Thacher team places eighth at International Equestrian League National Championship.
As many Thacher riders were gearing up for Big Gymkhana, Thacher’s Equestrian Team
hopped a plane to Ohio for the Interscholastic Equestrian League (IEA) National Championships. Competing for Thacher on the flat and over fences were Georgi de Rham
'10, Lauren Bosche
'10, Dallas Thayer
'11, and Maggie Miller
'11. Riders who qualified to compete individually were Georgi, Lauren, Maggie, and Avery Hellman
To focus the competition on the rider’s skill and not on the quality of the mount, participants draw their horses at random and must ride that horse with little or no warm up.
“I love going to National Championships” explains Georgi, “because there is such a great atmosphere—I love especially watching the middle schoolers ride, because you can just see how excited they are to be there and how focused they are on doing their best. All the way up the levels to the varsity open riders, everyone seems really excited about competing and being there. It produces such a great quality around the show grounds.”
Producing their share of quality riding, Lauren and Georgi both made it to the finals and Lauren won her team class on the flat, making her the first Thacher rider to win an event at Nationals. Their strong scoring earned the Thacher team eighth place in the competition, marking Thacher’s second top-ten finish in the ten years they’ve been competing at Nationals.
Lauren and Georgi were also among the 200 riders who entered a horsemanship contest, which began with a written exam. The top three scorers on the exam then moved on to a practical exam. Georgi placed eighth and Lauren won it all, capturing the cash prize and having her name engraved on the perpetual trophy.
Lauren gives credit to the team’s coach, Elizabeth Mahoney CdeP 1988: “Mrs. Mahoney has got to be the most tolerant faculty member. She put up with five loud, tired and (at times) cantankerous upperclassmen, coaching us through our classes, bringing us Starbucks by the cup and putting up with our music in the Suburban. Along with our stuffed toad mascot, Webster (who sat ringside at the show) and a slew of parents bringing us more Starbucks, we were in great hands. Competing at IEA competitions is incredibly surreal because you spend so much time preparing—two flights, four nights in a hotel, five-plus hours ringside each day, not to mention the hours preparing at home—for a mere ten minutes in the arena, which usually only lends itself to first impressions. But all that work seemed to pay off this time! We had a fantastic trip.”