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Winter Palmateer takes first in Saddle Seat; Cassidy Mohr takes fifth in Hunt Seat Over Fences

PHOTO COURTESY OF TONI PALMATEER - Winter Palmateer rides horse Denali riding in the Saddle Seat event. Winter Palmateer and Cassidy Mohr, members of the Estacada High School Equestrian Club, contributed top-five rides during competition at the Pacific Northwest Invitational Championship on June 17.

The equestrian event was held at the Grant County (Washington) Fairgrounds.

The two riders have spent months practicing late into the night for this competition, with Monday and Wednesday practices going as late as 10 p.m.

"It was a pretty strict routine; I was riding anytime that I had time," Mohr said. "But, I still managed to get a few fun rides in where my horses and I could bond a little bit."

Palmateer missed her graduation ceremony to participate in the prestigious invitational that took place the same day.

Palmateer and horse Denali took first place in Saddle Seat, an event where the rider sits on a large, mostly flat saddle and demonstrates the horse's abilities and skills.

"We are judged on our ability to perform with the horse," Palmateer said of the event.

PHOTO COURTESY OF TONI PALMATEER - Cassidy Mohr with horse PesterMohr and horse Pester placed fifth in Hunt Seat Over Fences, an event where the rider and horse complete jumps in a set course.

Mohr has been riding Pester since she was a child, and worked with the mare on strengthening and flexibility practices to make sure she would be in the best shape to ride at the competition.

"I feel like she really has done so much for me," Mohr said of Pester. "She brought me into the horse world. She helped me get to where I am. She taught me a lot about ethics and a lot about perseverance and patience."

PNWIC hosts the top equestrian athletes from Oregon and Washington during the all-day event. With 1,000 high school equestrians per state, there is high competition to be able to reach the PNWIC. Senior Palmateer and sophomore Mohr were proud to compete for their high school.

"It means a lot to be able to represent Estacada at a regional level, and I'm very happy that I got to represent our school," Mohr said.

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