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Equestrian team wins competition

Blue Shadows riders brave record heat to sweep championship events

Posted: June 22, 2009 3:40 p.m.
Updated: June 23, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Members of Blue Shadows ride in the themed segment of the competition. During the jail-themed performance, the kids performed to "Jailhouse Rock" and ended with "I Fought the Law."

 
Acton resident and longtime Blue Shadows rider Elaine MacPherson led her Junior Advanced team to its recent third consecutive California State Horseman's Association State Grand Championship.

Agua Dulce resident Skylar Hudson carried the club flag, while MacPherson carried the American flag.

Returning and experienced local team members Chelsea Tindell, Sarah Stern, Sabrina Galasso, Alexis Kiefer and Taylor Wachs anchored the team.

The Junior Advanced division of the well-known local equestrian team traveled to Ceres, near Modesto, to compete in the State Championship Competition.

The team won all three divisions in which it competed and posted the highest combined score of both junior and adult teams to win the overall Grand Champion title.

The co-ed team's riders range in age from 11 to 17 years old and consist of 17 girls and one boy.

About half of the team comes from Santa Clarita Valley, Acton and Agua Dulce, with some from the San Fernando Valley.

Record heat made the weekend event extra challenging. Between rides, towels soaked in ice-water had to be wrapped around both the riders' and horses' necks to help them cope with the humid 107 temperatures.

The first ride of the day was in the Junior Division long program, a 10-minute hold-your-breath, fast-paced, precise routine. This ride resulted in bringing home the junior division trophy.

The Military Division was the second ride of the day. In this event, Blue Shadows captured the highest ride score of the day. The last and the most fun division of the day was the theme program. The team entered the arena as a "chain gang" dressed in black and white prison stripes.

The music was all-jail, starting with "Jailhouse Rock" and ending with "I Fought the Law." The high-point trophy rested on this ride and the team came through with a fast, furious and precise ride to secure the overall Grand Championship.

A bronze high-point "Jim Real Memorial Trophy" was presented to Blue Shadows.

In addition to five large team trophies, the team will receive a custom California State Horseman's Association championship flag and each team member will receive three state champion division ribbons, one state grand champion ribbon and a custom designed Gist Silversmith award belt buckle to commemorate their achievement.

For information on Blue Shadows call (661) 268-0324 or visit www.blueshadows.org.

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