“We really racked up the points in the classes that were scored or timed, but for some reason, the subjective judging was not in our favor this year,” said Grand Haven coach Jo Ann Kosanic.
Grand Haven started the meet with a huge score on Thursday evening by their three senior riders: Lily Atkinson, Rya Greene and Alli Ruble. They scored 51 points out of a possible 54 in the Trail Class, the most points scored in a single class by any team at the meet.
On Day 2, they continued to lead, scoring 45 points in Western Showmanship was Cassidy Ryder, Ashlynne McKee, Rya Greene and Lily Atkinson. With 26 points in Hunt Seat Showmanship was Ashlynne McKee, Rya Greene and Cassidy Ryder. In Saddle Seat Showmanship the team of Rya Greene, Cassidy Ryder and Paige Beland scored 26 points. The team also had a great class late Friday nights scoring 35 points in the Reining class with riders Lily Atkinson, Cassidy Ryder and Alli Ruble.
By the start of day three, however, the Bucs’ lead had dwindled to just 20 points with Grand Haven holding off Oxford, 201-191. Despite two phenomenal runs in the Barrels class by Lily Atkinson, winning both heats, the team was trailing at the end of Day 2, 299-271.
The last class of the meet was the two-person relay and the team of Alli Ruble and Lily Atkinson had two fantastic runs, winning the first heat and placing second in the second heat. It was still not enough to pull off a victory against Oxford, as they outscored Grand Haven 313-291 in the final tally.
Senior Lily Atkinson was a standout for the Bucs, scoring or being part of a team that scored 143 of the team’s points.