Imagine this: You are an accomplished high school level English rider.You’ve walked-trotted-and-cantered (not to mention leapt) your way tothe Interscholastic Equestrian Association National Championships, besting thousands of other riders representing about 400 teams.
Imagine this: You are an accomplished high school level English rider. You’ve walked-trotted-and-cantered (not to mention leapt) your way to the Interscholastic Equestrian Association National Championships
, besting thousands of other riders representing about 400 teams. Now, you face the arcane procedure that will, at least in part, help determine your fate in the competition. To wit, after lining up in a stall by height, you and the others in your division are called out, one by one, to pick a slip of paper out of a hat. On it is the name of the horse you will ride—a horse completely unfamiliar to you and one on whom you will have precious little warm-up time before heading officially into the ring for Your Turn in the Big-Time.
How about a little pressure with those hay cubes?
“Coming together with the best of the best” was how the Thacher Equestrian Team’
s coach Elizabeth Reynolds Mahoney CdeP 1988
put it. But four of Thacher’s finest—senior Nicole Haseltine
(Varsity), and sophomores Georgi de Rham
(Varsity Intermediate), Lauren Bosche
(JV Novice), and Kristin Sawyer
(Beginner)—more than held their own in late April when they headed to Springfield, Massachusetts. They returned to Thacher with an extraordinary third place team finish (one point behind the Reserve Champion) and several other ribbons: Nicole with a 2nd
(on the flat, for the team), Kristin with a 2nd
(on the flat, individual), Georgi with a 2nd
(on the flat, team) and a 6th
(on the flat, individual), and Lauren with a 6th
over fences and 2nd
flat (both for the team), as well as a 7th
over fences (individual).
These four riders, of course, stand on the strong shoulders of their Thacher Equestrian Teammates (Leandra Cooper
, Will Waste
, Alexandra Montague
, Avery Hellman
, Steffi Star
, Maggie Miller,
and Mary Ellen Funke
), all of whom did their individual parts to boost the team through IEA shows earlier this year, leading to Zones—which Thacher won, against Monte Vista, Santa Catalina, Woodside Priory, and Castilleja. As Liz says, “Our wins [along the way] don't just rest on our top riders. It’s a real team effort.”