BG Equestrian Team takes home medals at state meet


The Battle Ground Equestrian Team wrapped up its season with four athletes competing in the state championship meet from June 17-20 in Moses Lake at the Grant County Fairgrounds.

The season started in October with practices. Due to the pandemic, meets were pushed back from March to May as opposed to the usual competition season from February to April, said adviser Jenna Anderson.

Regionals, which typically occur after state, were canceled this year because Oregon equestrian teams did not hold a state meet, Anderson said.

The Battle Ground team competed in three competitions, all of which were held in Elma at the Grays Harbor Fairgrounds.

Gracie Kemp, Battle Ground High School junior, said she enjoyed watching her teammates grow more comfortable on their horses.

For Kemp, her interest in horses started with a chance encounter. Her parents ran into a woman while they were buying breakfast, and previously sold hay to her for the horses she owned. The woman offered to teach Kemp how to ride.

“I was like ‘heck, yeah,’” she said.

Kemp began riding on a small, gray Arabian horse that was not trained well. Now, she competes with a Sorrel Quarter Horse named Dee Dee.

“I had no idea how to do anything, but we grew together,” she said.

This year was Kemp’s first time at state after last year’s meet cancellation and complications with snow during her freshman year. Kemp qualified for the Freestyle Fours Drill Team.

“It’s always nerve-racking,” she said. “As soon as you go through the gates, you’re pretty much fine because you’re just focused on doing your job.”

Anderson just started her role as an adviser this year. However, she has been involved with the Washington High School Equestrian Team (WAHSET) in one way or another for about 15 years.

“It’s really neat to watch the relationships grow between horse and rider,” Anderson said. “They always say that I’m always a mom to all of them.”

Those interested in joining the team can contact Jenna Anderson at The Battle Ground Equestrian Team is only open to Battle Ground High School students or those affiliated with Battle Ground alternative programs.

Meet 2 Results

Individual Events

Tailor Obrist: Second in reining and first in individual flags

Emma Messer: Fourth in reining

Willow Babcock: Fifth
in dressage

Team Events

Freestyle Fours Drill Team B (Emma Messer, Gracie Kemp, Julie Thomas and Tailor Obrist): Third place

Canadian Flag Team C (Tailor Obrist, Julie Thomas, Gracie Kemp and Emma Messer): First place

Canadian Flag Team D (Willow Babcock, McKenzie Smith, May Phillips and Angel Halle):
Fourth place

Meet 3 Results

Individual Events

Tailor Obrist: Third place in reining, first place in keyhole and sixth place in figure eight

Emma Messer: Sixth place in reining

Willow Babcock: Seventh place in showmanship and seventh place in dressage

May Phillips: Second place in keyhole

Team Events

Freestyle Fours Drill Team A (Lexie Stewart, Willow Babcock, Angel Halle and McKenzie Smith): Fourth place

Freestyle Fours Drill Team B (Gracie Kemp, Julie Thomas, Emma Messer and Tailor Obrist): First place

Birangle Team A (Gracie Kemp and Tailor Obrist):
Sixth place

Birangle Team C (Emma
Messer and May Phillips):
Tenth place

Cow Sorting Team C (Gracie Kemp and Tailor Obrist):
Tenth place

2021 Season WAHSET Medal Winners

Individual Events

Emma Messer: A bronze medal for reining

Tailor Obrist: Qualified for state in reining, a gold medal in figure eight, a bronze medal in keyhole and a silver medal in individual flags

Team Events

Freestyle Fours Drill Team B (Gracie Kemp, Julie Thomas, Emma Messer, Tailor Obrist, May Phillips): Bronze medal


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