Holy Child Equestrians Win Championship

Holy Child Equestrians Win Championship

Sarah Holladay wins CASEY Award.

Members of the Connelly School of the Holy Child JV Equestrian Team.

Members of the Connelly School of the Holy Child JV Equestrian Team.

— Potomac has a long history of equestrian triumphs — and Holy Child is living proof that history can repeat. The young women of the HC Junior Varsity squad have captured the prestigious championship of the Inter-School Horse Show Series (ISHS) for 2012.

Holy Child prevailed over 35 schools to win the top honors with 288 points, 42 points ahead of the closest competitor. At the April 22 Full Moon Invitational, the team was presented with a Silver Cup for their victory. During the season, the young squad of mostly Middle School riders brought home three Champion ribbons as well as Reserve Champion accolades. Director of Communications Kathy Ely said, “This is especially fitting in a year when Connelly School of the Holy Child celebrates its 50th anniversary — since riding is a large part of that history.”

The regular riders on the Junior Varsity team are Elizabeth Cornfeld, Hannah Devine, Sarah Holladay, Catherine MacCormack, Rose Meima, MacKenzie Myers, Sophia Seymour, Hope Thomas and Maya Whitaker. Additional team members include Clare Bloss, Katie Metro, Meagan Rock, Ella Sullivan, Lexi Sullivan and Allie Wolfe. The sole Varsity rider is Aoife Magner.

Holy Child 8th grade student Sarah Holladay took home the celebrated CASEY Award, which was created by Holy Child parent Devereaux Raskauskas in memory if the ISHS mascot Casey. The CASEY Award is presented to the JV rider who demonstrates admirable qualities: C – Cooperation, A – Accommodation, S – Supportive, E-Enthusiasm and Y – Yammer Not! Sarah, who has been riding for 7 years, was selected out of all the riders throughout the region by a vote of all the participants.

When asked how it felt to win the award, Sarah said, “I was thrilled — it felt really good. All the girls on my team have good sportsmanship and are supportive and enthusiastic. It is a really great honor. Our team is wonderful — we all like and respect each other.” Sarah rides as often as possible after school and spends every day working at Oatland Stables in Gaithersburg during the summer.

Connelly School of the Holy Child founded the Inter-School Horse Show Series in 1995 because parent Devereaux Raskauskas asked the school to add riding as a sport for her oldest daughter. Her daughter then formed an equestrian club because she believed that horseback riders deserved the chance to represent their schools like student athletes in more traditional sports. After the club was formed, they needed a show to compete in and thus ISHS was founded.

The league currently offers varsity and junior varsity divisions with one show a month from September through April held at regional stables. Holy Child will be expanding their riding program in the 2012-2013 school year to offer instruction and a team experience to both novice and experienced riders. Students do not have to own a horse to participate.

To learn more about the Connelly School of the Holy Child, go to www.holychild.org or call Kathy Ely at 301-365-0955. To find out more about ISHS, go to www.interschoolhorseshow.org.