Briley Branden of the Southeastern Connecticut IEA team (on left, with Claire Gordon, who is one of two SE CT coaches) won her JV novice crossrails while
placing second on the flat at the December 18th show at Mystic Valley Hunt Club. Southeastern Connecticut was the upper school high point team for the day.
SOUTHEASTERN CONNECTICUT, CRANBERRY EARN BLUE RIBBONS ON DECEMBER 18TH
Gales Ferry, CT - The final IEA show of the 2010 calendar
year took just over nine and a half hours to complete. When
it was over a pair of programs had prevailed by a single
point. Co-host Southeastern Connecticut was the upper school
champion team while the Cranberry Equestrian Team was tops
among the middle schools. Southeastern Connecticut emerged a
27-26 upper school winner over both the North Shore and Cranberry
Equestrian Teams while Cranberry edged out the Metropolitan
Equestrian Team 20-19. It was the first time in team history
that Cranberry's middle schoolers won high point team honors.
The final show of the fall was also a good indicator of
how fast the IEA is growing. Eleven of the 25 teams signed
up to compete at today's event made their IEA debut this fall
and at least one program, Well-A-Way Farm, was competing in
an IEA event for the very first time.
Though the Southeastern Connecticut program is in only
their second season of IEA competition, the co-hosts (with
Woodstock Acres) competed like old pros. Gabriella Tauro, a
high school sophomore (whose mother assisted the show
secretary at today's event) won both of her varsity classes
while another sophomore, Briley Branden, won her junior
varsity novice crossrails while placing second in JV novice
flat. Ellie Myers was a winner for SE CT in junior varsity
beginner equitation on the flat. Twice during the show
Southeastern Connecticut won three consecutive classes,
though one such streak involved wins by their middle school
riders. Randi LaChance was one of the middle school winners,
earning a blue ribbon in future novice crossrails while later
placing second in future novice equitation on the flat. The
Southeastern Connecticut middle school earned a respectable
12 points for the day.
|Danielle Barretto (second on left, next to her mother Deb) and Briana Kupic (second on right, with her mother Betsy) won consecutive
sections of future intermediate equitation over fences for the Cranberry middle school team. Barretto was also a winner in future intermediate flat as
Cranberry won the middle school competition with 20 points.
At today's show it was not uncommon to locate a team
where one of the riders could claim one of their parents
is also the coach. The Cranberry Equestrian Team had four
middle school riders entered, with two of the four being
Briana and Alexis Kupic. Their mother Betsy Kupic
co-coaches the Cranberry team with Geraldine Burnet, and
it was a very good day all around for the Kupic family.
Eighth grader Briana won her future intermediate fences
while seventh grader Alexis won her future novice
crossrails. Add in a pair of future intermediate wins for
Danielle Barretto and you have an elated Coach/mom.
"We are very, very happy to say the least," said Betsy
Kupic after Cranberry was champion middle school for the
first time in the program's short history. The Cranberry
upper school came within a point of making it two high
point team ribbons at the same show, with two blue ribbons
given out over the course of ten rides.
The Cranberry jackets were the same shade of red as
those worn by the Metropolitans. Apparently red was the
lucky color for today's middle schoolers, as the
Metropolitan Equestrian Team came closest with 19 points.
Unlike all but one other team entered at today's show,
the Metropolitan team is from Zone 2 rather than Zone 1,
but under IEA rules is allowed to cross zone lines and
show against Zone 1 schools which are much closer
geographically than nearly all possible Zone 2 opponents.
Though the Metropolitans have competed in only four IEA
shows since joining the organization this fall, Coach Jane
DeCosta explained that in four meets the Metropolitans
have finished as reserve champions at three while
technically finishing in a three-way tie for first at the
other (though by rule they were awarded third place due to
|With the winter solstace three days away it was dark before 5:00PM. Dale Eddy of North Shore Equestrian (on left) holds
her blue ribbons won in junior varsity novice flat and crossrails as darkness set in. Head Coach Heather Hunt (on right) saw North Shore
come up one point shy in the upper school team competition.
While Metropolitan came up from New York City (they
train at Jamaica Bay Riding Academy in Brooklyn), North
Shore Equestrian traveled nearly as far but from
the opposite direction. North Shore stands for the
north shore of Boston, and like the Cranberry upper
schoolers were only a point out of first behind Southeastern
Connecticut. While Southeastern CT had 13 riders in 21
divisions and Cranberry had eight riders in ten divisions
the North Shore upper school roster was made up of only
four riders in eight divisions. Dale Eddy, a high school
freshman, won both her junior varsity novice crossrails
and flat to pick up over half the North Shore points.
According to Head Coach (and former Stonehill College
rider) Heather Hunt the North Shore middle school team is
among the top in points nationwide at the moment (though
few of their middle school riders were entered today).
