Ride On!

Headless horseperson: Actual unretouched photograph of Ichabod Crane, riding for Moravian College in an October 11 meet in New Jersey.

Two students named Ashley have gotten carried away by—and
on—alternative modes of transportation.

Ashley Kimmet ’04, Bethlehem, is a prize-winning cyclist with her eyes on the 2004 Olympics. Ashley Garrett ’06, Bangor, is a prize-winning equestrian with her own stable.

On September 21, Ashley Kimmet outdid herself and won the Univest Grand Prix, a major race on the professional circuit, in Souderton. Here’s how she described it:

“I raced there last year but got a flat tire on the last lap and had to withdraw. This year I did the pro women’s race, and there was a good quality of riders. We raced for 35 miles on a 2-mile loop that went uphill and downhill. At the end of the race, the field of women was still together and the finish came down to a sprint. I am usually not much of a sprinter but was able to come around one of the best sprinters in the country and win the race. It was a pretty big win for me and for my team.”

Peter von Allmen, associate professor of economics and business and chair of the department, lives in Souderton and had gone that day to ride in the 100-km cyclosportif. (See Page 4.) “I arrived just in time to hear the announcer screaming about the end of the women’s race . . . a wicked three-way sprint to the finish.”

This was the latest in a series of prizes that started coming before Ashley finished high school.

She was introduced to cycling at 13 by her parents, who one day picked up a flier at CoreStates Bank about its sponsorship of children’s programs at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome in Trexlertown. “I didn’t want to do it at all,” she says. “But the first day I was on the track, it was so much fun!” She never looked back. At Bethlehem Catholic High School, she swam and ran cross-country, and in her freshman year at Moravian she was on the cross-country team. But these are hobbies compared to cycling.

As a high school senior in 2000, Ashley won a silver medal in the world championship races in Italy. In August 2002, she competed in the U.S. championships at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome and came in third, less than three seconds behind the second-place winner. For her time in the qualifying heats, she won an Espoir National Championship, given to riders younger than 23. After the race, she received a $500 scholarship from the Nicole Reinhart Memorial Fund, established to help cyclists prepare for Olympic-level competition while in college.

The last of the U.S. cycling events that determine Olympic participation is in May. Until then, Ashley tries to cycle every day. “I don’t even keep track” of mileage, she says, “but I’m gonna say 300 miles a week? Less in winter than in summer, of course.”

Ashley rides a custom-made bike, measured to every facet of her body. By contrast, in the world of equestrian competition, Ashley Garrett takes whatever horse she draws—and not because she hasn’t got a horse. She has four: Fred, a 19-year-old Tennessee walker; Hickory, a 23-year-old quarter horse; Lacquer, an 11-year-old standardbred, a former harness-racer who was rescued from an abusive owner; and Goblin, a 19-year-old white Arab pony. Not only does each have a specialty but Hickory also is a state champion.

But in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, competitors meet at the horse farm or stable that’s hosting a show and are assigned a horse. “You’re not allowed to bring your own horse or equipment or anything,” Ashley says. “The theory is that everyone might not have a horse [at college] but anyone can ride.”

At the first meet of this season, held October 11 at Briarwood Farms in Flemington, New Jersey, Moravian’s five-member equestrian team competed against others from Zone 3 (Northeast United States) Region 4 (eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey). These range from Cedar Crest College to Rutgers and Princeton Universities, as well as such state giants as Kutztown University, which has a 45-member team. Moravian and Princeton, co-hosts of the show, set up beforehand and cleaned all the tack afterward.

Because the show occurred over fall break, only two Moravian riders competed. But they did very well.

Ashley, riding “a really nice mare” named Thalys, took a first in novice fences.

Samantha Dorney ’04, Bethlehem, on a horse named JuneBug, took a first in advanced flat (walk, trot, canter). Together they scored 18 team points, while the highest scoring team totaled just 30 points.

The Moravian team also includes Amy Kish ’04, Bethlehem, and Jamie Booth ’05, Kresgeville. There are men on some of the university teams, but the majority of riders are women who fell in love with horses back when they were 11 or so and never fell out.

The faculty advisor for Moravian’s equestrian club and team is Al Martin, associate professor of chemistry. His wife, Janice, is the guiding spirit of the Backtrackers Horse and Pony 4-H Club of Northampton County, in which Ashley was a member almost from the time she learned to ride. Moravian’s team works at Manito Equestrian Center in Allentown with coach Carolina Arbelaez.

Horses have been a part of Ashley’s life since she was small. “When I was a little kid, it was what I wanted to do,” she says. Her parents began to ride, too, because of her and now compete on their own, while the barn on their property has provided lodging, over the years, for some 20 horses. When home, Ashley gives riding lessons.

“I’ve worked really hard to start the equestrian team at Moravian, and it’s finally getting off the ground this year,” she says. “We are still accepting interested students—and faculty are welcome to ride, too!”

October 28, 2003

Ride On!:
Moravian riders Ashley Kimmet (racing bicycle) and Ashley Garrett (horses) both score triumphs.

Bethlehem mayoral candidates to debate at Moravian.
Campus calendar.
Art Beat:
Alumni art display.
Faculty, staff, student achievements.