By Mike Williamson-

The Sun Times News would like to thank Connie Ledwidge for the information and pictures

The Dexter High School equestrian team took its first step toward qualifying for Regionals with a second place finish at the Class B District 7 meet at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Belleville September 9.

The meet was the first of three district meets this season with the top two finishers earning a spot in Regionals.


The Dreadnaughts finished with 145 points at the event.

The team focuses on horsemanship, sportsmanship, teamwork learning, mentoring and most of all, having fun as a team.  They practiced twice a week, leading up to the first meet.  “The student-athletes worked very hard all summer with their horses.  There would be no success without the dedicated parents and supporters,” Coach Shannon Verbal said.

The Dreadnaught riders and their friends, family, and supporters braved some chilly and damp conditions on September 9th, where the horses were very challenging because of the colder weather coming in.  The Dreadnaught riders prevailed, securing a strong second place spot as a team.

Laura Kapanowski and her horse Mystic

Emily Weaver placed third in Western Fitting and Showing, first in Saddle Seat Fitting and showing and sixth in Hunt Seat Fitting and showing. She also placed fifth in hunt seat bareback, sixth in Western Equitation, third in Western Bareback and second in Trail.

Madison Hovarth placed seventh in Hunt Seat Equitation, third in Equitation over Fences and second in the Flag Race.

Laura Kapanowski led the team in points with 52 of the 145 total points, with wins in Saddle Seat Equitation, Saddle Seat Pattern, Hunt Seat Bareback, Equitation over fences and the Two-person relay.  She also placed third in Saddle Seat Bareback and Key-hole race.

            Abby Morris

Sidney Streetman competed in Hunt Seat Equitation and placed ninth in Trail.

Juliana Juback placed ninth in Saddle Seat Fitting and showing, seventh in Saddle Seat Equitation, ninth in Saddle Seat Bareback, fifth in Hunt Seat Equitation and showed in Saddle Seat Pattern.

Kylee Garcia showed in Western, Hunt Seat and Saddle Seat Fitting and Showing, placing sixth in the Saddle Seat division.

Savannah Parpan showed in Hunt Seat Fitting and Showing and Hunt Seat Equitation and placed eighth in Trail.

Emily Weaver and horse Dunny

Abby Morris earned sixth place in Saddle Seat Bareback and Hunt Seat Bareback, placed third in Western Equitation, fourth in Western Bareback, third in Cloverleaf Race, first in Key-hole Race and First with teammate Laura Kapanowski in the two-person relay.

The 2018-19 Dreadnaught team consists of eight talented horsewomen. Freshmen Equestrians: Juliana Juback, Sidney Streetman & Kylee Garcia. Juniors: Abby Morris, Savannah Parpan and Emily Weaver. Seniors: Madison Hovarth & Laura Kapanowski. The team is led by Coach Shannon Verbal, along with assistant coaches Amanda Verna, Dana Willie, Nina Fuller, and Connie Ledwidge, who were all previously athletes on the Dexter Equestrian Team themselves.


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