Chelsea Equestrian defines team success

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Mya Davis, Ava Berkebile, Sidney Little, Grace Pantolin, Gabby Bowles, Hannah Shooshanian, Margaret Manchester and Jenna Velky

Hard work and dedication led to the 2021 Chelsea High School Equestrian Team having a strong season.

Competition recently wrapped up, so it’s a good time to reflect on the successes they saw as a team this year.

This fall season had eight riders competing in 17 different classes including: hunt seat, western and saddle seat riding.

The team was made up of: Gabby Bowles, the only senior; Grace Pantolin, junior; Sidney Little, junior; Margaret Manchester, junior; Hannah Shooshanian, junior; Mya Davis, sophomore; Ava Berkebile, sophomore and Jenna Velky, freshman.

Megan Skeans, coach of the Chelsea Equestrian Team, said, “For some of our students, this season was their first opportunity to compete in a horse show, which presented new challenges, experiences and responsibilities.”

“The riders practiced extremely hard all year and at the district meets, every student earned a class placing,” said Skeans.

Mya Davis turning the barrel. photo courtesy of Chelsea Equestrian

Three successful district meets were highlighted by first place finishes in hunt seat bareback, jumping, trail, flag race, cloverleaf, timed event and two-person relay.

“The student’s hard work and dedication earned the team the title of District 4, Division B, Reserve Champions and an opportunity to compete at Regionals against some of the best riders in our area,” Skeans said.

She said Regionals was another great experience for each student and, “Their hard worked over the course of the season allowed for strong showings in all classes.”

In describing the equestrian team, Skeans said it offers Chelsea students the opportunity to compete, “as a team, in a sport they are passionate about.”

Each participant must learn to balance practice, school responsibilities and daily care of her horse and equipment, according to Skeans, while the coaches highlight the importance of supporting each other, winning and losing with a positive attitude and developing strong friendships.

One thing the team wanted to convey to the community was its thanks for its helpful support.

Skeans said, “As a self-funded club sport, community support and donations are vital for a successful year.”

The Chelsea Equestrian Team would like to thank all of the community members who graciously donated truckloads of cans and bottles during our Bottle Drive. Additionally, they said they would like to send a “huge THANK YOU to all of the local business whose sponsorship not only allowed the students to have a great season, but highlighted the importance of community.”

The Chelsea Fair Board, Palmer Auto Service, Family Farm and Home, Stieper & Brust Orthodontics, Phillip Family Chiropractic, Dr. Nathan Keiser-Chiropractic Neurology, Gemini Salon & Day Spa, Kathy Silver, Peter Feeney, ClockTower CrossFit, Bumbles Dry Goods, The Cottage Rabbit, Zou Zou’s Café,Chelsea Bakery, Chelsea Cleaners and Shirt Laundry, The Find, Shae Manning- Free Spirit Farm LLC, The Schumann Family, Glo and Steve Feldkamp, and Brian and Emily Feldkamp.

Sidney Little jumping. photo courtesy of Chelsea Equestrian
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