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Alpena Equestrian Team brings home regional, district titles

Courtesy Photo Pictured left to right are: top: Coach Amber Hibbler, Wyatt Smith, Kalie Spragg, Mya Klimczak, Hunter Ballor, Lauren Kinsel, Clara Newhouse, and coach Jenna Donajkowski; bottom: Cirrae Gagnon, Grace Male, Brooke McKenzie, Marissa Powell, Kiera Werth and Kayla Fras.
Courtesy Photo Members of the Alpena Equestrian Team are pictured at districts in Gaylord. Pictured left to right are: Kalie Spragg, Kiera Werth, Wyatt Smith, Hunter Ballor, Mya Klimczak, Cirrae Gagnon, Brooke McKenzie, Lauren Kinsel, Grace Male, Marissa Powell, Clara Newhouse and Savannah Avent.
Courtesy Photo Pictured left to right are: top row: Wyatt Smith, Kalie Spragg, Mya Klimczak, Hunter Ballor, Lauren Kinsel and Clara Newhouse; bottom row: Ciarrae Gagnon, Grace Male, Brooke McKenzie, Marissa Powell and Kiera Werth.

The Alpena Equestrian team had 11 riders on it this season. As a team, they were part of the Michigan Interscholastic Horsemanship Association. This year’s team consisted of several first-year riders, but the team was nonetheless able to have a successful season. Being a part of the MIHA allows riders to compete and learn important disciplines such as teamwork, leadership, hard work, character, pride and sportsmanship. It also allows them to try many different disciplines with their horses.

Alpena won a District A title against eight other teams and also received the Sportsmanship Award.

Alpena got off to an uneven start at regionals in Ludington last month, but rebounded to have a strong finish. Every member of the team took a placing, gaining points to move Alpena up the board. With so many first-year riders, earning points was not an easy task, especially against kids and teams who have been showing and competing for much longer.

By the end of regionals, Alpena was awarded the title of Regional Division A Reserve Champion. The title qualified Alpena to advance to show at the state championships in Midland. But Alpena decided against that with so many first-year riders.

The experience the team gained this year will allow them to improve their skills and know what to expect when next season arrives.

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