Sunday, October 17, 2010

Promising start for a young team at the English and Western season openers

Senior Sabrina Wilson riding through the rain at the Western season opener
Stanford traveled to Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo on October 16 and 17 for the season openers of the English and Western sides of the Stanford Equestrian Team.

This is an exciting new season for the Cardinal. With more fresh faces on the roster than returning riders, the Stanford Equestrian Team has gained a lot of depth and talent. Of the 13 riders the English side brought to the Cal Poly Equine Center, only 5 had any prior experience in the intercollegiate arena. The new riders rose to the new challenges of riding unfamiliar horses around the show ring without any warm-up. Highlights of the day included wins by freshmen Morgan Abbett and Macey Sanchez over fences, a flat win for new member Kristen Malinak, a second-place ride for sophomore Caroline Peterson, and senior Jaslyn Law pointing out of her class to become the first rider of the season to qualify for Regionals as an individual. The Cardinal finished the day in third place, a respectable result for the first away show of a very young team.

On Sunday, the skies opened for the Western contingent, who competed in the pouring rain. Despite the lightning, the small squad of 7 (only three of whom had prior IHSA show experience!) rallied to capture the Reserve Champion Team title. Notable performances include those by senior Theo Gibbs, making her IHSA debut  a winning one, senior Sabrina Wilson's second place finish, and another second from freshman Laura Benard.

Stanford competes next at the College of the Sequoias, who will host the Western teams of IHSA's Zone 8, Region 1 on October 23 and 24.