STANTON — It took a lot of horsing around for three young Stanton women to become division champions for District 8 Division C on Sept. 9.
But all the hard work has paid off as the Central Montcalm High School Equestrian Team plans for its trip to regional competition at the end of the month.
The team was comprised of Maegan Chinevere, 16, of Stanton; Danielle (DJ) Clise, 14, of Stanton; and Lexie Edwards, 16, of Stanton. Mekenzie Davis, 14, of Sheridan, is also an honorary non-riding member. They were coached by JoAnn Dudenhofer of Sidney and Rachel Piper of Stanton.
Equestrian teams are offered at several local schools, encouraging students at both the junior high and high school level to compete in team horseback riding events, or “meets.”
The CM team competed in three different meets over two weekends, including a long “double meet” over a Saturday and Sunday.
When scores were tallied over the three meets, CM’s team came out on top over the other two larger Division C teams: Lake City and Crossroads Charter Academy.
“I could not believe it,” Chinevere said. “I was so happy and excited at the same time, I could barely think straight.”
“I was ecstatic,” said Edwards. “It was the best moment so far this year. I’ve never heard us scream so loud.”
Now the team is scrambling to raise money for upcoming expenses and other team needs.
A car wash and bake sale has been planned for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sept. 22, in the parking lot of Stanton Save-A-Lot to help raise funds. Horse and carriage rides and Model T rides will also be available that day.
A silent online auction is also being planned to raise funds.
“Support would be so nice as we have had to do so much with our parents’ help,” Clise said.
The three women know that not everyone in the community realize that Central Montcalm has an equestrian team.
“We would love for people to recognize this as a legitimate sport,” Edwards said. “I want to go to regionals to show other teams that our small team can compete with the best of them and do well.”
Regional competition will be in Midland on Sept. 29 and 30.
If the team wins in Midland, they will head to the State Michigan Interscholastic Horsemanship Association competition from Oct. 11 to 14.
Contact Dudenhofer at (989) 328-6353 for more information on the team.