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We have an Equestrian Team?

Did you know that we have an Equestrian Team?  We do!  And, they are quite successful.  I learned we had a team a few years back.  They invited me out to photograph one of their meets.  Now, their meets can be 2 days long and usually occur on Saturday and Sunday.  So, with these meets occurring on consecutive weekends, this team is largely a family affair.  You go to the meet and they have set up a camping site basically.  They have places for their horses and of course food for them.  They families have their own trailers.  And, if you’re on a diet – stay away from the trailers!  There is food a plenty.  It’s definitely a cultural into it’s self.

2008 Shepherd Equestrian Team

2008 Shepherd Equestrian Team

Unfortunately, this year I was unable to make it out to a regular meet (and thus no action pictures). This last weekend they participated in the State Regionals at the Midland County Fair Grounds.  They have to be one of the top 2 teams at this meet to qualify for the State Meet.  I visited them on Saturday afternoon to take some pictures.  Again, unfortunately, the competition at Midland was inside a covered area with very poor lighting.  I definitely was not going to use my strobes to take pictures as I would have startled a horse for sure.  The girls assured me that other pro photographers do this.  But, if I would have one horse throw it’s rider because of me, I would have never forgave myself!  So, no action pictures.   But the team did ask me to take a team photo and a few individuals with their horses.  These are posted in the galleries so that all can verify – we do indeed have a very good equestrian team.  This year the team is made up entirely of girls, but there have been guys on the team in the past.  So, take a look at the team photo to see who’s who and give them an “Atta-girl” when you see them in the halls!

Now for a quick round up of other sports from this weekend.  The Varsity Volleyball Team hosted their own Bluejay Invitational on Saturday.  The girls made it out of pool play successfully into the Gold Division.  There they lost their first match to Pine River eliminating them for the day.

The football team traveled to Alma for Alma’s Homecoming.  It was a great game with Bluejays forcing 6 turnovers.  The Bluejays were able to turn 3 of them into scores.  As you can see on the score board, Shepherd ruined the Panthers homecoming.  The fans were rocking all night (with help from the Cheerleaders) and then joined the team for their victory huddle on the field at the end of the game.

The Cross Country teams left Friday afternoon to travel to what may be the largest Invitational in the state at Portage.  About 30 teams competed in our division (D-3) in both the boy’s and girl’s races.  The boys finished second, with Caleb Rhynard leading the way for the Jays running a 16:30 (and finishing 9th overall).  He was closely followed by Josh Kyser finishing 11th.  The Girl’s team finished 15th out of 29 teams.  Teha Ames finished first for the girl’s with a 20:49 (she placed 37th overall).  While Jordan McGuire finished second for the Jays with time of 22:03.

On a ‘Non-Bluejay’ note, my daughter and I joined an Audubon Outing Saturday morning.  We traveled to Alma College’s Bog, located just south of Vestaburg.  An Alma college professor (Mike Bishop), lead a group around the bog checking out a number of Mist Nets.  Professor Bishop heads up a project there where song birds are caught in the mist nets, various measurements are taken on the birds, the birds are banded and then they are released.  Besides being able to witness the capture, measuring and releasing of the birds – it was just  a great day for a walk in the woods.  The signs of fall and mushrooms were plentiful.  If you would like to see more pictures from the day, check out my other picture site on flickr.  Enjoy!

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