For immediate release – 4/4/2017
WildCats Set for Pivotal Two-Show Week
LYNCHBURG, VA – After winning the overall Zone 4 Region 2 team title in February and having several members qualify out of the individual Zone 4 Region 2 Championships, the Randolph College equestrian team will begin its biggest week of the year. The team will compete in two shows, with big implications in both.
On Wednesday, the WildCats head to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Championship, which will be hosted by Hollins University. The ODAC show is unlike any other that the team contests all year. Only four riders per team compete. All four take part in two different fence courses, then two ride in the flat.
Last year the team tied for the title, but after the first-ever ride-off, Sweet Briar College claimed the overall championship. However, the four Randolph riders – Morgan Hoke, Eliza Gretok, Madeline Davis, and Kirby Tidmore – will be looking to bring the championship back to the 'Cats.
On Saturday, the team and several individuals will head down to St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, NC for the Zone 4 Championships. The WildCats qualified for the team event as Region 2 winners, and will be one of five schools to contest the team title. Abby Carpenter (Walk/Trot), Raynah Roberts (Walk/Trot/Canter), Caroline Houston (Novice flat and Novice fences), Davis (Intermediate flat and Intermediate fences), Gretok (Open fences), and Hoke (Open flat) will be the WildCats in the saddle for the team competition. Unlike during the regular Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) season, where multiple riders per school are able to ride (depending on the show), only one rider is selected per event. However, those eight will not be the only Randolph rides of the day.
The zone championships are also an individual event, and riders who qualified (top-two) out of their respective regional championships are also eligible to compete. The WildCats had six who won either a blue or a red during that last show and will be riding this Saturday. Hoke qualified in the Open flat and Gretok made it in the Intermediate flat. Davis will ride in Novice fences, while Tidmore will take part in Intermediate fences. Rebecca Jones won the Walk/Trot Region 2 title and will contest that at zones, while Michelle Smith will round out the competitors in the Walk/Trot/Canter.
The schedule at the zone championships will also be different than usual. Individuals will ride in a class first, and then team competitors will go. For example, Hoke will ride in the individual Open flat to start the day. She will then ride again soon after in the team competition. Despite the level of competition, the WildCats will look to continue their great season and qualify for the National Championship Show.