This team just won districts, yet no one is aware of it

Picture from the teams Facebook page. September 13 2022

Picture from the team’s Facebook page. September 13 2022

Many are aware of the athletic programs that Forest Hills Central High School offers. Programs such as football, baseball, hockey, and cross country is just a small sample of the thirty-seven varsity sports that are offered across three seasons. However, a specific team just won districts, and there is zero buzz about it; this team is the FHC Equestrian Team.

After a very disastrous season last year, the team started at square one this year.

Ashley Hibma, a sophomore rider, said, “It was a lot of pressure, many of us hadn’t done much competing, and there was a lot of different discipline so we had to learn it all in two months.”

Despite all of the pressure and the uncertainty on whether they’d have a season this year, it all paid off in the end. With coach Bode and her riders leading the way, the team was able to win districts and advance to the MIHA State Championship to be held on Wednesday, October 5.

The riders make up only half of the team roster; the horses are always seen but are often unmentioned. Many of the horses were leased from other barns, but the riders do own their own horses. They even have their own names. Isaac, who is ridden by senior rider Masyn Cole, is an American Quarter Horse that was leased out to her for the season. However, Masyn also owns her own horses that she takes care of herself. Their names are Theo, Gus, and Titan, all of whom are Arabians. Ashley’s horse, Riley, is a 21-year-old Thoroughbred that was leased to her for the equestrian team who, according to Ashley, had “anger issues” growing up but has since “been calmer.”

Whether or not the team wins or loses in the state finals, they will know in the back of their minds, that they have gone through what no one else in the school has gone through, and we should cheer them on as they continue to ride through the season.