By Monica D’Ippolito
PLEASANT VALLEY — The State University of New York at New Paltz equestrian team kicked off its 2021-22 season Saturday at home in a National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) competition against Lynchburg.
The last time the two teams met, the Hornets handily defeated the Hawks, 6-2, but SUNY New Paltz had a tighter result Saturday, falling to Lynchburg, 6-4.
Brynley Smith gave the Hawks its lone win in fences, scoring 82 points to defeat the Hornets’ Lori Channessian (68). However, Madeline Berg scored the highest in the event for SUNY New Paltz, amassing 86 points, but was edged by Jacqi Needle who scored 87.
The Hawks fared better in flat with Lily Yampolsky, Smith and Devyn Looney all winning their matchups in the event. Yampolsky scored 60 points riding Pie, defeating Lynchburg’s Failyn Belcastro (55.5). Smith, after winning on Ox in fences, came away with another victory on the same horse in flat after scoring a team and event-leading 83.5 points to handily defeat Kelley McCormick of the Hornets. Looney then came away with the win on Clyde, recording 64 points to edge 63 points by the Hornets’ Lucy Metzler.
SUNY New Paltz in all scored 723 points, while Lynchburg finished with 744.5 points.
The Hawks NCEA and IHSA are both in action this weekend with NCEA traveling to Delaware to face Delaware State Sept. 24, while ISHA will compete in a show hosted by Marist College Sept. 25.