HARRISBURG, Pa. — With just one class to go in the Collegiate Cup Hunter Seat competition at the 2014 IHSA National Horse Show, Goucher remained stuck on the two points earned by Anna Carmichael (Colorado Springs, Colo./William J. Palmer) in novice fences to kick off the event.
By the time the final class was over, the Gophers had clinched their second-best finish at nationals in team history.
Joey Fink (Baltimore, Md./The Park School) concluded the three-day competition with a first place result in open flat, adding seven points to Goucher's team score and leaving the Gophers in sole possession of sixth place. Fink's efforts helped Goucher edge out Mount Holyoke and St. Andrew's, which finished in a tie for seventh with eight points.
Centenary was crowned as national champions after totaling 31 points, while the College of Charleston (24 points) and Skidmore (23 points) rounded out the top three.
The Gophers were unable to pick up any points in the three classes which were contested on Friday, but they did earn a pair of top 10 finishes. Kaili Janette (New Haven, Conn./Hebrew High School of New England) slotted in at ninth place in walk-trot to conclude her Goucher career, while Sarah Lummis (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) placed seventh in walk-trot-canter, finishing one spot out of the scoring positions.
Alison Radgowski (Northport, N.Y./Northport) began Friday's schedule by competing in intermediate fences. Fink also had the opportunity to contend for the USEF/Cacchione Cup, a prestigious individual competition which was won by Alexandra Carlton from Vermont.
Fink was unable to score in his first class today, open fences, but with his performance in the team competition's final event, Goucher was assured a finish which came up just short of last year's fifth place showing.
This was the fourth appearance for the Gophers at nationals. Goucher finished in a tie for seventh in 2012, and the Gophers were 14th in their debut appearance back in 2007.