This year, one of Adelphi’s most talented riders and Vice President of the Adelphi Equestrian Team, Cassandra Costello, participated in the Zones competition. Held in Skidmore, Saratoga Springs, this horse show featured jumping and flat competitions for five regions within zone two.
Costello competed in the Novice Flat and the Novice Jumping divisions, representing region four. Riders from Skidmore College, St. Lawrence University, LIU Post University, Suffolk County Community College, Ithaca College, and a handful of other schools made an appearance.
Costello was the only rider from Adelphi to be a part of Zones. Her Grand Champion placement in Novice Over Fences and Reserved Champion in the Novice Flat in the IHSA horse show qualified her to move up in the competition. This is a feat that takes talent and dedication, and her teammates were very excited that she made it this far in the competition.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Ashley Seery, fellow rider and President of the Adelphi Equestrian Club. “It was a great experience to watch Cass ride there in her senior year. I look forward to trying and competing there next year.”
Costello came in 9th place in the Novice Flat and 10th place in the Novice Jumping against a collective 20 competitors. Riders in Novice Flat are judged for their position and the gaits of their horses. Those in Novice Jumping are judged for their ability to keep their form during jumps, and the general flow of their riding is taken into account.
Tiny things, such as a horse that seems too wild or an extra step when coming out of a jump, will lead to docked points. This makes for a high-pressure competition, one that Costello was initially nervous about.
“Zones was so scary and nerve-wracking, but I had the time of my life,” she said. “I never expected to get this far in college riding. So making it this far was amazing!”
Getting this far into the competition was something she had never accomplished before, so though Zones was stressful, Costello enjoyed the experience immensely.
“I had a ton of fun being there with my friends and family,” she said. “Even though I didn’t place well, I had two great rides. It was the perfect way to end my undergraduate years.”