By Jeremy McDonald
ALBANY, Ore.– Dressed in their white button-up shirts and black pants, the Cascade Equestrian Drill team of Lena Davies, Kassie Holmes, Nicole Garski and Hope Riesterer rode into the arena to a remix of Fall Out Boys ‘Light ‘Em Up’ and Imagine Dragons ‘Radioactive’, merging together after being split up to two separate gates to start the performance.
Their horses for the Drill performance were dressed up in costumes designed by their adviser Katie. There was a mask-like cloth around the nose that circles around the eyes of the horses with a black cloth laced in gold outline that surround the saddle where the riders rode on that stretched from the base of the neck to the tail of each horse as they came into the arena once the music started over the sound system for the Senior Night fun.
“I really like it. I mean Emily (Dixon) and Kassie were already on the team, so they were able to be here and know what is going on. It’s super fun, they all made it a super fun Senior Year,” said Riesterer as they donned the costumes with the routine they were performing. “(Katie) made all the costumes and it was super cool, they’re all matching and I feel like it makes it all really put together.”
The choreographed dance with the four horses and their riders to the whistle of Davies that saw them split up, merged together and split again in very different ways lasted five minutes and seven seconds before they four-horse team split up in pairs out of the gates that each pair came into to start the performance as Lebanon came in to finish off the short program that featured the Cougars, Warriors and West Salem High School.
But, as they waited and about the time they slowly found out the result of their performance, a heart-warming moment in the barn-area where the horses are housed, Riesterer was surprised while she was walking her horse Loxley back to the pin she stays in.
Riesterer’s aunt surprised her by giving her the paperwork to turn ownership of Loxley to Riesterer as the senior broke down in tears and hugged her aunt.
“She was my aunt’s horse and my aunt raised her since she was a baby, and I started riding her five years ago and so I’ve been leasing her,” starts Riesterer on the 13-year-old horse that’s now hers as she was still teary-eyed about what had happened. “Oh my god, I don’t know if there it is describable. I don’t know, it’s just super cool that she’s officially my horse because for the longest time I was saying it wasn’t my official horse and now that she is, it’s super awesome.”
For Riesterer, who’s in her first-year of Equestrian after spending time doing High School and Youth rodeo growing up, found out shortly after the news from her aunt that they won the Drill performance with a 116 score, four points higher than the Titans of West Salem, for first-place as they entering the Gaming day of the meet Sunday.
“It’s really, really awesome because honestly I didn’t think that we were going to pull it off and that we did actually pull it off, it’s a awesome feeling,” said Riesterer on winning the event.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald