Equestrian team competes in program's first Regional

Equestrian team competes in program's first Regional

By Katelyn Larese, The Voice


The Anchor Bay High School equestrian team competed in its first state regional competition this fall.

The Tars advanced to the regional meet after placing second in a district meet Sept. 8, 15 and 16 at Goodells County Park.

Seven riders competed in each of the 18 events that took place each day of the meet, requiring quick tack changes going from one event to another.

“The riders couldn’t have done it without the support from their team and coaches assisting in those changes,” Terry Martin said.

The team was led by senior Jenna Swinkowski and her mount Nick (Tennessee Walker) as the top point-getter for the team. Jaclyn (Jack) Kumaus and Luna (quarter horse) showed no fear in competing in eight of the 18 events and blazing around the barrels and flag speed events.

Nicole Bryce (GiGi) and Katie Duvoll (Rumor) showed their jumping skills in hunt seat over fences. Each gave strong showings, with Bryce taking first on the final day of competition.

Shawna Blake and her quarter horse Vegas, as well as Anthony Jones (Luke) and Emily Martin (Chip), competed in the western events and were able to added points for the team.

Each fall, high school teams from across the state compete in each of the Michigan Interscholastic Horsemanship Association’s 20 districts. Each district hosts three district meets.

The top two teams in each of the four divisions advance to their respective regional competitions.

Anchor Bay competed in a district meet Sept. 8, 15 and 16.

From each region, the top two teams in each division advance to the state championship competition.

The Tars placed eighth in a regional meet that took place Sept. 28 to 30 at the Shiawassee County Fairgrounds in Corunna.

Jenna Swinkowski was again the high point-getter for the team, followed by Jaclyn Kumous, who also placed first in the flag race.

“This was the first-ever regional the team has made,” Martin said. “This was a good experience for the girls and only motivated them to work that much harder to reach the regionals and beyond.”

Port Huron Northern and Capac advanced to the state championship meet.