Five members of the Sande School of Horsemanship will compete in a handful of events at the Oregon State Fair.
Madison Rettenmaier, Kaylie Kopra, Hannah Morse, Taylor Atkins and Kallie Trask all qualified based on their finishes at the Columbia County Fair. Combined, the group won 14 championships at the county fair.
Morse, a junior at St. Helens High School, was the only local rider at the Columbia County Fair to jump her horse over a bar that was two feet, nine inches off the ground. Morse and her horse, Kal, earned the Robert Stevely Award at the fair. The award is given to the all-around high point rider in the equestrian performance events. Morse will compete in showmanship, trail, Western and English events in Salem at the end of the month.
Rettenmaier, riding Barney Pine, will go to state in Western and showmanship. She was the overall grand champion across all age divisions in showmanship, the reserve champion in her age division for showmanship, and champion of the intermediate age division. Rettenmaier is a sophomore at SHHS.
Kopra, a junior at Scappoose High School, won the senior age division for both Western and English categories at the county fair. She was the overall reserve grand champion in those two events for all age divisions. In addition to Western and English, Kopra will compete in showmanship at the state fair with her horse, Chocolate Rein O Lena.
Trask is headed to the state fair for four events: English, Western, showmanship and trail. The SHS junior was the reserve champion in the senior division for Western and trail. She was named the overall grand champion across all age divisions in Western. Trask will compete with her horse, Naughty Pine Country.
Atkins, also a junior at Scappoose, qualified for the championship class in showmanship at the county fair. She’ll go to state in the English competition.
In addition to their competitive riding, these athletes are required to complete a minimum of 100 hours in the Sande School of Horsemanship’s Barn Buddy Program. They do this by partnering with other youngsters who have been referred to the Warren school by case workers, abuse assessment centers or educators. At Sande School, the mentors teach their peers horsemanship skills. The goal of the program is to reduce anxiety, build confidence and teach kids how to be assertive.
In addition, these riders have volunteered for other camps at Sande School for multiple years.
The school on Bennett Road was founded in 2010. It is currently enrolling for its fall lesson session, which runs from mid-September through mid-December. For more information, contact executive director Kassi Euwer at 503-369-3008 or email@example.com.