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Spring Lake equestrian team advances to State Finals with regional championship

Tribune Staff • Oct 7, 2017 at 8:45 AM

The Spring Lake equestrian team finished the MIHA regional competition atop the field last weekend at the Mason County Fairgrounds in Ludington.

After competing for two days against seven other regional teams, the Spring Lake riders finished with 64 points, ahead of the second-place team from Johannesburg. The Lakers now advances to the MIHA State Championship in Midland on Oct. 12- 15.

Freshman Lucy Boeve and senior Ava Hatton of Spring Lake realized their goal of qualifying for state this year with the assistance of coaches Sandy Doom, Rachel Ryke and Joan Meekoff, along with trainers Karen Szymas Orr and Stephanie Szymas of Heritage Pointe Farms.

Long hours and late nights of practice and learning new patterns paid off for the team, as they prepared for the competition within their division.

To qualify for regionals, the team competed in three district meets against seven other district teams to earn 344 points total, which was 86 points ahead of second-place Montague. Their riding disciplines and placings included Ava Hatton earning 185 points in disciplines such as: Showmanship, Hunt Seat Equitation and Bareback, Western Riding and Equitation and Saddle Seat. At Regionals, she scored 144 points in the same disciplines.

Lucy Boeve earned 159 points in districts in Showmanship, Hunt Seat Equitation and Bareback, Western Riding, Equitation, Bareback and Trail. At Regionals, she pulled in 142 points in the same disciplines.

The girls also worked to raise money for the Spring Lake equestrian team to contribute to their goal of state competition and to allow funds to contribute to future students who would like to participate in the sport to represent their school.

“We are small, but we are mighty” is the slogan that the girls continued to use to propel their dreams forward.

Look for this small but powerful squad to make some noise on Oct. 12 when they take on the state championship field in Midland.

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