Grand Haven’s middle school equestrian teams out-competed 13 other area schools this past weekend as each claim a district championship.
In the two-day meet, held at the Mason County Fairgrounds in Ludington, riders representing Grand Haven’s Lakeshore Middle School competed in the B Division (5-10 riders per team with 42 class slots) and White Pines Middle School riders competed in the D Division (1-2 riders per team with 16 class slots).
After the first day of competition, Lakeshore had totaled 160 points from their allotted 42 class slots. White Pines finished their first day with 41 points from their allotted 16 class slots.
By the end of the second meet, both of Grand Haven’s teams had clinched their respective division titles and had repeated last year’s success. Every member from both teams scored at least one class win toward the impressive team totals.
Lakeshore’s team finished the two-day meet with a total of 307 points — a landslide 47 points ahead of second-place Fruitport. Riders for the Lakeshore team are Lily Atkinson, Rya Greene, Cassidy Ryder, Kyah Shumake and Mara Tillman.
Because of the changes made in the middle schools last year, the White Pines team consisted of two sixth graders, Ashlynne McKee and Alexa McVoy. Both were first time competitors in MIHA competition and gathered and impressive 87 points to win their division.
Spring Lake’s middle school team finished fourth in the B Division (3-5 riders per team with 24 class slots) garnering 147 points. Riders for the Spring Lake team are Kathryn Bruno, Kourtney Clark, Rachel Peterson and Alivia Stille.
Riders competed in four different disciplines: Western, Hunt Seat, Saddle Seat and Gymkhana (speed). Middle school equestrian is a club sport competing in the spring season, while high school equestrian is a varsity sport held during the fall season.
Eighth-grade riders from Lakeshore’s team, Lily Atkinson and Rya Greene, will move on to tryouts this summer vying for a spot on the Grand Haven varsity team this fall, where they’ll try to help the Bucs defend their MIHA state championship.