Manistee's Fugere wins
district, Onekama team places second.
As the lone representative of the
Manistee Equestrian Team, Jamee Fugere had a lot riding
on her shoulders during this month’s Michigan
Interscholastic Horsemanship Association district
But on the shoulders of her horses,
Bugger and Lisa, Fugere pulled off a solid solo
performance, winning the six-team Division D district to
advance to this weekend’s regional at the Mason County
The Onekama Equestrian Team, consisting
of Abigail Sorrells and Kayla Kosiboski, won the
district’s reserve championship behind Manistee, also
punching its ticket to the regional round.
Fugere, a Manistee High School senior,
had slack to assume after the graduation of last year’s
teammates Shawnna Tetzlaff and Jarred Janicki. The
three-member squad advanced to the state championships a
season ago, which is what Fugere will look to do on her
own this time around.
“Her goal heading into it is to do her
best, and hope her horse cooperates,” said Fugere’s
mother and coach Shannon. “Of course you want to win,
but you’ve got to do your best in order to do that.”
As Manistee’s lone member, and the only
rider without a teammate in her division, Fugere
competed in 16 of the 17 events spread out over the past
two weekends during district competition. By herself,
she took the title.
“I’m very proud,” Shannon said. “She’s
very dedicated — goes out and rides her horse every day
after school to keep up with everything, and then we go
to a practice in Ludington once a week.”
Out of necessity, Fugere had to acclimate
herself with some new events, including ones involving
“She’s doing things this year that she’s
not done before, and that’s what it’s all about,”
Shannon said. “Now that her fear is gone, she’s getting
more comfortable (in the new events).
“She’s had to add the speed classes where
you run full bore,” she added, citing the need to ride
Lisa in those events instead of Bugger — the horse
Fugere’s been riding for the past 10 years. “This is the
first time she’s ridden a really fast horse that runs,
and she gets better with it every time.”
As a coach, Shannon Fugere said the
adjustment to moving from Division C to D, which
consists of teams of one to two riders, has been
“It’s different, but I’d say it’s
easier,” Shannon explained. “There’s less stress
involved with one rider, because you don’t have to
figure out which class each will do best in — you’re not
going ‘where do I think you’re going to win.’
“It’s like you have no choice; you’ve got
to do them all.”
Sorrells, an Onekama sophomore, knows
about competing alone. She won last season’s Division D
district title by herself, but this year won the reserve
championship with a teammate.
“She gets to go through it with a
teammate this year, so that makes it more fun,” said
Sorrells’ father and coach Jon of the new addition in
sophomore Kosiboski. “Kayla’s been riding for several
years, but this is her first on the team.
“She’s done real good, and Abby’s just
hoping that this time, with the two of them, they can
make it to state this year.”
Kosiboski will be riding her horse
Houston while Sorrells will show Baron and Dandy, all of
which are groomed by Kelsey Kosiboski.
The regional competition will run
Saturday and Sunday at the Mason County Fair Grounds,
from 9 a.m. to 5
Manistee News Advocate on-line
Regionals Update: Onekama team
The Onekama Equestrian team, comprised of
two sophomores, Abigail Sorrells and Kayla Kosiboski,
which won a reserve Division D district championship,
fell just short of a state berth by placing third of
seven teams at this past weekend’s regional.
Onekama's team is coached by Jon Sorrells.
Jamee Fugere, the lone representative of
the Manistee Equestrian Team, won the Michigan
Interscholastic Horsemanship Association’s Division D
regional at the Mason County Fairgrounds over the
Fugere, a Manistee High School senior,
will next attend the MIHA state championships to be held
Oct. 11-14 at the Midland County Fairgrounds.