Lemoore equestrian qualifies for regional finals

Interscholastic Equestrian Association

Sara Spanke is a part of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (I.E.A.), a national organization, at Circle T Ranch in Lemoore.

Hanford equestrian Sara Spanke recently qualified for Regional Finals, including two forums for jumping and flat equitation.

Spanke is a part of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (I.E.A.), a national organization, at Circle T Ranch in Lemoore. The team is open to public and private schools, or barn teams for student riders in grades 6-12.

“She is a motivated, hard-working individual that sets goals for herself and does whatever it takes to achieve them,” Denise Taylor of Circle T Ranch said.

In order to qualify for the finals, Spanke was tasked with going to five different horseshows all over the state to earn a certain number of points separately in jumping and flat equitation.

Her goal on the horse was to walk, trot, and cantor properly with appropriate pace, balance and straightness. During the horse shows, Spanke rode on multiple animals she had never been on before.

“And that’s the thrill and excitement about this I.E.A. team. The hosting school provides the competition horses,” Taylor said.

“It’s a true judge of an effective rider,” she added. “Because you might get a pony or a thoroughbred and you get what you get. This is the way that equestrian programs are run at schools like Fresno State.”

In addition to competing, Spanke works at the Circle T Ranch every day for two to three hours. According to Taylor, she keeps busy feeding the horses, cleaning stalls and helping with riding lessons, among other things.

Competition season begins Sept. 1 and ends in late spring or early summer with the National Finals.

For more information on Circle T Ranch, contact Taylor at 924-5958 or email at Denise@circletranch.net.

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