It was a solid year for the Wilsonville equestrian team
When the dust settled at the end of the day, Wilsonville's equestrian team did very well for itself. The team netted a state championship, a second place finish, and topped the other medium sized schools at the district meet. When it's all said and done, that is a solid way to finish the season.
The team took 12th place at the state meet at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center in Redmond on May 10-13, 2018 with a total of 117 points. It was a solid showing for the Wildcats, who were also the top medium-sized school in the Tri-River Valley (TRV) district the past season.
"The TRV district alone has an incredibly competitive array of athletes," Wilsonville equestrian coach Lori Jersey said. "Across all disciplines. There's performance, there's timed events, then the versatility, but on the timed events we probably have one of the most competitive districts."
Senior Hailey Giddings took first place in reining at the state meet at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center in Redmond on May 10-13, 2018. Giddings had a grand total of 190 points in the event, eight more than McKayla Hainey of Oregon City. Giddings also took 15th place in the working rancher event, and 12th place in in steer daubing.
"Hailey ended up as the reining champion of the state which was phenomenal," Jersey said of the reigning reining champion. "It was an event that she has been very successful in over the past four years and in her own associations that she's been involved in as well. That was very exciting."
Fellow senior Lexee Padrick also hit high marks at the state meet. Padrick, who is bound for Fresno State in August to continue her equestrian career, took second place in steer daubing at the state meet with a time of 4.797 seconds. Padrick also took 18th place in the working rancher event.
"Lexee ended up with a silver, or as reserve champion I should say, in steer daubing," Jersey said. "It is an event that she has been very successful in over the past four years on a district level. This is probably her highest accomplishment at a state level."
The highest point scorer for the Wilsonville equestrian team at the district meet, and competitor who participated in the largest number of events at state, was Brooklyn James. James competed in showmanship, in hand trail, hunt seat equitation, trail equitation, and western horsemanship, placing in the top 16 in each of those events.
"Brooklyn had probably, as our district ended and our season ended, she was our highest point contributor for our team," Jersey said. "She actually won the buckle for the performance division for our district. She had done very well in comparison to her state performances last year to this year, definitely had exponential growth from that point."
Sydnie Jersey, coach Jersey's daughter, also competed in an individual event at the state meet. Sydnie competed in the barrels racing event, taking 13th place out of 46 competitors with a time of 15.623 seconds.
"For Sydnie specifically, she has had her horse now for a year," Jersey said. "It's taken that amount of time to develop the rhythm and the understanding between the athlete and the horse. I would tell you that she feels very proud of her accomplishments and has goals in mind for next year to finish in the top five at the state level."
The team also secured the reserve championship in team penning as well. Several of the girls that helped to get the team to its level of success this season will graduate to higher levels, but hold your horses: Wilsonville returns several dedicated athletes next season.
"Those two girls will definitely leave a void in our program," Jersey said of Padrick and Giddings. "They've had a significant impact all four years. I'm just looking forward to seeing the rest of our athletes taking it to that next level, and I'm also looking at recruiting over the summer and talking to any incoming freshmen that would be interested in the program."
Jersey expects her daughter, Brooklyn James, and junior Kendall Shanklin to step up and help to lead the program next year. Another thing that the competitors do that is more or less unique to Oregon High School Equestrian Teams (OHSET): the team and their families pay for their own equipment. Not affiliated with Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA), Jersey welcomes sponsorships to help her team afford the necessities of the sport.
"We just had a great level of support, whether from individuals or corporate sponsorship, that allowed us to rent arenas and to provide practice forums that allowed us to be successful this year," Jersey said. "I would encourage and invite anyone who would like to support us to be in touch with me. I would love to brainstorm any kind of a custom type sponsorship that would be equitable to a company as well."