Equine drill team leaps to wins

spo equine web

MEMBERS OF THE EL DORADO COUNTY 4H EQUINE DRILL TEAM, from left to right, are Kadee Felton, Morgan De Luca, Jessica Thomson, Shannon Johnston, Addie Rosemeyer and Lexi Winje, with coach Lauri Winje in the center. They brought home first place in the 2014 California State Drill Team Championships. Courtesy photo

CERES — The El Dorado County 4-H Equine Drill team competed in the top equestrian rodeo drill teams, as they congregated at the Diamond Bar Arena the weekend of May 3 and 4 for the 2014 California State Drill Team Championships. The competition is put on annually by the California State Horsemen’s Association Inc.

Jill Kraut, CSHA Drill Team Chairman, explained “2014 is a milestone year marking the 65th anniversary of the first California State Drill Team Championships put on by CSHA since 1949.  To mark the occasion a special 65th Anniversary Unified Ride was held (May 3) at the conclusion of the first day of competition.  The ride was a compilation team consisting of 65 riders representing the teams competing at the championships to celebrate the occasion.  It was a remarkable sight to watch as the team of 65 riders gave a stunning performance.”

The newest and youngest member Jessica Thomson, 11, shared the team’s championship trophies at the Mother Lode 49ers 4H meeting gathering a huge round of applause.

On May 4, the competition concluded with the presentation of awards and crowning of the state champion titles.  The Blue Shadows from southern California, took home top honors winning the “Grand Champion” and “Junior Division Champion” titles for the seventh consecutive year.  “Reserve Overall Champion” and “Mixed Division State Champions” was awarded to the Smokin’ Guns from the San Ramon Valley.   The “Senior State Champion” title was won by the Sacramento Sheriff’s 911 team, and the “Quad State Champion” was won by the Lucky Clovers 4-H Drill Team.

Coach Lauri Winje said, “The 4-H Lucky Clovers Drill team started in 2011. The girls live in Placerville and Georgetown and local ranches donate arena time for the team to practice. It takes a lot of dedication from the girls and their parents. We have a great team; I’m so proud of them.”

“We couldn’t have come this far without our coach Lauri,” said rider Addie Rosemeyer.

Special to the Democrat

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