The newly formed Napoleon Junior Equestrian Team had their one show for the season recently and made a statement by bringing home the Reserve Championship!  The team is made up of nine riders with various riding style backgrounds and levels. For a few of the riders, this was their first competition ever and despite some nerves, they made a solid step in the right direction for future Napoleon equestrian teams.

The day started off with Haven Marker winning and Allyson Ruhlig taking second place in Western Showmanship. Allyson won and Nevada Gundrum took first and second place respectively in Hunt Seat Showmanship. Aviah Latocki took second place in English Equitation Walk/Trot and then Haven won Hunt Seat Equitation. Haven took second place in English Bareback while Ellie Nichols won and Haven took second place in Western Reining.  Haven won and Onalese Latocki took third in Western Equitation with Haven and Ellie taking third place in Western Bareback. Brooke Omey took third in Trail and then Mother Nature decided to participate, forcing a rain delay. Not willing to let a little thunder and lightning ruin the fun, Gymkana started. Ellie and Onalese won the two-man relay with Brooke and Haven taking third place. Making strong starts to their show careers were Mackenzy Lindemann and Caitlyn Briggs, who placed in all of their classes.

View a few pictures of our Napoleon Equestrian Team here.

Information about this program

Junior riders are in the fifth to eighth grades and while younger than their senior counterparts, they are no less talented despite only having one show in the spring. Senior riders are high school level and compete three times in the fall with an opportunity to go to regional championships and then hopefully, the state championship. The equestrian team is a school-sanctioned club sport with college scholarship opportunities. These clubs compete under the umbrella of the Michigan Interscholastic Horseman’s Association which provides opportunities like this for schools all over the state.

Riders are responsible for owning or leasing their horses and must also find the time in their schedules to practice independently on a regular basis. Many choose to work with a trainer to improve specific skills. The team met a few times over the course of the season to bond and show readiness to the coaches.

The average season cost for a junior rider is over $200 per rider and $400 for a high school rider. Napoleon Lawn and Leisure and Napoleon Feed Mill, shared in sponsoring riders. B&B Hardware, and Barker Weber Insurance Agency both sponsored one rider. Brooklyn Road Veterinary Clinic and M & K Televising sponsored several riders. Latocki.com and Allegra-Saline donated their services for our team banner, apparel imaging, and advertising needs. The money raised will cover future costs for apparel, show attire, show fees, stall fees, shaving fees, camping fees, and team practice night fees. The Napoleon Equestrian Team would like to thank all of their sponsors!

Current 8th-11th grade Napoleon students interested in joining the Senior Equestrian team this fall need to reach out ASAP to Coach Jen Latocki at 517-905-5740 or email jennifer.latocki@napoleonschools.org, Coach Angie Gundrum at amquarterhorses@gmail.com, or Coach Beth Marker at bethy72650@yahoo.com