Equestrian Club Gallops Through the Season

Equestrian Club members celebrate victories.

As the Equestrian Club’s season starts to wrap up, there are many exciting competitions and invitationals in which members hope to finish the season off strong.
On February 19th, a senior show will be hosted at NFF stables in Montgomery County, where all riders within the series will compete and all seniors, including Marriotts Ridge’s senior Melina Parson, will be recognized for their academic abilities.
“The competing schools come from Maryland, DC, and Virginia, and the schools range from public to private. The current HCPSS schools that participate are Marriotts Ridge, Atholton, Howard, and Glenelg,” sophomore and club President Natasha Randhawa said.
The teams most anticipated and final show for this season is their invitational qualifying show coming up on March 12th. The qualified rider list will come out after the show in February, where the riders that have collected the top points in their division throughout the season will compete.
This season has been a great success for the team, with many of the riders winning awards, such as Grand Champion and Reserve Champion of their division, as well as both teams, the junior varsity and varsity team both placing in the top 10 teams in the Inter-Show Horse Standings.
This season, varsity equitation medal rider sophomore Breanna Hyatt won many high placings in her class.
“My favorite highlight this season was getting first in the medal award and being the only intermediate in that class,” Hyatt said.
The intensity increases for the entire club with the junior varsity team, which currently holds a strong third place overall in the region with over a hundred points throughout the season, and varsity following close behind in sixth place in the region.
After the invitational, the top ten schools will be recognized, given awards and have their pictures taken.
This season has been great for the team overall as this was the teams first full year with a new coach, Carly Benitez, who has been a tremendous help to the team.
“My daughter, Natasha, started the team when she came to MRHS, and seeing it become a well-known team in the series has been a proud moment. She is the Junior Coach, and she’s seen great improvement in the rider’s abilities within the past year,” club sponsor Anshu Randhawa said.
The end of the season comes with many sorrow feelings with this being senior Melina Parson’s last few shows before graduating in May.
“I’m going to miss watching the younger kids, especially our riders in middle school. It’s so cool to watch them and be like I was there at one point, so I’m really going to miss watching them in highschool,” Parson said.
Although the seniors will be missed, many riders in the coming years will continue to follow the pathway the team has paved for them. In the 2022- 2023 season, the entire team saw many accomplishments to the team as a whole as well as each individual. Each rider’s abilities have improved and will continue to progress into the next season.