While the snowy weather proved to be an adventure on the roads, The Dalles equestrian team had a promising first showing to start the 2019 campaign.

Jaeden Biehn posted a pair of individual top-8 finishes and joined up with Erika Burdine and Haja Anis for four top-4 outputs, including fourth place in Team Penning, at the three-day Oregon High School Equestrian Teams event held from Feb. 22–24 at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond.

“I am really proud of these three ladies,” The Dalles coach Lissa Biehn said. “There are always jitters at the first meet, but to see the excitement and smiles on their faces made the whole weekend and snowy drive home a worthwhile experience. They work well together and are so supportive of each other. I see a great season ahead of us and look forward to our next competition this coming weekend.”

In their best team placing, Anis, Biehn and Burdine locked in three cows and three pens for a total time of 151.66 to secure fourth place in Team Penning.

After posting a 79.693 in their first attempt, they added marks of 37.825 and 34.141 as they secured a cow apiece in each round, with the three pens putting them in a four-way tie for first place with Mountain View, Sisters and Crook County’s ‘B’ team.

“Team Penning is my favorite. It was so much fun to work together and ride with the cattle,” said Burdine, a sophomore.

The Canadian Flag Race had Anis, Biehn and Burdine tally a base time of 69.298 to earn seventh place, and they tallied the best time out of 12 schools at 5:09 for 91 points and seventh-place honors in the In-Hand Obstacle Relay.

That trio ended up with an individual time of 180.84 and a total score of nine to tie for 10th place with Redmond in the Team Versatility event.

Burdine and Biehn combined for 40 points and a tie with Lakeview for 12th place in the Working Pairs event.

“Our first meet was very successful,” said fourth-year senior Jaeden Biehn. “I was very proud of each of my teammates. They did extremely well for their first OHSET meet.”

Biehn claimed eighth place in Barrel Racing with her eighth-place final mark of 16.165, Burdine finished her race in 22.525, and Anis crossed the finish line in 34.774.

In Individual Flags, Biehn timed out in 12.383 to lock down sixth place, while Anis placed 18th after a 27.561 and Burdine hit 20th place in 35.338.

“It was great to get my horse, Pumpkin, to gallop in the arena for gaming,” said Anis, a first-year sophomore athlete.

Those times and totals gave The Dalles 118 points, 94 in team events, for first place in the three-team small school division, ahead of Lakeview (69) and Dufur (38).

This coming Friday through Sunday, March 15 to 17, The Dalles competes in its second run of the season at Brasada Ranch in Powell Butte.

The third and final regular-season OHSET meet is scheduled for April 5-7 in Powell Butte.

“We are excited for Round 2,” coach Biehn said. “We encourage spectators to come cheer on our 2 local teams. We would also like to publicly thank all the community support our OHSET team receives from local businesses and individuals.”

Dufur sets bar in OHSET opener

For their first trip to Redmond, the Dufur Rangers set the bar high for the final two Oregon High School Equestrian Teams meets.

Kassiah Chamness, Jaydn Fargher and Grace Beal rattled off 38 points for third place at the OHSET Central District Meet, held last month, Feb. 22-24, at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond.

“Our first meet was a successful learning opportunity for our athletes,” Dufur coach Kayla Reffett said. “All three girls are new to OHSET this year, so we wanted to focus on making it a good experience for both horse and rider. The meets can be overwhelming, because there are a variety of events happening at the same time, but the girls handled their first meet very well.”

Individually, Dufur scored 22 individual points and added 16 team points to get their totals.

Chamness notched 38 points to pick up ninth place and Fargher enjoyed a 10th-place mark after a 32-point effort in Trail Equitation to lead the best individual finishes.

In Western Horsemanship, Chamness went off for 86 points and 14th place in a field of 27, while Fargher checked in with 48 points to earn 24th place.

Chamness totaled 59 points for 21st place and Fargher tacked on 48 points to secure 24th place in Showmanship.

Both Fargher and Chamness teamed up to take 10th place out of 19 competitors following their 47.5 in Working Pairs, and Beal and Chamness made their way to 17th place in the 33-team Two-Man Birangle field with a time of 36.476.

Dufur wound up placing third in the small school division with 38 points, behind The Dalles (118) and Lakeview (69).

The Rangers head out to Powell Butte this weekend for a second event this coming Friday through Sunday at the Rim Rock Riders Event Center in Powell Butte with start times of 9 a.m. each day.

Reffett expects senior Andrew Richman to be available for the team.

“Andrew is always quick to offer advice to his young teammates, as this is a new experience for them, their horses, and their parents,” Reffett said.

Now that the first event is out of the way, the team can focus on learning from what transpired, while continuing to improve in various areas.

“We are very excited for the remainder of our season,” Reffett said. “It has been amazing to see the progress the athletes have made with their horses, and personal riding abilities.”

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