Six Montesano student athletes qualified for state in four equestrian events last months.
The equestrian team took part in a District 4 event April 19-21 at Clark County Event Center in Ridgefield.
Addisyn Gage, Emily Endsley, Gabbie Smiley and Sidney Schrader received gold medals in drill freestyle fours.
Endsley and Smiley also received bronze medals in working pairs.
Jessie Olson received a silver medal in keyhole race, and Rylee Jones qualified in barrel racing.
These students advance to the state championships May 16-19 in Moses Lake.
The top five in each event at state will compete against the top five from the Oregon state championships at the Pacific Northwest Invitational Championship on June 14-16 in Redmond, Ore.
Heather Brix, the head coach for the Montesano team, described the working pairs competition as a routine choreographed by the students, who also pick the costumes and music.
Endsley and Smiley chose a theme of “in remembrance of,” Brix said. The blanket on Smiley’s horse has a large screen-printed photo of her mother, Melissa Smiley, who died from brain cancer. The blanket on Endsley’s horse has pictures of her grandmother, Kathy Mazzei, and family friend Jenny Bullington, who both died from lung cancer.
“We have great involvement from the athletes’ parents and families who sacrifice a lot to make this high school sport viable,” performance coach Stephanie Higgins said.
The other members of the Montesano High School equestrian team are Anna Arquette, Lindsay Pace, Ashlynn Peterson, Skye Schurr and Hannah Tupper.