Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Stanford Dressage Brings Home the Blue

The Stanford dressage team began their IDA season in style October 27 and 28 at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, taking home the team championship on the first day of competition. The weekend marked the first pair of shows for the team, whose senior members Kristen Malinak and Patrick Freeman were joined by sophmore Tori Greenen (stolen from the hunt seat team) and newbies Maria Filsinger and Monika Huss. 

Heading down to San Luis Obispo at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning, the dressage team was joined by coach Rachel Williamson, who also takes on the role of IDA representative for IDA Region U. After arriving on campus and watching the parade of horses, the first ride of the day was freshman and First Level team rider Maria Filsinger, taking the place of senior Kristen Malinak (who ended up competing as an individual despite a broken foot!).

Filsinger managed an energetic draw to finish 6th in her first IDA dressage class, with Malinak finishing 3rd as an individual with a score of 70.59 (despite her broken foot and 6 weeks without riding!). Senior Patrick Freeman rode a considerate test to finish in 5th in Upper Training, while sophomore Tori Greenen rode the diminutive mustang "Midnight" to an impressive 3rd place in Lower Training with a 71.5. 

The star of the day was definitely graduate student Monika Huss, who brought home an astounding 80.00 aboard a western-trained quarter horse at her very first IDA event, winning both her Intro level class and Champion High-Point Rider of the day. Overall, the Stanford team roped the Championship ribbon for the day in a competitive field, with a tie broken by the top 3 riders' collective marks. Go Cardinal!

The second day of competition brought strong performances again for all members of the team, with Filsinger bringing in a 5th and Malinak a 6th in the First Level division, Freeman a 4th in Upper Training, Greenen a 6th in Lower Training, and Huss a 2nd in Intro. Overall, the team finished 3rd on Sunday, gaining valuable show experience and ring time for all of its riders. 

Many thanks to coach Rachel for impeccable warmups and constant cheerfulness. The dressage team is looking forward to riding with her over the next few months before the region's next IDA show at UC Davis on January 13, 2013.

Photos courtesy of Maria Filsinger, '16.