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home : sports : sports April 28, 2016

5/28/2013 1:30:00 PM
Sisters riders finish strong in OHSET competition
By Kathryn Godsiff

Sisters equestrian team wound up the OHSET season with a strong showing at the state meet, held May 16-19 at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center.

Olivia Chandler brought home the gold medal in Hunt Seat Over Fences, with her sister Ellie taking fifth place. Autumn Saunders earned the bronze in Dressage with Olivia Chandler taking 10th place. Freshman Cammi Benson captured bronze medals in Hunt Seat Equitation, Western Horsemanship and Reining, and seventh place in Working Rancher. She also came home with third place in the High Point Performance rankings.

Seven athletes and nine horses, plus assorted parents and helpers, represented the Outlaws at the state meet. There were a total of over 600 horses stabled at the fairgrounds, making the meet one of the largest equine events in the state. Sisters, registered for the season as a large team of 13 or more athletes, finished 11th out of 24 large teams. At the state meet, schools compete as teams, but the teams then pull together as a district, with Sisters' Central District coming in third of the eight districts.

Olivia Chandler said, "I had a lot of fun competing at State this year. State is a chance to meet top riders from all over and it's different from the regular season meets. It's really an honor to represent Sisters High School."

Parents play a huge role in the success of OHSET. It is a club sport, with the meets running three to four days, with a large number of competitors in every event. Julie Benson, mother of Cammi Benson, admitted "It's a sport that's parent intensive and time demanding." The spirit of cooperation between all the athletes makes the efforts rewarding, and the sheer number of horses and competitors ensures the meets take on a carnival-like atmosphere.

The team members and parents are pleased with the support shown by new SHS Athletic Director Tim Roth. "He's very supportive of club sports," said Benson. This year for the first time club sport athletes earned athletic letters for their efforts in their chosen sports.

Yvette Chandler, who next year will be team co-advisor with Teddy Georges, said the team will feel the departure of seniors Bobbi Jo Rosauer and Elissa O'Connor.

She added, "I'm very proud of all our equestrian athletes who qualified for state this year."

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