RICHMOND, Va. and LEXINGTON, Va. -- It was a banner weekend for the YJ Equestrians. The IHSA team walked away from the team competition hosted by University of Richmond with every top honor: High Point Team, High Point Rider and Reserve High Point Rider. The Eventing team came home with 2nd place in the year end Collegiate Team Challenge at the Virginia Horse Trials held in Lexington, VA.
Solid showings by sophomore Brianna Shaw (Virginia Beach, Va.), who won both her flat and over fences classes to make her High Point Rider and by freshman Emma Hartsel (Glen Allen, Va.), who placed first and second in her classes and was named Reserve High Point Rider. Additional top ribbons went to Jessica Cogle (Glen Allen, Va.) and Sophie Nelson (Culpeper, Va.) and secured winning team honors for the Yellow Jackets.
"We are so fortunate to have such a deep pool of talented riders at R-MC," said coach John West. "It's a pleasure to watch this team grow and get stronger every year. These kids come out and give it their all every time."
The R-MC Eventing team came out strong at the Virginia Horse Trials ending the first two days of competition in first place. Charlotte Stillfried (King & Queen Court House, Va.) and her horse Palma D laid down an outstanding dressage test to lead her Training division and added nothing to that score all weekend to take 1st place. Freshman Morgyn Johnson (Laurence, N.J.) also scored a personal best of 29 in the dressage to put her in the top 3 in the Modified division. Freshman Katherine Delaney (Rockville, Va.) and her horse Canto Royale were also in the top 3 after dressage in the CCI*. Senior Madlen Lesesne (Beaverdam, Va.) and her young horse, ITZHAPPYHOUR rounded out this strong team who went into Sunday's competition leading the Collegiate Challenge.
Sunday's events shook up the competition a bit and the Yellow Jackets were edged out of first place by less than 3 points by UVA.
"This team gets stronger every time they come out," said coach Ashley Adams, who also piloted her own young horse to his second win this weekend. "We have so much talent among both our riders and our horses, and I think our team spirit is simply unmatched. The fact that this team has been in the top two collegiate teams at every outing this year, against universities ten times our size is just amazing."
The IHSA team has a weekend off and will head to CNU on November 17 to finish off their fall season. The eventers will head to a couple of schooling shows to keep both horses and riders tuned up and are looking forward to spending a solid month of training and competing in Ocala, FL in January.
To learn more about becoming a part of the team at RMC, contact Dana Lesesne, Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.