SH rider 10th at state equestrian meet

Vance Wolfe of Sweet Home finished 10th in keyhole and 21st in flags at the state equestrian championships held in Redmond on May 19.

It was Wolfe’s first trip to state and he made it count.

“I was a little nervours and stressed out,” he said. “I’m really happy with my results. I was thinking I wasn’t gonna do half as good as I did because this is my first year ever going to state.”

Wolfe, a junior in his second year of equestrian riding, placed third in keyhole and flags to qualify for the state competition. He said he faced about 50 other competitors in each category in Redmond.

“I had lots of fun,” he said. “Actually, the best part was getting to see that arena. It’s impressive. It’s one of the biggest arenas I’ve ever seen.”

Wolfe’s season has been complicated by the fact that his horse, Doc, came down with pneumonia earlier in the year. Coach Teri Rush and her mother allowed him to use Rush’s horse, Sugar, which is an experienced equestrian horse.

“I ended up really good on her, so I just kept riding her,” Wolfe said. “My horse is starting to get old, so he’s a little slower.”

Both events were speed events, which require fast and precise riding. Wolfe finished eight-tenths of a second behind the state champion in the keyhole, which requires the horse and rider to race to the end of the arena, enter a 4-foot-wide entrance into a circle, turn the horse 180 degrees and return ot the start.

“I’m hoping to improve,” Wolfe said. “That was my fastest time ever on that. I’ve got to work on the spins a little more.”

He said he enjoyed having his family and coach there during the finals.

He also thanked the sponsors who supported the equestrian team this year.