In 2012 Cori Reich traveled to the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championships  to compete for the U.S. Equestrian Federation/Cacchione Cup, but it wasn’t her year.
“Last year I learned a lot about the competition,” said Reich, a senior equestrian studies major on the teaching and training track at Centenary College (N.Y.). She added that her previous at nationals was aggressive, and she realized by watching the other top riders she needed to smooth out her riding. “It made me more determined.”
Reich rode Parker, who is also from Centenary, in a work off among the top 10 riders. She said her style of riding and long leg fit him perfectly, which helped her shine to the judges.
“This was her focus,” said Centenary coach Michael Dowling. Both he and fellow coach Heather Clark said Reich is constantly at the barn for five lessons per week in addition to riding her own horse.
In addition to $700 in prize money, the Anne Cacchione Memorial Scholarship, a pair of Der-Dau boots, a Collegiate Saddle and other prizes, Reich will receive a week at Lionshare Farm for some one-on-one coaching with Peter Leone.
“[Reich] will be experiencing the fundamentals of international jumping but tailored to her individual needs and interests in jumping,” said Leone.
Reich will graduate in just a few weeks, and she hopes to pursue a professional riding and training career.
In reserve, Flavia D’Urso from Skidmore College (N.Y.) finished the weekend with another strong placing.
“I felt really ready and consistent and prepared for this,” said D’Urso, who rides with coach Cindy Ford at Skidmore. She also drew a horse provided by her own school, Pedro, for the final work off.
“He’s a tricky horse, but I know him,” said D’Urso. “He’s very sensitive. He’s a proper horse; you have to be on your game.”
It’s A Tie!
Both St. Lawrence University (N.Y.) and Skidmore College will be taking home the prestigious Collegiate Cup after both schools ended the competition with 22 points.
Earlier this morning the day began with an upset as Skidmore’s Flavia D’Urso won the team open equitation over fences, launching her team from a 15 point second place standing to first alongside St. Lawrence.
The atmosphere was tense as riders from Skidmore and St. Lawrence battled to break the tie in the team open equitation flat, the final team class. In a competitive field of 16 riders, neither Skidmore’s Olivia Cameron nor St. Lawrence’s Emily D’Alessandro finished in the ribbons, which meant everyone will be taking home blues.
Despite the tough competition, both teams are ecstatic with the results.
“Zone 2 is very strong in hunt seat equitation. I’m excited to share this with Skidmore,” said Mary Drueding, head coach at St. Lawrence. “I have a really great team to work with, and I have a great staff to work with in my assistant coach, Cate Wagner. It takes the whole team to get those eight riders to this horse show—they represent a huge group that works hard for the nine months of the school year.”
It was all smiles as Drueding and Skidmore’s head coach Cindy Ford congratulated each other over their joint victory.
Even though Skidmore and St. Lawrence compete throughout the entire school year, Ford said she and Drueding are great friends, and she is thrilled that for the second year in a row, Skidmore and St. Lawrence took the top two team placings at Nationals.