Chi-Hi Equestrian team creates a decade-long legacy of being state champions
CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -The Chippewa Falls Senior High School’s equestrian team is not saying woah to their horses because they have been busy taking home their 10th state championship title.
For the past decade, the Chippewa Falls Senior High School Equestrian Team has been able to call themselves state champs after winning a three-day state competition held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI during the last week of October.
“I think it’s really cool to be able to say we’ve won ten years in a row,” Rider, Allison Widiker said. “I think that it’s a really, really big honor.”
Although the equestrian team riders have proved their merit as champions once again, it takes lots of time and hard work for the team to prepare. Before being able to trot off to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Horsemanship State Finals the riders were busy practicing and competing. Head Coach, Cara Schueller, said the team practices three times a week beginning in early August, then starts competing in September.
The team competed in three local competitions before qualifying for state in both the A and C divisions. Schueller said the riders’ dedication to practice is what sets them aside from their fellow competitors.
“Their work ethic,” Schueller said. “The amount of time they practice. The way we practice.”
For some of the riders like Division A Senior, Melanie Krumenauer, who has been on the team for six years, the pressure of having won the state title in past years was nothing new.
“It is something that pushes us to work harder,” Krumenaurer said. “I know myself at the beginning of the year I was really nervous. I was like hey it’s my senior year I got to stick it out for the team.”
For Division C Rider, Jaidyn Brady, it was her first time competing on the team.
“I was nervous because state is a big deal,” Brady said. “You know, not everyone can say they go to state for a lot of things.”
Despite some nerves, Division A and Division C were able to advance to state where riders showcased their talents in 19 events like showmanship and barrel racing. After the team completed over 80 rides, Division A claimed victory.
Although the equestrian team trains and competes like their fellow Chi-Hi sports teams, what makes their passion different is working with their horses.
“I just enjoy the connection,” Krumenauer said. “It’s something that in other sports, you’re not connecting with a ball. You have this connection with these horses. They have a mind, they have a brain, and you have to build that with them.”
Head coach Schueller said that although they are the Chi-Hi team they welcome riders from other nearby schools. Division C Rider, Brady, is from McDonell Central Catholic High School. Schueller said she can also help other schools begin an equestrian team of their own.
You can email her at email@example.com for more information.
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