Monday, January 21, 2013

Stanford Off to Strong Start in 2013

Freshman Holly Grench takes back-to-back wins and high point rider
Stanford's hunt seat team returned from nearly a month off over the holidays to a show at a chilly UC Davis on January 12th. Having had only four days of practice since returning from winter break, Stanford brought a young team up to the Davis Equestrian Center and had a great showing with five wins, as well as high point and reserve high point rider honors for the day.

Sophomore Claire Margolis kicked things off for the Cardinal, winning Open Fences with a fluid and forward round on Ohelo. She followed up her win with a nice ride in Open Flat that earned her a red ribbon. With a combined score of 12, Margolis finished as the reserve high point rider for the show, her third straight high point or reserve high point finish this year.

Margolis was only bested by freshman Holly Grench from St. Louis, MO. In only her second IHSA show, Grench mastered two great draws, winning back-to-back blue ribbons in the A section of Novice Flat and Fences, earning her high point rider honors for the day. Also in Novice were strong showings by freshman Bella Peyser, who won the B section of Novice Flat on Katie; sophomore Erin Gray, who took third in the A section of Novice Fences; and sophomore Ellen Kettler, currently in her first year of IHSA showing, who took third in her section of fences and fifth on the flat.

Senior Eliza Richartz taking her first blue in Walk Trot

Another highlight of the day was senior Alison Smith qualifying for the Regional Finals with her ribbon in Intermediate Flat. Alison has made two appearances at the IHSA National Finals for Stanford, but this will be her first individual postseason appearance. The only other senior showing for the team was first-year team rider Eliza Richartz, who (after spending three years on the varsity sailing team before joining equestrian this year) took her first-ever win in Walk Trot. Another first-year rider, sophomore Natasha Aguirre, placed just behind Richartz in the class.

Two other first-year riders showed for the day, completing Stanford's run of ribbons. With a pair of placings, freshman Bailey Martinez took sixth in Intermediate Fences and sophomore Veronica Patterson showed at her first away competition and came in sixth in Advanced Walk Trot Canter. All in all, the day was a great showing for the young team with all riders in the ribbons. Stanford holds on to its 52-point lead in the region as it heads into its next show, held Saturday, January 26th at UC Berkeley.