The Cougars have qualified 11 riders for the state championships.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Ricky Vita leads the North Valley District in timed events after two meets. The Canby junior placed third in pole bending and individual flags.The Canby equestrian team continued its march towards the state championships by winning its second North Valley District competition of the season Feb. 27 through March 1 in McMinnville.

Eleven of Canby’s 18 equestrian athletes have qualified for the state meet entering the third and final district event, which is slated for April 4-6 in Salem.

Cougars senior Sydney Morgan is leading the district in total points in the performance events, winning the in-hand trial, trial equitation and showmanship events in McMinnville. Fellow senior Caitlyn Tietz tied Morgan in in-hand trail.

Jordan Hitchcock took second place in saddle seat while adding fourth-place marks in dressage, western horsemanship and working rancher. She and Brittney Scott (third place) will both compete in saddle seat at the state meet.

Canby freshman Julia Forell is third in the district as a rookie.

Using full-sized horses, the Cougars’ in-hand obstacle relay teams came away with two top-five finishes. Hitchcock, Tietz, Morgan and Darby O’Hearn placed third, while Scott, Forell, Lanee Bare and Ricky Vita took fifth.

Canby’s drill team took second place by a slim margin. The sextet included Vita, Hitchcock and Scott as well as Amber Cook, Joanna Vincent and Emmaly Widmer.

Vita, a junior, leads the district in timed events after third-place finishes in pole bending and individual flags.

Vita was part of a CHS sweep in individual flags, where sophomore Callie Walker took first, junior Katie Stanfield was second and junior Aunika Turner placed fourth despite cold and wet conditions.

Walker, who had to borrow a horse due to a lameness issue, also won pole bending and placed fifth in Figure-8.

Cook, a sophomore, won the keyhole event.

Walker and Cook joined Hitchcock and Ronee Eckert to win the Canadian flag race.

Vita and Widmer took fourth in the two-man birangle. Widmer was also third in steer daubing.

Canby also won the first district meet.

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