By Arielle Gordon
Equestrian co-captain Anna Lang ’19 started the season with two goals. She wanted to qualify for regionals and help grow the team.
She surpassed both of those goals and will be competing at Nationals in May.
Equestrian co-captain Mac Millard ’19 went into her final season aiming to move up to the Novice division, and she was able to do so, which allows her to jump in shows.
Lang and Millard traveled to Stanford, Calif. last weekend to compete in the Equestrian Zone 8 event.
“We have been riding together for all four years of our time at CC and I’m psyched that we both get the chance to travel to Zones together,” Millard said.
Neither rider had competed at Zones before. Lang went last year, but to support a friend who was competing.
“Zones is at Stanford Red Barn, which is a beautiful facility with some super talented horses, so I’m also very excited to participate in our classes,” Lang said. “It’s a competitive, yet fun environment, where we get to spend time with other people that share our passion.”
Zones comes after a season of competing closer to home, and Lang qualified for Regionals at a home show on her favorite horse earlier this year.
Her expectations were low going into the weekend, but she had a good ride, and the judges rewarded her.
“Zones is pretty competitive, so my goal is to place in my class,” Lang said. “There are probably around 10 people in my class, so I’m hoping that I’ll place in the top eight. But mainly I want to be happy with my ride and know that I did my best with the horse I draw.”
Unlike most collegiate sports where the scoring is based on whether you score a goal or earn the fastest time, equestrian outcomes are based on the ranking that a judge gives each rider. This can mean that the scoring is different each time, but the riders have come to terms with any placement they receive.
“This sport can sometimes be subjective since there is a different judge every time, so I am basically going into it thinking about competing against myself and doing what I feel is the best that I can do,” Lang said.
During the season, riders focus on staying positive despite the ups and downs of hard practices and things not always going their way. Lang and Millard have been especially aware of this during the season as they have been setting an example for the rest of the team to follow.
Millard went into the weekend ready to accept any outcome of her performance. She placed No. 7 in her class four group in the Novice level.
“I want to have a really great time and feel proud of my ride,” Millard said. “Placing well doesn’t really matter to me as long as I am happy with how I rode.”
Her final regular season is complete, but Lang will have one more chance to compete as a CC student before graduation.
“I ended up getting first in my class, so I’m headed to Nationals,” Lang said. “I would say my favorite part of this show was all the testing that the judge gave my class. It was very difficult, but it pushed me out of my comfort zone and really evened out the playing field between all the riders. So I will be going to Nationals on May 2 in Syracuse, N.Y., which will be my last show at CC.”