Grand Haven equestrian secures fifth-straight Regional title

Tribune Staff • Oct 3, 2016 at 11:10 PM

The Michigan Interscholastic Horsemanship Association held its Regional Championships this past weekend. District D was held in Ludington at the West Michigan Fairgrounds. Grand Haven was the southern-most team attending the District D Championship, which includes the Upper Peninsula and most of the northern portion of the Lower Peninsula.

At the event, the Grand Haven squad set a team record with a score of 570 points over the two-day competition. Conditions were less than perfect with wet and sloppy arena footing and rain on and off the entire weekend. The Grand Haven coaches decided the jumping and stakes races were too treacherous and scratched their riders from those classes. Still, the Bucs riders bested the next closest opponent, Traverse City St. Francis, by 182 points.

Grand Haven led the competition from the very first class and continued to build their lead with every discipline. Traverse City St. Francis finished with 386 points, Traverse City West finished a close third with 367 points. Other Division B team scores included: Big Rapids (162), Alpena (130), Petoskey (116) and Morley Stanwood (61).

Senior Rya Greene participated in 18 classes and had three class wins and 137 points, while senior Lily Atkinson competed in 14 classes, capturing eight class wins and compiling 124 points. Junior Cassidy Ryder participated in 14 classes, had four class wins and 126 points, while sophomore Ashlynne McKee competed in 12 classes with two class wins and 79 points.

Senior Alli Ruble took part in 12 classes, had one class win with 50 points, while freshman Paige Beland participated in 10 classes and chipped in another 52 points for her team. Grand Haven had class sweeps in Western Fitting and Showing, Hunt Seat Fitting and Showing, Hunt Seat Equitation, and Reining and Trail.

“The team’s next challenge is defending their state title,” said Grand Haven coach Jo Ann Kosanic. “I believe we are probably even more prepared this year than we were last year. This group has worked so hard and are really focused on a repeat of last year’s victory.”

The MIHA State Championship Meet will be held from Oct. 13-16 at the Midland County Fairgrounds.

Fruitport Calvary Christian’s Wilson advances from districts

Fruitport Calvary Christian senior Lexy Wilson qualified for last weekend’s Region A regional championships in Berrien Springs. Wilson had an amazing day at the District 16 event held on Sept. 24, finishing first in six events, while placing in 15 of the 16 events she competed in.

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