Reed City equestrian team set to perform at state finals
REED CITY – Reed City’s equestrian team ventures to the state final in Midland this week with hopes of having one of the strongest performances in the program’s history.
Ciarra Engstrom, a senior is among the 10 members of the team that will be competing this weekend at state after placing second at regionals last weekend.
“Our overall team did very well,” Engstrom said. ”We’re very spread out in all the classes unlike most teams that are strong in one section. We’re all of it.”
Competition at state takes place Thursday through Sunday.
Engstrom is in various categories including barrels, stake race, flags and two-man and jumping. It will be Engstrom’s third time at the state meet.
In her freshman season, she won the reserve jumping title at the state meet.
“We’re doing really good, we work together a lot and cheer each other on,” Engstrom said.
Amy Wirth-Decker is coaching the team.
The team had three district shows during the regular season, practiced every Wednesday and then went to regionals for three days. The top two teams from regionals advanced to the state finals. Reed City was second behind Clare.
Miranda Battle is a junior who is in the huntseat equitation, huntseat bareback, western horsemanship, western bareback and trail. At regionals, she placed in the top five in all of her events. She was second in western bareback.
Battle has competed on the high school level three years. She went to the state final as a freshman.
“I hope to place well and hopefully get a first or second in any other events,” Battle said.
Having a good riding relationship with one’s horse is essentially the key behind equestrian success, Battle noted. She rides every day.
Madeline Harrington, also a junior, does western showmanship, huntseat showmanship, plus western equitation and western bareback. At the regional, she was second in western equitation.
“I got top five in almost all my classes,” she said, adding that at state finals, “I want to place top five in everything and hopefully get a first or second.”
Formal practices are every Wednesday.
“We want to be high up (as a team),” Harrington said. “I went as a freshman. I think that will help us a lot. We will know what’s going on.”
Along with Reed City equestrian, Harrington also plays soccer.
“I find soccer more enjoyable, I work harder in that one,” she said. “But horseriding and equestrian, that’s my favorite. I do it all summer.”