By Gini Davis
The Creswell Chronicle
Four athletes – Hope Walpole, Grace Haga, Jane Marquess and Levi Bones – represented the Creswell High School equestrian team and performed well during the Oregon High School Equestrian Teams (OHSET) State Championships, held May 11-14 at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these athletes, the way they competed, and the way they represented CHS and our community,” said Creswell Head Coach Lauri Thomas. “We have achieved beyond our goals for this season.”
Walpole, riding Wonka, placed ninth in individual flags as Creswell’s top finisher at State. Walpole went to State as the OHSET South Valley District’s gold medalist in both barrels and individual flags, based on cumulative results from all three of this season’s District meets.
Haga, riding Pepsi, placed 11th at State in pole bending. Haga went to State as the South Valley District’s silver medalist in that event.
Walpole also placed 16th in barrels at State, and teamed up with Marquess, on Annie, to place 16th in birangle. Marquess also placed 16th in figure eight.
Bones, riding Charlie, placed 17th in working rancher. “Levi did awesome; he executed all of his skills perfectly,” Thomas said. “He had to switch horses due to a chronic injury in the horse he used all season. Charlie was nervous with the people in the arena, and he handled her with skill and patience. Levi is already planning out next season, lining up opportunities to pen and rope.”
Thomas said the team is already planning for next season, which kicks off with fundraising at the Eugene Pro Rodeo in July.
“Next season, we’re planning to add individual and team events, and committing to working individually in equestrian activities, from rodeo to ranch sorting and performance work,” Thomas said.
Coach Thomas also expressed appreciation to her assistant coaches, Patsy Hayes, Karissa Sampson and Hannah Thomas, “for their commitment of time and expertise in facilitating the growth in skill development in our athletes,” and thanked the team’s families and the community for their support.