CHARLESTON, S.C. - The College of Charleston equestrian team made a late-season push with their final International Horse Show Association Zone 5 Region 3 shows in attempt to catch regional leader Savannah College of Art and Design but came up just four points of the regional title short in the end.
The Cougars started the push when they hosted the final regular-season show of the season at Storybook Farms on Saturday, March 3. The team came into the show trailing SCAD by a seemingly-insurmountable 18 points in the regional standings but after claiming highest honors in the first four events and battling back throughout the day the Cougars had a realistic shot heading into the season's final event.
The Cougars needed a first place finish combined with a sixth place finish out of SCAD to claim the title. CofC's rider Alyssa Johnson did her part in taking the crown in the final Walk Trot event but SCAD's rider took second and thwarted CofC's championship bid.
Also claiming event victories on the day for CofC were Eliza Hay in the Open Flat and Open Fences, Danielle Huntsman in the Intermediate Flat and Novice Fences (Section A), McKenzie Armour in the Intermediate Fences and Amanda Mazzola in the Novice Flat (Section B).
Hay and Huntsman tied for high-point rider of the day honors. CofC won the event by a convincing 14 points but ultimately needed 19 to win and 18 to tie the region.
The following day, the Cougars sent five riders to represent the team in six events at the IHSA Zone 5 Region 3 Championship at Evermore Farm in Brooklet, Ga. The Cougars placed all their riders in the top five and more importantly had four top-two finishes who will advance to the Zone 5 Championship Horse Show being held at Virginia Intermont on March 31, 2012.
Those riders were Hay who placed first in the Open Fences and second in the Open Flat, McKenzie Armour who placed first in the Open Flat and Zoe Merritt who claimed first in the Intermediate Fences.
IHSA Region 5 is comprised of four zones so there will be eight riders in each class at the region championships. The top two riders in each event will advance to the National Championship Horseshow as individuals. The IHSA National Championship Horseshow will be held May 3-6, 2012 at the Hunt Complex in Raleigh, NC.
Last season, the Cougars sent three riders to 2011 IHSA National Championship Horse Show in Lexington, Ky., highlighted by MacKenzie Russell's national championship in the Individual Walk Trot Canter class and the perpetual John Conyers Memorial Trophy.
Final Regional Standings
College of Charleston