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Horseplay permitted at IEL show

Showing superior SCV horsemanship

Posted: November 3, 2008 7:47 p.m.
Updated: January 5, 2009 5:00 a.m.

Eighth graders Olivia Doty, Ashlyn Matheus, Jenna Cormier, and seventh graders, Hailey Brown and Janelle Park, are part of the Rancho Pico Interscholastic Equestrian League team. They competed in the season's first IEL show at Hansom Dam Equestrian Center on Oct. 26.

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Showing and jumping horses is both an extracurricular activity and an exciting hobby for five girls from Rancho Pico Junior High School.

Eighth graders Olivia Doty, Ashlyn Matheus, Jenna Cormier, and seventh graders Hailey Brown and Janelle Park are part of the Rancho Pico Interscholastic Equestrian League team. They competed in the season's first IEL show at Hanson Dam Equestrian Center on Oct. 26.

Doty and her pony Marilla competed in the Novice Dressage ring and won the Overall Championship for her division.

"The best part is representing my school and winning ribbons and recognition for it," Doty said. "It's also fun to compete against the other schools."

Brown and her horse Flight of the Phoenix won second in one of the Novice division's equitation classes. She also placed in the top 12 out of 70 girls in the hunter class, despite it being her second time to show in the hunter ring.

"It's cool because you and your horse are a team," Brown said. "Sometimes the judges judge you on what you're doing with your horse and how you work with your horse, and some it's just the timing for the jumps. I want to learn to do bigger jumps and more advanced stuff."

Park performed spectacularly on her horse, Handsome Louie, and won ribbons in each class in the Freshman division.

She received fourth place overall in the Freshman Hunter Division.

Matheus and her horse Frederik, returning to IEL for the second year, won top ribbons in all of her classes. She was selected as one out of 50 riders who competed on a flat course for a medal.

Cormier and her horse Indystructive are also part of the Rancho Pico IEL team but did not compete in the show.

IEL is a nonprofit, donation-based organization that partners with schools to provide equestrian training for students and facilitate regional and national amateur equestrian sports competitions. Teams from different schools compete against each other to gain school recognition and enjoy friendly competition.

"My favorite thing is meeting a lot of new friends, learning about the IEL team, and having fun at the shows," Park said.

The IEL program helps students develop knowledge of horsemanship, teamwork, and riding skills, as well as cultivating personal character.

"I'm definitely riding better and staying more concentrated," Park said.

"(Doty) understands and utilizes complex concepts and doesn't seem to know the word ‘can't'." said Millie Chalk, Doty's personal trainer in Sand Canyon. "She's immensely patient and trusts that with time that there are no limits, while always keeping her horse's comfort and well-being in mind."

The team is supervised by team representative Angela Matheus and school representatives Rochelle Slaybac and Mary Krumrich.

The team's next show is Dec. 7 at Hanson Dam Equestrian Center. The team will also participate in a KHTS radio interview on Nov. 22, as part of the Saturday morning equestrian-themed program "Along the Trail."

For more information about the IEL program or to become a sponsor, visit www.theiel.org.

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