By ASHLEIGH GRIM
The University of Mary Washington riding team ended their season with a two day home show hosted at Hazelwild farm on Feb. 16 and 17. Like many of their other seasons, they had a very successful weekend of competing and hosting.
The varsity team takes part in eight shows each year and their Home Show was the final show of the season. The show included all 10 teams from the region including Sweet Briar College, Liberty University, Christopher Newport University, and the College of William and Mary.
UMW lived up to their reputation as they tied for Reserve High Point Team on Saturday and placed third on Sunday with many of their riders advancing to regionals.
Coach Teresa Seay, a UMW alumni and former rider, is extremely pleased with the weekend’s outcome.
“This weekend went fantastic. Everybody was wonderful. Today went great and I am super thrilled with it. We actually have several individuals who have qualified for the postseason,” said Seay.
The success of this show means that many of the equestrian team members will be going to the regional qualifiers, including sophomore Ruth Wilmot, junior Megan Mahoney, sophomore Maggie Lebor, junior Julianna Ianuzi, and senior Olivia Blake.
Along with qualifying for regionals, Lebor also won first place in her class for Intermediate Fences and fourth in Open Flat on Saturday.
Ianuzi placed second in Open Fences and Blake placed third in Open Flat and first in Open Fences. Wilmot placed first in Walk Trot and Mahoney placed third in Advanced Walk Trot Canter.
Other accomplishments include freshman Rachel Wright also placed first in her category for Walk Trot Canter in Sunday’s show, junior Mary Madison Andrews who placed first in Beginner Walk Trot Canter, senior Morgan Roane who placed second in Intermediate Flat and third in Intermediate Fences and senior Alex Buchanan placed second in Novice Flat.
The team not only performed exceptionally, but hosted well even with the pressure of the weekend’s events, balancing the pressure of competing and hosting the show.
“Hosting is always hard because you have the horse show and have to get all of the horses ready. We used 22 horses today,” said Seay.
The whole team pulled off this weekend extraordinarily well. They both managed to host the show and perform well enough to send some of the members to regionals.
“We have 10 schools in our region and they all compete at all of the horse shows. Then only the top schools are region winners and the top school moves on to zones,” said Seay.
Although Sweet Briar College was the region winner, there may be a chance for some UWW riders to advance to zones.
“Next week is regionals but it will only be regionals, and then at zones the region winner, which is Sweet Briar, will compete as a team. Plus any individuals from regionals,” said Seay.
Along with the competition of the weekend, Hazelwild farm presented the first ever annual Abracadabra Memorial Award or “The Abby Award” in honor of one of their most beloved show horses. The winner of the award is the horse or pony that earned the highest cumulative average of over-fences points between both home shows. This year, for the first time, the award was presented to Knightly who boasted a score of 5.45.
The team ended their season with a successful show and sent five of its members to regionals along with hosting the all of the other teams in the region.
While their regular season competitions may be over, there is still the opportunity to support your fellow Eagles in regionals.
Regional qualifiers are taking place next Saturday on Feb 23 at Sweet Briar College.