kimberley Mickenberg '07 captured first-place accolades in their respective classes in beginner walk-trot-canter. Jenny John '06 won the walk-trot division to close the competition on a strong note for Brown.

Peloquin was named high point reserve champion upon the conclusion of the competition. Peloquin's two first-place finishes in her divisions tied her for the title of top equestrian in novice, intermediate and open classes combined. Amanda Bon-Keen of Wesleyan, who also won her two divisions, also qualified for the title of high point champion. As a result, Peloquin and Bon-Keen competed in a ride-off for the accolade. Peloquin, a novice rider, lost to Bon-Keen, an intermediate competitor, but earned the high point runner-up title.

According to Peddy, the team is shaping up to be a powerful force in the region this year and to gain a berth at nationals. Peddy found Saturday's competition to be an indicator of the future success she sees for the squad. "It was a great start to the season," she said. "Everyone rode really well, especially considering we have only been practicing for a couple weeks."

The team heads to Teikyo Post in Connecticut on Oct. 16 for its next competitio