Equestrians finish as high as seventh at state meet

The Sweet Home High School equestrian team drill team finished seventh among 24 teams at state Friday and Saturday.

Based on the performance of other district teams, including Lebanon’s drill team finishing ninth, Sweet Home would have finished second if the meet were a district meet, Coach Billie Bjornsen said.

The drill team included Jessalyn Seiber, Meisha Carlin, Cera Kem and Larissa Bjornsen.

Larissa Bjornsen and Seiber competed in team penning but failed to set a time. Bjornsen also received no time in the solo keyhole game.

She and her horse were both excited and touched the white line, Billie Bjornsen said.

Larissa Bjornsen and Seiber also placed 22nd in bi-wrangle among approximately 40 teams, and Bjornsen finished 17th in figure eight.

“There were some fast horses out there,” Billie Bjornsen said, praising the competition.

“The whole district, I think, did pretty good,” Bjornsen said. “But I haven’t got the statistics on that. It was fun just to be there with all the girls. I think they did very well.”

Even with three seniors leaving this year, “if they keep going, I think they’ll do very well,” Bjornsen said of the team’s prospects for next year.

Returning team members are mostly gamers, she said. Kem was the team’s key performance rider, and she will graduate along with Larissa Bjornsen and Seiber, Billie Bjornsen said. Returning will be Rochelle Zamacona, Jessica Blankenship and Carlin, along with Leah Keesecker, who rode in one of three district meets this year.

Bjornsen said she will step down as coach.