Equestrian team qualifies for regionals


Photo Courtesy Selina Petronelli

From left to right, head coach Dennise Petronelli poses with freshmen Brooke Hare, Mary Olsen, Taylor Crews, Alyssa Whitehead, Olivia Barnhart, captain Selina Petronelli, and her assistant coach Beth Hess with their ribbons after a show at Garrison Forest. Five members of the team qualified for regional due to the points they accumulated during the season.

Members of the equestrian team are trotting to regionals after qualifying due to their individual success throughout the season. Regionals will take place on March 29 at Oldfields School.

“I qualified in the varsity open over fences and varsity open under saddle,” freshman captain Selina Petronelli said.

Along with Petronelli, senior captain Casey Reil qualified in the varsity open over fences, and sophomore captain Julia Dukes qualified in the varsity intermediate over fences. Additionally, freshman Taylor Crews qualified for the JV novice over fences and the JV novice under saddle, and freshman Mary Olsen qualified for the JV novice over fences and JV novice under saddle.

Each of these members qualified individually by accumulating at least 15 points during the season by placing in the shows.

“I horse show a lot so I wasn’t nervous or anything, but it was nice because John Carroll hasn’t really had that competitive of a team in a while. [We were] able to bring it back and now are going to regionals,” Petronelli said.

“I was so surprised and excited. I was jumping up and down when I found out [that I qualified]. It was such a great feeling to know that all my hard work this season had finally paid off,” Olsen said.

Teams, not just individuals, are able to qualify. However, this year the team did not qualify.

“At each show, there is a point rider whose points count toward the team’s points at that show. If you aren’t the point rider, your points still count for you but not the team,” Reil said.

The equestrian team takes lesson once a week at Claddagh Manor, a new location from last year. As another change, it is also the first year of coaching at JC for head coach Dennise Petronelli and assistant coach Beth Hess.

“With new coaches and a new barn to operate out of, we are happy with our accomplishments,” Reil said. “Everybody in the team has worked really hard with Miss Beth and Miss Dennise, and everyone has come really far.”

“I am very happy that the team has done so well this year, and I am looking forward to regionals,” Dennise Petronelli said.

According to Reil, “everybody on the team works very hard at lessons and continues to improve every week. With Miss Beth and Miss Dennise, we have a bright future ahead of us.”

Hope Kelly is the Editor in Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.