Monday, May 9, 2011

Sixth in the Nation!

L-R: Coach Vanessa Bartsch with team riders Sarah Jacobson, Rachel Kolb, Alyssa Baldocchi, Morgan Abbett, Alison Smith, Elise DeBuysser, Emily Cohodes, and Nicoletta von Heidegger

Lexington, KY -- Stanford sent 11 riders to the Kentucky Horse Park to contest the 2011 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championships. As Zone 8 Champions, the Stanford Equestrian Team fielded a full team of eight riders to contest the team competition, while sophomore Sasha Najera, junior Logan Hehn, and senior Jaslyn Law survived both Regional and Zone Championships to qualify for the individual competition. The sixth place finish marks Stanford Equestrian's sixth consecutive Top Ten finish at IHSA Nationals in the hunt seat equitation team competition. This year's accomplishment is especially noteworthy given the youth of this year's team riders: three were first-year team members, four were sophomores, and only two had prior post-season experience.

Freshman Morgan Abbett led the team off in the first team class of the horse show, Novice Fences. Her polished round earned her a score of 80 and a third place finish, immediately putting the Cardinal on the board with 4 points. Sophomore Elise DeBuysser added 4 more points to the total with a 3rd place finish in Walk/Trot, and freshman Sarah Jacobson rounded out the team total of 9 points with a 6th place finish in Walk/Trot/Canter. Also representing Stanford were sophomores Emily Cohodes (Open Fences), Nicoletta von Heidegger (Open Flat), and Alison Smith (Intermediate Fences), junior Rachel Kolb (Intermediate Flat), and senior Alyssa Baldocchi (Novice Flat).

In the individual competition, senior Jaslyn Law finished 7th in Novice Flat, while sophomore Sasha Najera and senior Logan Hehn were just out of the ribbons in Walk/Trot/Canter Equitation and Intermediate Horsemanship, respectively.

Stay tuned for more from the team's week in Kentucky -- including cuddles with legendary racehorse Cigar and a visit to the Stanford Equestrian Team veterinarian's racehorse breeding barn!