Written by Janika Carey
On Wednesday, Sweet Briar College riders traveled to Hollins University to compete in this year's Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championships. After a rollercoaster competition, the team finished second behind Hollins, falling short by just one point.
The team consisted of four riders, each on College-owned horses: Olivia Fabian Slocum '17 on Lord of the Dance, Makayla Benjamin '18 on Dorado, Courtney Barry '18 on Love Z, and Emily Schlosberg '19, who jumped Theodore and rode Mulligan on the flat. Benjamin scored a second place overall and Slocum was fifth. Each rider's average scores are added up for each phase — and overall — to come up with the team standings.
Riding program director Mimi Wroten and instructor Lizzie Fisch coached the team.
Sweet Briar came in second in the first over-fences round by a quarter of a point, first in the second over-fences round and third in the flat phase for an overall second-place finish.
Sweet Briar was one of six colleges competing in the championships. Hollins topped the field at 17 points, followed by Sweet Briar at 16, Lynchburg College at 12 and Randolph College and Washington and Lee University at nine points each. Bridgewater College came in last, scoring three points.
This is the second time in seven years Sweet Briar's ODAC team has claimed the Reserve Championship. The last time the team competed at Hollins University in 2011 they also were Reserve Champions. They won the ODAC title in 2016, 2015 and 2012.
"As always, the girls worked together beautifully as a team, taking wonderful care of their horses and each other," Fisch said.
As a special bonus, President Phillip C. Stone and Mary Pope Hutson '83, vice president for alumnae relations and development, were there to watch and cheer the team on.
Sweet Briar Riding now looks ahead to the 90th Annual Horse Show and Benjamin's participation in the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association Zones on Saturday. The team will then head to the American National Riding Commission Championships April 17-23. The latter will be hosted by Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. The ANRC team includes Slocum, Benjamin, Barry and Schlosberg, as well as Aoife Magner '19 and Nicole Sabovik '19.