Queen Margaret’s School Equestrian Team’s recent achievements at HITS Thermal Desert Circuit in California
Tianna Jerome and Miranda Lebeuf in Thermal
April 26, 2016 – Duncan, BC, Canada – Following six grueling weeks in the desert, riders from the Queen Margaret’s School Equestrian Team are finally home, still buzzing from their experience.
QMS took their Head Coach, Cheryl Keith, QMS Equestrian Program Director, Jodine Buydens, and eight riders south to compete in the HITS Desert Circuit in Thermal, California, over a period of six weeks. Grade 12 rider Kassidy Keith departed in mid-February, ahead of the main team. She worked with four different horses during her six week stay and earned a long list of accolades during her competition.
Kassidy Keith on La Reserve – Second Half Circuit Champion Modified Junior Amateur Hunter
– Reserve Grand Circuit Champion Modified Junior Amateur Hunter
– Second Half Circuit Champion 1.3m Junior Jumpers
– Reserve Grand Circuit Champion 1.3m Junior Jumpers
Kassidy Keith on Chicago – Winner USEF Pessoa Medal (Week 3)
Kassidy Keith on Crackerjack – Champion Mid Circuit 1.3m Junior Jumper
– Reserve Champion Grand Circuit 1.3m Junior Jumper
– Top 5 Junior Amateur 1.35m Classic
Kassidy Keithon Rigoletto – Second Place Maclay Medal
– Winner Large Junior Hunter Stake (Week 5)
– 4th Place Ronnie Mutch Equitation Championship
The balance of the QMS Equestrian Team arrived in southern California with their horses in March. “Taking a team of this size to an international competition is a large undertaking,” explains QMS Equestrian Program Director, Jodine Buydens. “Coordinating the transportation of our students, their horses, equipment, and accommodation was time consuming. Yet the passion these athletes display for the equestrian sport makes the effort absolutely worth it.”
Head Coach Cheryl Keith was on the ground coaching QMS riders throughout their time in the desert. “These riders understand that it is their effort, on and off the saddle, that is going to result in building skills and hopefully win ribbons.” This year’s team was a mix of senior riders with a single junior rider.
Lillian Jiang on Rising Tide – Reserve Champion Short Stirrup Equitation (Week 6)
Kyra Westman on LL Bean & Will I Am
– Top 3 Placings in Low Children’s Jumper (Week 5 & 6)
Lily Li on Providence – Reserve Champion Pre Children’s Hunter
Christine Coels on TeAmo – Consistent Ribbons in Low Children’s Jumpers (Weeks5-7)
Miranda Lebeuf on Carivero – Consistent Ribbons in Modified Child Adult
Tianna Jerome on Capo E – Impressive rounds in the 1.0m Jumpers
Hannah Anderson and Cheryl Keith at Thermal
The youngest member of the QMS team was Grade 5 student Hannah Anderson, who was excited to take part in the Thermal show for the first time. “It was really hot in Thermal, but it was really fun to ride in such a big show,” says Anderson. “I was so happy to compete for the month. My Thermal results have given me confidence to compete in more shows locally, and I want to go back to HITS next year.” Anderson’s work in the saddle earned her some impressive titles.
Hannah Anderson on
Rosewood – Second Half Circuit Champion Pre Child Hunter
– Reserve Grand Circuit Champion Pre Child Hunter
– Second Half Circuit Reserve Champion Short Stirrup Equitation
– Second Half Circuit Reserve Champion Short Stirrup Hunter
The equestrian team members are now preparing for two shows in Saanich in April and May, as well as their final on-campus QMS Spring Hunter/Jumper Show May 7-8.