By Jeremy McDonald
REDMOND, Ore.– The dirt in the Sagebrush Arena at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds was thicker than what Sprague’s Autumn Geiling and her horse Jetta were used when they opened the first day of the OHSET State Championships in Redmond Thursday, but hey, they still made it work and competed well.
The barrels event went smoothly in the thick dirt in the outdoor arena that, mixed with the gusty winds swirling in the High Desert elevation, whipped dust from the arena to the fans and incoming competitors on the outside.
During the Pole Bending event, the Olympian Equestrian rider and her young four-year-old horse in Jetta were presented with adversity to bounce back from as the thick dirt threw Jetta off-course for a no-time result that would have put Geiling towards the front of the pack in the event Thursday afternoon.
“We got to ride in it before but it was kind of rough, you just got to go with it I guess and that’s why we no-timed in Poles because the dirt wasn’t how it normally is,” starts Geiling. “And we no-timed because she was quick on her toes, but you just got to make the best of it and the best you can and sometimes it works for you and sometimes it doesn’t.”
After taking a breather, and the lengthy break before going out for the Figure 8’s, Geiling and Jetta went back out for their last race of the day that saw both rider and horse shake off the mishap from the last event for a 11.458 time in the sprinting event as they wrapped up the day.
“In barrels, she ran her heart out for me and she tried, it’s just the dirt’s deep and Figure 8 she just got a little excited,” said Geiling. “We did good in it, but it wasn’t our best run. But hey, you win some, you lose some.”
And as Jetta returns to her stall for the reminder of the weekend, Geiling’s other horse in Doll will make an appearance as Geiling competes in the Indy Flags Friday morning in Day 2 of the OHSET State Meet to wrap up Geiling’s appearance in the Big Show.
“(Doll’s) older, she’s ran in more dirt so hopefully she’ll be able to accommodate a little bit better but we’ll just go out there and have fun,” laughed Geiling. “That’s all I’m having this meet.”