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Ride em' Elmwood: School's new equestrian team completes first season

Elmwood equestrian team members (from left) Katie Feuker, Hannah Feuker and Whitney Meyer just before a competition. (Submitted photo.)1 / 3
Elmwood Middle/High School equestrian team head coach Kris Flesberg providing instruction during practice (Photo by Sean Scallon). 2 / 3
EHS sophomore Libby Feuker trots this horse during a recent practice. (Photo by Sean Scallon)3 / 3

ELMWOOD – It will be in the yearbook, just like every other sports or club or activity in school. Elmwood’s new equestrian team will make its yearbook debut for this school year and that’s just one several points which has EHS sophomore Libby Feuker excited about participating in the sport, both now and into the future.

“It’s been fun working with the horses and working with your fellow students in this new sport,” Feuker said. “We’ve gotten better at it since we’ve started and just being in the yearbook and being a school activity for the first time is exciting too.”

The idea of having a scholastic equestrian team began a year ago when Elmwood parent Joan Carsten approached EHS teacher and cross country and track coach Kris Flesberg. She volunteered to be its coach convinced both Elmwood Superintendent Paul Blanforth and the school board to sponsor and support it.

The inaugural Elmwood equestrian team included more than just high school students. The rules of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Horsemanship Association (WIHA)allowed middle schoolers to compete as well. Six students signed up to be part of the team, Feuker and her sisters Katie, who is in sixth grade and Hannah, an eighth grader; senior Whitney Meyer, sophomore Elizabeth Carston and freshman Morgan Rupakus.

Elmwood is a part of WIHA’s district 13 in western Wisconsin and participated in three shows during the short season, which runs from September through October. Team members were able to practice in the horse ring at the Alfuth farm, which located just over the border in Dunn County on CTH. P but still part of the Elmwood district. The shows took place at the Bit and Spur Showgrounds in Eau Claire.

Because the divisions in the WIHA are based on the number of riders a team has rather than the size of the school, Elmwood found itself competing against schools like Eau Claire North, Menomonie and Chippewa Falls.

For more please read the Oct. 23 print version of the Herald.