PAXTON, Mass. --- The Becker College Equestrian team put on a beautiful show at their home barn on Saturday during their home show. The barn was decorated beautifully for the show with the theme, "Ride for Mika."
Mika McKinney was a dedicated, kind, and wonderful horsewoman who passed away after having an extremely difficult battle with cancer. She dedicated much of her college career to Mount Holyoke's IHSA Equestrian Team. IHSA Zone 1 is grateful to be where Mika called home with her team. Mika McKinney will remain a role model for all IHSA riders to emulate. The Becker team painted a jump in her honor, and it was a beautiful and peaceful day for a show.
As the day went on, all of the riders who entered the ring gave their all, rode beautifully, and patted their horse on the neck for a job well done. Becker College placed 6th of 11 colleges/universities.
The day unrolled as follows (from the earliest class to the last class):
• Junior and captain Valerie Slimskey placed first in her intermediate fences class with an excellent ride on Bianca! The course was perfectly executed by both horse and rider!
• In our novice fences division, Kennedy Sheehan (freshman) placed third in her novice fences class on Becker's very own pony- Clay! This duo worked together to make a smooth course look completely effortless!
• Next in the novice fences division, sophomore Lexi Nieves rode Eagle for a simply wonderful course that was thrilling to watch and placed her at fourth.
• Following fences, Becker College's alumni rider Morgan Houghton (graduated 2018) rode fantastically in both her fences (riding Bandit) and flat (riding Clay) classes, earning her a third and fifth respectively. The equestrian team loves their alumni!
• The first Becker rider to appear in flat classes was Slimskey on another one of Becker's own, Tison! This was an intermediate flat class, and Slimskey qualified for regionals with her sixth place ribbon!
• Sheehan rode very competitively in her intermediate flat class on Milo.
• Next in the novice flat class we had a quite a few riders.
• In the first class, junior Madison Ahn won her class with a flawless ride on Bandit!
• The second novice flat rider is freshman Maddie Gesmondi, who placed fourth with a wonderful ride on Gunner, one of Becker's horses! Both performed beautifully!
• Last but not least for novice, junior Alexa Bridges rode Valentino (a Becker horse) in a great ride that earned her a fourth-place ribbon!
• The advanced walk-trot-canter riders all rode incredibly. Hailey Johnson's (freshman) gorgeous round on Clay earned her a second place! Junior Alissa Jagielski had her first ever show appearance and placed third!
• Sophomore Ashley Foss made a wonderful first show appearance as well, riding in beginner walk-trot-cancer on Padame.
• Our two walk-trot riders Emily Barilone (junior) and Kimberly Delorto (senior) had competitive rides in their classes! Emily placed fifth on Tonka, and Kimberly rode Flint- a Becker horse - and placed fifth in her first ever horse show!
Becker's next show will be on Saturday, October 27th at UMass Dartmouth.