Equestrian Caps Season with Third-Place Finish in IHSA Zone 1, Region 1

Equestrian Caps Season with Third-Place Finish in IHSA Zone 1, Region 1

GALES FERRY, Conn. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth equestrian team completed its 2016-17 IHSA season on Saturday, landing on the season podium for the first time under head coach Mary Charette with a third-place finish for the year in Zone 1, Region 1. Individually, sophomore Olivia van der Meer (Medway, Mass.) completed her season as the Reserve High Point Rider for Zone 1, Region 1.

How it Happened
Van der Meer placed second in both open over fences and open flat classes to finish as UMass Dartmouth's highest scorer on the season. As Reserve High Point Rider for the zone, van der Meer captures the second-highest point total amongst member teams for the entirety of the IHSA season. 

Senior captain Jillian Ruyffelaert (Northampton, Mass.) rode in her first intermediate flat class since suffering an injury the fall season, placing fifth in her final show before she joins van der Meer and junior Nicole Ineson (Maynard, Mass.) as the Corsair representatives at Regionals this weekend.

Senior Natasha Zuzarte (Tiverton, R.I.) placed sixth in her open flat class, and classmate Kira Hallberg placed in both of her classes, taking sixth in novice over fences and fourth in novice flat.

Both placing in their intermediate over fences class were junior Michaela Kessel (Haverhill, Mass.) and junior Anna von Einem (Caracas, Venezuela). Kessel placed third and von Einem fifth.

Sophomore Shelby Cunningham (Mattapoisett, Mass.) placed second in her beginner walk trot canter class, and as a result begin the 2017-2018 season in advanced walk trot canter. Classmate Erin Parrelli (Mohawk, N.Y.) placed fifth in her walk trot class.

Up Next
UMass Dartmouth will host the Zone 1, Region 1 finals this coming Saturday, March 18 at its home barn, Claddagh Farm in Tiverton, R.I. Ruyffelaert, van der Meer and Ineson will compete for a spot in the Zone 1 championships in April.