Dexter Equestrian compete at Michigan Interscholastic Horsemanship Association Regional Finals





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Thank you to Connie Ledwidge for providing Equestrian Information

Dexter’s Equestrian Team competed in the MIHA B Regionals, held at Shiawassee County Fairgrounds Sept 28-30.  Michigan is made up of 20 districts and Dexter won Reserve Champion in District 7 to qualify for the event. The competition was fierce with 148 high-school riders from 29 schools.  The top 2 teams from each Region, going on to the State Finals. The schools representing Region B this year at State are Goodrich and Port Huron Northern. (sourcehttp://www.miha.org/regionals/)

The Dexter Equestrians came together to score an impressive 174 points at Regionals, for a tie for sixth place at the meet. The team focused on their performance, sportsmanship, and teamwork. Riders had to balance their homework, studies, caring for their horses and prepping for their events, during the two-and-a-half-day Regional meet.



Besides displaying excellent sportsmanship, impressive skills, some of Dexter’s personal bests and favorite memories included:

Coach Shannon Verbal says one of her favorite memories from this year, “Laura Kapanowski was undefeated in the Saddle Seat Pattern class during all of the District meets. She was brand new to Saddle Seat before joining Dexter’s team and was a quick study and amazingly versatile rider.”

Senior Madison Hovarth and pony “Star,” placed third on both judge’s cards in Equitation over Fences class, along with points in Hunt Equitation and Bareback.

Freshman Kylee Garcia competed on “Greyman,” an Irish Sport Horse cross. Garcia admits she was nervous at the first two meets (but never showed it). Her favorite event was Western Showmanship and her best ride all season was in the Keyhole race.

Junior, Abby Morris had a personal best in the keyhole race with a time of 8.88 seconds.  Morris had a personal best in flag race at 10.994 seconds, earning a fourth place along with points in all of her speed classes for Dexter. Morris totaled 35 points for the team.

Emily Weaver scored points for Dexter, including a second place in Western Equitation along with strong performances in her other events, totaling 38 points.

Savannah Parpan competed in Trail, Hunt Seat Showmanship & Equitation and Western Equitation for Dexter.

Laura Kapanowski was the high scoring rider for Dexter, by earning 88 points for Dexter at the meet.  She has developed a strong relationship with horse “Mystic” over her four years on the team and is a strong leader and mentor for Dexter.

Coach Dana Wille, Dexter’s jumping coach, agrees: “The 2 seniors- Laura and Madison, dominated the jumping ring all season.”

Juliana Juback,“My personal best at Regionals was my Saddle Seat Equitation Pattern, despite the awful weather!”

Sidney Streetman said the best part of Regionals was practicing with friends. “We got a chance to ride in a large field outside for a couple hours. That helped strengthen my trust in my horse and strengthen friendships with my teammates.”

The 2-person relay race is one of the fan favorites and the very last event at the meets.  Dexter duo, Morris and Kapanowski were undefeated in the regular season and had 2 personal best times at Regionals with times of 13.145 & 12.760 seconds.

The Dexter coaches would like to invite those interested in joining the team for next year, to contact: shanm21@aol.com “We continually look for students to join and grow the team.  We are losing 2 valuable and talented seniors this year, so we need more riders to join the team prior to the 2019 season,” Dexter coaches report. The team will be holding meet and greets leading up to next season.

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