Did you know that Chelsea has not one, but two, equestrian teams?
There’s the 7-time District Champion Chelsea Junior Equestrian Team, made up of students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade, and then there’s the 2012 4th-place State Championship Chelsea High School Equestrian Team.
Both teams compete in Western, English and contesting, said sixth-year Head Coach Lucy Heimerdinger, adding that contesting includes events such as pole bending, a two-person relay and a stake race.
The two teams held their first tack sale on Saturday, Nov. 10 – an event that Heimerdinger hopes will become an annual one to benefit both teams.
She sent out a “big thank you” to everyone who attended the tack sale on Facebook Monday, singling out the hard work of Lisa Lahti, a member of the parent executive board in charge of fundraising.
Heimerdinger said the vendors were happy and people were buying on Saturday and the silent auction was also a success. “Those that bid got great deals,” she said.
Anyone in the Chelsea School District who has access to a horse and transportation for the animal can join. The teams practice at the Chelsea Community Fairgrounds and the high school team competes in the fall while the junior team competes in the spring.
This year, the 11-person high school team consisted of five boys and six girls.
Seniors, Anyssa Marsh, who competed in English and Western on her horse, Pete.
Morgan Baldwin, who competed in speed events while riding Shadow.
Micayla Zynda, who competed in English and Western on Fizz.
Hannah Linteau, who competed in speed riding Abbie.
Chase Barnes, who rode English and Western on Patty.
Junior Weston Barnes, who competed in both English and Western on Luke.
Sophomores Tony Nichol and his horse Sadie, who competed in speed events.
Jacob Lahti, who competed in showmanship with his horse Niquita.
Grant Allen, who showed in speed on Kitty Cat.
Freshmen, Taylor Schrock, who rode English, Western and speed atop Slick.
Jordan Hirst, who rode both English and Western on Fancy.
Assistant coaches are Jane Barnes, Julie Agar and Lynn Lesko.
The tack sale was a way for “horse people to buy and sell items inexpensively,” Heimerdinger said, and the proceeds will assist the club sport that’s been offered since at least the 1990s, she said.
The high school team shows in three meets in September, while the regional and state meets are held in late September, early October.
In 2009, the high school team won the state championship. In 2010, the team was in the top 10 in the state. In 2011, they were district champions and in 2012, they finished 4th in the state championship, while being named the Division A, District IV champs and reserve champions in the regionals.
Heimerdinger said the team is a great way to have fun, make friends and try different disciplines.
The junior team will begin practicing and compete in the spring.