RHS welcomes new equestrian team

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Coach Sandra Morgan’s daughter riding her horse at a competition

Bianca Mow, Staff Writer

Rochester High School proudly presents a new equestrian team. This team will start up during the 2017-2018 school year and everyone is welcome to join.

Sandra Morgan, one of two coaches, explains how this team came about.

“Rochester High School plans to establish an equestrian team to compete in the Michigan Interscholastic Horsemanship Association,” Morgan said.

This organization is in place in schools all across Michigan and has grown over the past few years.

“The MIHA was established in the 1970s as a way for high school students to represent their school in a sport they love,” Morgan said. “Today MIHA has more than 300 high school teams with more than 2000 student athletes statewide.”

Many RHS equestrians are excited to join this team because some never thought they would be a part of a school sport.

“I know quite a few people who ride, and some of them probably pushed for there to be this team,” freshman Emma Carroll said. “For me, it’s my first sport so it’s what I’m best at.”

This team is going to be run differently from  other teams because everyone is going to have different skill levels.

“RHS would love to establish a team of skilled riders and other horse loving students. Students can join as a competitor if they have enough horse experience to allow them to compete safely at the high school level,” Morgan said. “They must also own, lease or borrow an experienced horse for the competitions and practices.  Non Riders can be anyone who loves horses, wants to gain knowledge of horse competitions and wants to have fun.”

Another way this team is unique is that both boys and girls will be on the same team, rather than having separate ones.

”I’m totally okay with the fact that I’ll be competing against boys,” Kiersten Miller, freshman, said. “I’ve competed against boys many times so I don’t have an issue with that whatsoever.”

The team members who are planning on competing have to know how to participate in different events to earn points.

“Riders earn points at competitions by placing well against their peers from other schools. There are many types of riding at each meet,” Morgan said. “Western, English, jumping, bareback, trail/obstacle, barrel racing, pole bending are a few of the 17 different classes at each meet.  Riders who can perform diverse skills do very well.”

Overall, the students that are planning on joining are excited to join a team that is very different from all of the other teams at Rochester High School.

Carroll said, “I’m looking forward to making a meeting new friends that are interested in what I’m interested in.”