For the second year in a row, the Caledonia Equestrian Team got crowned MIHA State Champions. In this competition that stretched from October 14th to the 17th, the Fighting Scots beat out nine other schools that qualified for states.
To qualify for the state meet, a team has to get top two at districts and at regionals. Caledonia got first at both. Due to an increase in competitors over the years, divisions were formed based on team size. Caledonia is in the largest one: Division A.
When asked about the competition, senior rider Mia Stiver said, “I’d say that the competition was really tough this year and we had to come together as a team to win. Our team really supports each other and I think that was a big factor in our ability to finish at the top.”
After the 17 events were completed, 363 points ended up being the winning score. Caledonia outscored Tecumseh (329), Milford (309), Hopkins (305), and South Lyon (272). The rest of the Division A field scored under 100 points.
Sophomore Griffin Wolverton exclaimed, “This team is amazing. The biggest thing that helped us win was our chemistry and how well we all bonded together.”
The group is a chapter of the Michigan Interscholastic Horsemanship Association (MIHA), which was formed in 1976 and consists of hundreds of teams statewide. They hold annual competitions and support students with multiple scholarship opportunities for third and fourth-year riders.
Senior Kendra Lloyd described that, “Being allowed to be on a team with this much acceptance was an awesome experience the last four years. Along with earning the state title this year, we were able to do it last year, and the year before we earned the reserve title. Once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Despite losing some talented seniors, the team will shoot for a three-peat, or three consecutive championships, next fall.