Stonehill Strong in Two Shows Over the Weekend

Senior Sara Kelly qualified for regionals for intermediate fences and intermediate flat over the weekend. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Skyhawks win Wellesley show, place third at Northeastern and finish second in region 

EASTON, Mass. (March 17, 2014) – The Stonehill College equestrian team closed out its Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Zone 1, Region 4 show schedule with two strong performances in their final two shows leading into the championship season over the weekend.

Stonehill opened the weekend with a third place finish at the Northeastern University Show on Saturday at River Wind Farm in Pembroke, Mass., before winning Sunday's Wellesley College Show at Rising Star Equestrian Center in Medway, Mass. The two results moved the Skyhawks into second place in the Region 4 standings and the team also added ten regional qualifiers to give them 12 qualifiers heading into the Zone 1, Region 4 Championships at the end of the month.

Senior Sara Kelly (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) and juniors Danielle Franchi (Islip, N.Y./Islip), Cassandra Otis (Downingtown, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) and Kayleigh McDonnell (Rutland, Vt./Rutland) led the regional qualifiers for Stonehill over the weekend by qualifying in two events each. Franchi qualified for both open fences and open flat with her two strong performances in those events on Sunday at Wellesley. Kelly qualified for intermediate fences on Saturday and then intermediate flat on Sunday, while Otis earned her spot at the regional championships in novice fences on Saturday and then novice flat on Sunday. McDonnell qualified for both novice fences and novice flat on Sunday at Wellesley.

Also qualifying for regionals on Sunday were sophomore Rachel Fox (Smithfield, R.I./Smithfield) for intermediate flat and classmate Laura Haynes (Avon, Conn./Avon) for intermediate fences.

Senior Kristen Stachnik (Westhampton, N.Y./Westhampton Beach) and sophomore Emma Zamierowski (Winchester, Mass./Winchester) had previously both qualified for regionals and will join the group above in two weeks. 

Northeastern Show

Stonehill placed third as a team to move back up to third in the IHSA Zone 1, Region 4 standings with Sara Kelly and Cassandra Otis leading the way as regional qualifiers.

Junior Danielle Franchi qualified for regionals in open flat and fences on Sunday, placing first in her fences class to help lead the Skyhawks to a first place team finish. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Otis and freshman Ashley Eng (New Milford, Conn./Nonnewaug) were both event winners on the day, with Otis placing first in novice fences and Eng earning a blue ribbon for walk-trot.

Kelly placed second for her intermediate fences class and also finished fifth for intermediate flat. Third place finishes went to Danielle Franchi for open fences, along with a fourth place in her open flat class, sophomore Rachel Fox (Smithfield, R.I./Smithfield) for intermediate flat, Kayleigh McDonnell in novice fences, along with a fifth place showing in novice flat and senior Caitlin Wright (Old Lyme, Conn./Mercy) in walk-trot-canter.

Wellesley Show

Stonehill earned its second event win of the year with a first place effort at the Wellesley Show on Sunday. The 34 points earned by the Skyhawks were enough to move the team into second place in the IHSA Zone 1, Region 4 standings. Six Stonehill riders qualified for regionals at the end of the month in eight events on the afternoon which featured four first place finishes.

Danielle Franchi placed first for her open fences class and also took second in open flat to lead the way for Stonehill and qualify for regionals in both. Sara Kelly earned a blue ribbon for her intermediate flat class to lock up her second regional qualification of the weekend, while Cassandra Otis and Kayleigh McDonnell both won their novice flat classes.

Freshman Taylor Uccello (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) earned a second place finish for novice fences while competing in her first show. Caitlin Wright placed second for her walk-trot-canter class, while Emma Zamierowski placed third. Also earning a third place showing was Kristen Stachnik for intermediate flat. 

Stonehill is off until Saturday, March 29, when its regional qualifiers compete at the IHSA Zone 1, Region 4 Championships, hosted by Boston University at Holly Hill Show Stables in Hanover, Mass., starting at 9 a.m.

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