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Grand Haven equestrian team looking for return to glory

Tribune Staff • Aug 26, 2017 at 12:42 AM

A year after winning a state championship, the Grand Haven equestrian team fell just short of their ultimate goal in 2016.

The team added district and regional championship trophies to their collection and finished runner-up at the state championship competition.

With many key returners riding back into the fold, the Buccaneers look poised to complete the trek back to the mountain top in 2017.

GRAND HAVEN

Head Coach: Jo Kosanic

Last Year: District 9 champions, Region D champions, Runner-up at state finals

Key Returners: Senior Cassidy Ryder, junior Ashlynne McKee, junior Sara Sokoly, sophomore Paige Beland

OUTLOOK:

“Cassidy Ryder will be a key rider for us this fall,” said Kosanic . “Not only is she returning with her good horse, Custom Made To Order, but she is using a second horse, Mighty Pretty Storm, owned by graduating senior Lily Atkinson, to ride in the timed events. This horse just returned from the AQHA World Show in Oklahoma City.

“Junior Ashlynne McKee and her horse, Hot N Gorgeous, along with fellow junior Sara Sokoly and her horse, All That Cash, will also be returning. They have both been working on some specialty classes over the summer. Sophomore Paige Beland and her horse, All American Edge, will be returning again. She is a very strong rider with lots of diversity. I have four other riders that look very promising, as well.”

POSTSEASON OUTLOOK

“We are very optimistic about the upcoming year. We have established a winning culture and start out each year planning on making it to the state finals in Midland and making that our final meet of the season.

“I don't foresee anyone standing in our way at the district level, but at the regional level, Traverse City is always very competitive. Equestrian is a very expensive sport and without the incredible support of our community and our sports booster program, we would not be as successful as we are. We have not lost a district or regional championship in eight years, and we hope to keep that streak going this fall.”

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