The Manchester Equestrian Team returned to their winning ways from last season and won their opening meet at the Lenawee County Fairgrounds in Adrian August 26. This year’s team made up of senior Julia Johnson, juniors Megan Reppert and Bailey Elliott and sophomores Carli Kerns and Brooklyn Lyos, they made it known that although the current team is smaller it is just as mighty.
Kerns started the meet in Western Fitting and Showing and ending up leading the team with 41 points. Julia Johnson and Megan Reppert were the busiest members of the team riding in nine and ten events respectively and proved that they can be counted on in any event asked of them. Brooklyn Lyos proved her prowess as an accomplished jumper rider by winning the Equitation over Fences class. Lyos also helped her team by racking up points in the Saddleseat and Hunt Seat classes.
Providing the most excitement in any meet is always Bailey Elliott, the team’s speed specialist. Elliott competed for the first time without his brother Tyler, who graduated last year. Bailey proved that he is a force to be reckoned with on his own. According to coach Allison McKenzie, who is in her first year as head coach after several years as assistant coach, the team is capable of much more. “I was very conservative in slotting the kids for this first meet so I could get a feel for where they’re at and what they can offer,” she said. “I’m going to ask for a little bit more and push them a little harder to step outside of their comfort zones. You can’t be afraid to try different things if it means helping your team reach its goals.”
And what’s the goal this year? “Regionals,” McKenzie said. “Every year our goal is to at least get to Regionals. And this team can make that happen, there’s no doubt in my mind.”
The Equestrian shows again on September 9 at the Lenawee County Fairgrounds. Fans are always welcome.