THE CHS EQUESTRIAN TEAM KICKED OFF THEIR SEASON LAST WEEKEND. FROM LEFT, TOP: JANE MARQUESS, ASHLEY ANDERSON, GRACE HAGA, LEVI BONES, GRACIE BONES, GROOM ALEENA KEMP AND LYNNSIE EZELL. MIDDLE: KATIE RULE, GROOM NATALIE RYAN, GROOM HALEY SIERAKOWSKI, GROOM ABBIE CRIDDLE AND GRACIE VAN ZANDT. FRONT: GROOM EMILY SCOTT. Photo provided
Creswell High School’s equestrian team won two events and recorded two second-place and one third-place finish during Oregon High School Equestrian Teams (OHSET) South Valley District Meet 1, held Feb. 1 through 3 at Oregon Horse Center in Eugene.
Winning events for Creswell, Ashley Anderson topped a field of 12 in Working Rancher while Levi Bones won Breakaway Roping.
Grace Haga placed second of 69 competitors in Barrels, while the team of Anderson, Levi Bones, Gracie Bones and Haga placed second of 18 teams in Canadian Flags.
Placing third in Freestyle Fours was the team of Anderson, Levi Bones, Gracie Bones and Haga.
The top three overall finishers in each event after three district meets earn a medal and qualify for state, so CHS equestrians are off to a strong start.
”The first meet of 2019 was awesome for the Creswell athletes,” said Head Coach Lauri Thomas. ”They competed very well.”
In other top-10 finishes, the Working Pairs ”A” team of Anderson and Levi Bones placed fourth, Gracie Bones placed fourth in Working Rancher and ninth in Trail Equitation, Haga placed fourth of 62 in Pole Bending and fourth in Steer Daubing, Levi Bones placed fifth in Working Rancher and fifth in Steer Daubing, and Anderson placed fifth in Reining.
Creswell’s ”A” team of Anderson, Levi Bones and Haga placed eighth in Team Penning; Levi Bones and Haga placed ninth in Two-Man Birangle; and Gracie Van Zandt placed 10th in In-Hand Trail.
In other top-20 finishes, Anderson was 11th in Western Horsemanship and 12th of 64 in Figure 8; Gracie Bones was 11th in In-Hand Trail and 14th of 51 in Individual Flags; Van Zandt was 11th in Trail Equitation and 16th in Western Horsemanship; and Team Penning ”B” (Gracie Bones, Jane Marquess and Van Zandt) placed 11th.
The team of Anderson, Levi Bones, Haga and Van Zandt placed 13th in Versatility; the ”B” team of Anderson and Marquess placed 13th in Birangle; Marquess placed 14th of 48 in Keyhole and 18th in Pole Bending; Haga placed 16th in Figure 8 and 17th in Individual Flags; and the In-Hand Obstacle Relay team of Anderson, Levi Bones, Gracie Bones and Van Zandt placed 17th.
For Coach Thomas, even more impressive than her athletes’ strong finishes at Meet 1 was their teamwork.
”Their work together as a team was unbelievable,” she said. ”They were there for each other, worked very hard in our volunteer events, helped other teams and made me very proud to be their coach. They were amazing at being teammates.”
Aiding Thomas this season are assistant coaches Hannah Thomas, Devan Works and Lisa Laroe; drill coach Katy Bichsel; and Brittany Barr, who assists with performance events.
”I want to say thank you to all of them,” Thomas said, adding: ”This is also the first year we have had eighth graders participate as grooms; they are learning so much.”
South Valley District Meet 2 will be held March 1 through 3 at Oregon Horse Center.