Though technically today's show was hosted by a Region 4
program North Shore was one of perhaps as much as half
the field which came from another region (or zone) to
compete at today's event (conversely there were at least
five Zone 1, Region 4 programs which did not compete at
today's show). Because the tiebreaker at today's show was
points over fences, Technically North Shore was upper
school reserve high point champion.
River's Edge Equestrian Team (from Region 4) did well
in the upper school competition, earning 24 points. Erin
Wester led the way for River's Edge, receiving blue
ribbons in both varsity intermediate flat and fences.
Well-A-Way Farm faired very well in their IEA debut,
earning two blue ribbons while scoring 23 points to make
the top five for the afternoon.
Carriage Stone Farm (yet another Zone 2 school) and
Hidden Brook Farm (from Zone 1, Region 4) both scored 22
points. Coral Torelli, a high school junior, was first
for Carriage Stone in varsity intermediate fences. While
we at Campus Equestrian are not sure if this was Carriage
Stone's first IEA blue ribbon (it was their second-ever
show following their debut on December 5th) it was
Torelli's first IEA blue ribbon. Hidden Brook was led by
Samantha Psanis. A high school junior, Psanis was first
in both her varsity open flat and open fences classes.
|Mike Janson of Windswept (on left) won the varsity open flat class which started the day.
Windswept teammate (and girlfriend) Dylan Spets (on right) was second in both of her varsity open classes but
defeated everyone (including reserve champion Janson) in the varsity open championship class.
Rounding out the upper school teams which earned 20 or more
points was Hunter's Run. Kimberly O'Keefe, a high school
sophomore whose mother Jeri is the Hunter's Run coach, was a
blue ribbon winner in varsity open equitation on the flat.
Hunters Run, yet another team enjoying its first season of IEA
competition, finished the day with 21 points.
Windcrest Equestrian Team, which rides out of Windcrest
Farm in Hebron, Connecticut, was third in the middle school
category with 16 points. Armand Chenelle, who coaches the
team with wife Martha Chenelle and Danielle Johnson, broke his
leg recently and did not attend today's show. We want to
wish Armand, who is also involved with the Wesleyan
University IHSA program, a speedy recovery. Hidden Brook
Stables was fourth with 13 points while both Southeastern
Connecticut and Windswept were also into double digits with 12
points each. Though Southeastern had only three middle
school riders in six divisions, these riders (including
LaChance) produced four blue ribbons and two red ones.
Today's show featured a Varsity Open Championship class.
The top six open riders through the varsity open flat and
fences divisions were invited to compete in this class. Mike
Janson, a high school sophomore riding for Windswept who was
making his IEA debut, won the section of varsity open flat to
start the day. Before he could be photographed Janson asked
if he could watch his girlfriend ride in the second flat
class. She turned out to be Dylan Spets, another sophomore
and Windswept teammate. While Spets finished second to
O'Keefe and later was second over fences, both riders were
invited back for the championship. This time Spets won while
Janson was the reserve champion. Psanis, who relegated Janson
to second in varsity open fences, was third.
|There were at least a dozen individuals with ties to the IHSA at today's IEA event. United States Military Academy Coaches Peter and Sherry
Cashman were on hand to see daughter Shelby (center) make her IEA debut. The high school junior and Carriage Stone varsity open rider was third on the flat and
fourth over fences. First-year team Carriage Stone finished five points behind Southeastern Connecticut for the day.
One of the unusual aspects of the IEA is that a rider can
cross region lines to show by herself (or himself) without
her team officially being entered in the shows' team
competition. Bailey Manning, a high school junior who shows
for the Hopkins Academy team in Region 3 (and which trains
out of parents' John and Beth Manning's Biscuit Hill Farm in
Shelburne, Massachusettts) competed in and won both of her
varsity open classes. Manning also was fourth in the
Varsity Open Championship class. Though she personally
earned 14 points, Manning's Hopkins Academy team did not
receive a team score at today's show.
IHSA ties: Among those with ties to the IHSA who were
seen at today's show included John Manning, co-coach of the
Amherst College team (on hand to watch daughter Bailey);
Rachel Sherman, a former Johnson & Wales University rider
who tracked the points in the office; Hunt, the former
Stonehill College rider who coaches the North Shore team;
Elissa Schwartz, a former Brown University rider and Roger
Williams University coach who is now assistant coach to
(current Brown University coach) Michaela Scanlon, who have
both gotten the Windswept team off the ground this season;
Brooke Markewicz, a former IHSA rider at two schools (one
being Midway College) who now coaches the Maplewood Farm
Equestrian Team; Sam Black, a recent St. Andrews
Presbyterian College graduate who now coaches River's Edge;
Tiffany Hajdasz, hunter seat coach at Sacred Heart
University (which trains at River's Edge), who was on hand
to watch daughter Savanna ride for Windcrest Farm; Robin
Vinson, who was Robin Dawley when she rode for Johnson &
Wales in the mid 1980's, who now coaches the Hummingbirds
team; Claire Gordon and Marissa Sylvester, both coaches for
Southeastern Connecticut and each a former IHSA rider
(Gordon with Connecticut College and Sylvester with what
was Teikyo Post University at the time); Jane DeCosta,
Coach of the Metropolitan team, who coached Columbia
University's IHSA team in 2003-04; Peter Cashman and Sherry
Cashman, co-coaches for the United States Military Academy
team, who were on hand to see daughter Shelby compete for
Carriage Stone; Tina Bove, a former USMA rider known as
Tina Struble at that time, who will be coaching the US
Coast Guard IHSA team starting in the spring of 2011; and
Richard Luckhardt, the Connecticut College head coach who
runs Mystic Valley Hunt Club where Southeastern Connecticut
trains (as will the Coast Guard team).
