Local equestrian teams dominate regional competition

Tribune Staff • Oct 3, 2017 at 12:08 AM

The Michigan Interscholastic Horsemanship Association held its Region D Championship last weekend at the West Michigan Fairgrounds.

Grand Haven competed in the B Division with an eight-rider team. Fruitport competed in the C Division with a three-rider team and Spring Lake was in the D Division with a two-rider team.

With six B Division teams competing for the title, Grand Haven jumped out to a 40-point lead after just the second class and never looked back. Traverse City West trailed Grand Haven for the entire first day of competition, but was overtaken by Ludington by the end of the second day.

Grand Haven won their division with a total of 538 points, while Ludington finished second with 421 points.

Junior Ashlynne McKee posted five class wins and 119 points to lead the Bucs, while sophomore Paige Beland had just one class win, but garnered 114 points, and senior Cassidy Ryder accrued four class wins and 112 points, and sophomore Sara Sokoly posted four class wins and 88 points. Other riders adding to the point total were: Alexa Wolff with 52 points, Gabrielle Cates with 38 points and Hannah Smith with 15 points.

With eight C Division teams competing, Fruitport won a hard-fought battle with Gaylord and Traverse City St. Francis. The Trojans ended the meet with 321 points to take top honors, while Traverse City St. Francis came in second with 313 points.

Senior Sydney Bleich scored five class wins and 134 points to lead Fruitport, while senior Stephanie Beckley posted five class wins and 126 points and senior Danielle Hysell also added 61 points toward her teams total.

Spring Lake topped the seven D Division teams competing in their field by a very comfortable margin to also advance. Spring Lake ended the meet with 286 points, while second-place Johannesburg scored 222 points.

Senior Ava Hatton scored seven class wins and 144 points to lead the Lakers, while freshman Lucy Boeve scored six class wins and 142 points.

All three local teams will be moving on to the State Finals on Oct.12–15 at the Midland County Fairgrounds.

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