By Maxime Devillaz
The equestrian team ended its fall season on a high at home ground on Sunday, Nov. 13. Comfortably looking down at its competitors from its saddle atop in the regional rankings, the team leads by over 50 points ahead of runners-up from Stony Brook.
If holding the position following the remaining 2-3 shows in the spring, the team will qualify for zones competition. Eight individual riders have already qualified for regionals. But the team wants more.
“Maintaining number one in the region next semester is our plan,” said Heather Grova, one of the team captains. “We are hoping to qualify as a team for regionals and then zones. It would be great if we could make it to nationals. As long as we keep up our hard work, anything is possible.”
Jessica Sulkers, co-captain with Grova and Alexis Rand, weighed in. “The ultimate goal would be nationals, however… we don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves. It’s all about focusing on the moment, visualizing the steps that are necessary for success and blocking out the possibilities of failure and keeping positive.”
Many Pioneer riders snatched first spots in their respective classes and divisions. Mallory Slack and Grace Tice tied for high point rider and both won their classes— Slack in intermediate fences and flat events, Tice in open fences and flat.
“I think that the increase in amount of lessons we can take really has put this team in a better position for success,” Rand said. “With more practices coach Brooke and Nicole can focus on fixing the little details that add up when we are being judged in the show ring.”
Regional Stands as of Nov. 6:
1. LIU Post 272 Columbia- 107
2. Stonybrook 221 Adelphi- 88
3. NYU 174 Hofstra- 62
4. St.Joseph’s- 163 Molloy- 57
5. Suffolk CC- 162 Princeton- 49