The Dartmouth equestrian team has been competing in full force this fall, with notable improvement, and finished its season last weekend at a show on Cape Cod.
By placing second in the show sponsored by Boston University, the Big Green earned its highest place this year.
Dartmouth was in first place at the show until BU’s top rider squeaked by with a win in the last division, boosting BU’s score to 41. Dartmouth ended the day with 39.
“We were all really psyched,” co-Captain Kate Mottinger ’96 said. “It was really cool because of the setting, too. The ring was right on the water.”
The Big Green were particularly pleased with the results since 11 other top teams competed, including last year’s national champions, Colby Sawyer College.
Individually, Kate Rice ’98 led Dartmouth’s point riders in the open division with two second place finishes.
All three Dartmouth intermediate riders, Mottinger, Samantha Caldwell ’98 and Sandy Marusek ’96, won their divisions, allowing Dartmouth to sweep that division.
A first place finish by Cathy Emery ’99 in the novice flat division also was essential in the Big Green’s second place finish at their fourth competition this fall.
“I think we have a lot of talent, but we’ve been having bad draws and bad luck,” Mottinger said. “We finally got it all together. We had good draws and good horses, so people could show their talent.”
The Big Green will resume their season in spring, and although the team will not have enough points to qualify for nationals, several individuals will look to make it to zone competition, the qualifying show for nationals.
With two practices and one lesson per week, combined with weight lifting, the quality of the Big Green riders has improved.
“We cut down our team to a smaller size to promote team unity, and it has really worked well,” Mottinger said. “We have also upped the commitment a lot, and I think that has helped a lot on how the team did.”