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Crow Wing County 4-H Large Freestyle Horse Drill Team wins state

“Continually pushing themselves to be the best they can be at each practice is what they needed to be able to pull off a state win,” Coaches Lorrae Schneider and Bernie Hoffman said in the news release.

4-H Drill Team.jpg
Crow Wing County 4-H Large Freestyle Horse Drill Team consists of Tia Larson, front, left, Peyton Hamlin, Kaylee Woitalla, Abbey Foust, back, left, Hanna Caughey, Macy Hoffman and Emma Mattsen. Contributed

The Crow Wing County Large Freestyle Drill Team won the state championship title for the third year in a row.

The team, consisting of seven area youths, participated Sunday, Sept. 18, in the Large Freestyle Horse Drill Team event at the Minnesota State 4-H Horse Show at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

Seven youths and their horses have been working since early March to create a unique drill routine and music theme for this year's performance, a news release stated. The freestyle drill routine consists of maneuvers performed by youths riding their horses at all different speeds while being consistent and precise. Riders often have ideas of a new creative maneuver they thought of and they get to name the maneuver whatever they would like.

“Continually pushing themselves to be the best they can be at each practice is what they needed to be able to pull off a state win,” Coaches Lorrae Schneider and Bernie Hoffman said in the release. “This summer was very hot for the youth and horses to practice, but the willingness and dedication this team gave was unbelievable. Drill Team is all about the team work and this team definitely has it. If someone was down, others brought them up, if someone needed a ride to practice, someone helped fill that need.”

The drill team practices on average four hours a week at the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds horse arena up until state competition. State competition this year consisted of eight Large Freestyle Teams who competed for the state title in this division.

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Crow Wing County Large Freestyle team scored 247 points out of a total of 260 points overall between two different judges.

Judges' comments included, “difficult maneuvers at high speeds, all riders smiling and happy, good coordination, interesting maneuvers, amazing accuracy/speed, and close spacing = high degree of difficulty.”

“These comments definitely represent this team's hard work and dedication to their team and county,” the coaches said. “Champions for the third year in a row now and we definitely know other teams are coming for us so every year the extra time has to be put in to keep on top.”

The top four teams in the state were separated by nine points.

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