|Seen here with her father, Maria Danza of the Metropolitan Equestrian Team won her junior varsity novice crossrails at Mystic Valley Hunt
Club on December 18th. Metropolitan was one of at least 11 teams at today's show which made their IEA debut in the fall of 2010.
Speaking of Mystic Valley there was considerable activity in the
upstairs lounge during today's show. A bake sale and a 'consignment
britches' sale for lack of a better term took place, with nearly
every cupcake and brownie completely sold out. Artist Sarah Martin,
whose business card describes her as "Sarah M - Art in Design" was
busy selling her art (some equestrian - related as she herself
competes). Also the scoreboard was posted in the upstairs lounge,
with Sherman updating the totals from the middle of the day onward.
Underneath part of the upstairs lounge is the announcer's stand.
While Connecticut College open rider Katie Lynch did a fine job as
announcer through lunch time, this writer was even more impressed
with SE CT parent Rob Kohler's ability to correctly pronounce names
having never announced at a show before. Kohler took over for
Lynch and handled announcing duties as if he had done it for years!
Kohler knew how to call for everyone to line up and dismount and
read off the placings with accurate pauses between applause.
Save for future novice flat winner Marisa Permatteo (we both thought
Kohler pronounced it correctly as 'Per-mat-ay-oh' it turns out the
Milestone Stable rider pronounces it 'Per-mattie-oh') Kohler appears
to have correctly pronounced all the names. If Connecticut College
or the U.S. Coast Gaurd (or an IHSA Zone 1, Region 1 school) needs
an announcer for a spring 2011 show at Mystic Valley they should
seek out Mr. Kohler.
A few weeks off: With the conclusion of today's event there are
no IEA shows scheduled in Zone 1 for the next two weekends. On
January 8th. According to the official IEA web site Miss Porter's
School will host a show at Avon Valley Show Stables on January 8th
and again the following weekend on the 15th. On January 15th there
is more than one IEA show to choose from in New England, as the Wild
Aire and Hunter Hill Equestrian teams will co-host at Wild Aire Farm
in Southbridge, Massachusetts. There are at least nine other IEA
shows scheduled in New England between mid January and March 13th,
after which Regionals, Zones and IEA Nationals in Maryland will take
Show Incidentals: Sunny skies but cold, with temperatures in
the mid '30's. Judge: Fred Hunt. Steward: Jennifer Eaton.
Course Designer: Richard Luckhardt.
Team Totals - Upper School: Southeastern Connecticut (High
Point Team) 27; North Shore Equestrian Team (Reserve - Won
Tiebreaker, which was points over fences) 26; Cranberry
Equestrian Team 26; River's Edge Equestrian
Team 24; Well-A-Way Farm 23; Hidden Brook Stables 22; Carriage
Stone Farm 22; Hunters Run 21; Windcrest Equestrian Team 16;
Windswept 14; Folly Farm 13; Hummingbirds 13; Furnace Brook 11;
ABF Equine 10; Blackstone Valley Equestrian Team 10;
Metropolitan Equestrian Team 9; A Touch of Majic 6; Wachusett
Equestrian Team 5; Woodstock Acres 5; Milestone Stable 2; Walnut
Hill Farm 2 and Maplewood Farm Equestrian Team 1.
Team Totals - Middle School: Cranberry Equestrian Team (High
Point Team) 20; Metropolitan Equestrian Team (Reserve) 19;
Windcrest Equestrian Team 16; Hidden Brook Stables 13; Windswept
12; Southeastern Connecticut 12; Folly Farm 9; North Shore
Equestrian 9; Milestone Stable 5; Maplewood Farm Equestrian Team
4; Well-A-Way Farm 4; Walnut Hill 3; ABF Equine 3; Hunters
Blackstone Valley Equestrian Team 0 and Carriage Stone Farm 0.
Varsity Open Championship Class Champion - Dylan Spets, Windswept
Reserve Champion - Mike Janson, Windswept