Featherdown Farm Riders go to Nationals

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Photo by Beth Chaney

On May 16, the International Equestrian Association team from Featherdown Farm in Sparks will be traveling to Springfield, Massachusetts to compete in National Finals. Many of the riders going to perform in the competition are from Hereford High, including Lauren (12) and Kate (9) Bochicchio, Chessie Rodman (11), and Devyn Hennessey (9).

There are four divisions, JV Beginner, JV Novice, Varsity Intermediate and Varsity Open. The whole team qualified for nationals, with one rider from each division.

Devyn rides Flat Intermediate Varsity, and Chessie rides Flat Varsity Open. Each rider selects a horse at random and then performs in either showing the horse (flat) or jumping. The riders who jump will get to test their horse beforehand, but flat riders are thrown directly into the competition. They will show the horse five times, and win points for each showing. The number of points a rider earns determines what place, from first to eighth, the team will earn.

“I’m so excited,” said Chessie. “But there’s also a lot of pressure, because there will be college scouts watching, especially for the upper classes.” “I’m really excited to go there, but also nervous to make a mistake and embarrass myself,” said Devyn.

“It would be so great to win a class,” said Chessie. “I’m so excited for the competition.”