Stonehill Wins Region 4 Championship, Brandeis Show

Senior Cassandra Lorusso clinched the region's Cacchione Cup berth at IHSA Nationals in May. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Skyhawks finish atop Zone 1, Region 4 standings by 22 points
Ten riders clinch spot at next weekend's IHSA Zone 1, Region 4 Championships

HOLLISTON, Mass. (March 26, 2012) – The Stonehill College equestrian team capped off a first place finish atop the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), Zone 1, Region 4, standings with a first place finish at the Brandeis University show, hosted by August Farm, on Sunday. It marks the third-straight show win for the Skyhawks and fourth overall in region shows (out of eight) during the 2011-12 season.

Stonehill won the region by 22 points and will now compete at the IHSA Zone 1 Championships, hosted by Mount Holyoke University, in South Hadley, Mass., on Saturday, April 7. The top two teams at that show will earn a trip to the IHSA Nationals in Raleigh, N.C., May 3-6. Stonehill won Sunday's Brandeis show with 39 points, edging out Tufts University. Five more Skyhawk riders clinched spots at next weekend's IHSA Zone 1, Region 4 Championships, hosted by Boston University at Holly Hill Show Stables in Hanover, Mass., on Saturday at 9 a.m. In addition to its four show wins this season, the Skyhawks have placed second twice and added a third place finish.

Junior Cassandra Lorusso (Wrentham, Mass./Dana Hall School) once again highlighted the event for Stonehill as she won her open fences class and also clinched the Cacchione Cup spot for IHSA Zone 1, Region 4, to earn a trip to nationals in May to compete for top rider honors for open hunter seat. Lorusso is also one of the ten Stonehill riders who will compete at next week's regional championships.

Freshman Danielle Franchi (Islip, N.Y./Islip) won her open fences class and locked up a spot at next week's regional championships. Senior Christine Dwyer (Park City, Utah/Kentucky Country Day) earned a blue ribbon for intermediate fences and also clinched her spot at regionals, while classmate Brianna Bach (Windham, N.H./Salem) won her intermediate flat class and earned a spot at regionals.

Junior Emily Dolan (Lacrosse, Wis./Aquinas) placed second in her intermediate flat class and pointed out to clinch a spot at regionals next week, while senior Alexandra Keller (South Burlington, Vt./Stoneleigh-Burnham School) clinched her spot at regionals with a third place showing for novice flat.

Senior Rebecca Rossi (Cranston, R.I./Bay View Academy) won her intermediate fences class, while freshman Kayleigh McDonnell (Rutland, Vt./Rutland) placed first in her advanced walk-trot-canter class. Freshman Paris Volpe (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Joseph Academy) turned in a second place finish in her horse show debut in walk-trot. Sophomore Sara Kelly (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) also posted a strong showing for the Skyhawks with her third place finish for intermediate flat.

Joining those listed above who have wrapped up qualification for regionals this weekend in Hanover are seniors Nina Crossley (Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J./Northern Highlands Regional) and Margeaux DeVirgilio (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Our Lady of Lourdes) and juniors Hanna Pattie (Newburyport, Mass./Brewster Academy) and Samantha Lindquist (West Bridgewater, Mass./West Bridgewater). The ten Skyhawks will compete for individual spots at the Zone 1 Championships at Mount Holyoke on April 7 for a chance to qualify for Nationals as individuals in Raleigh, N.C., in May.

Stonehill shows off its ribbons from Sunday's final regular season show at Brandeis which saw the Skyhawks win their fourth show of the season and clinch the regional championship. (PHOTO COURTESY Glenn Bach)