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The BHHS varsity equestrian team is open to both male and female riders of all class standings, provided they are academically eligible to compete in athletics. There are no try-outs, although riders are expected to be comfortable and fairly proficient on horseback in order to be competitive and successful at competitions. Any student wishing to join the team must be willing to supplement their equestrian education with riding lessons from any of a variety of outside trainers and lesson programs if their skills are not adequate to safely participate on the team. Equestrian team meets include the following disciplines:

  • English
  • Western
  • Jumping
  • Reining
  • Saddleseat
  • Gymkhana (speed and timed-event)

Riders do not need to be experienced in all events in order to be successful on the team, but we encourage versatility and are happy to instruct to increase skills!

Horses and Riders

Riders do not need to own their own horse, but must have access to one for the duration of the season, either by borrowing or paying to lease from an outside source (contact Coach Grassi to discuss options if horse availability is an issue). Riders having the same home address (such as an exchange student and host student), or siblings/family members may share the same horse at competitions. Each rider is allowed to use up to two different equines at competitions. Substitutions are allowed in the event of lameness or illness.

MIHA and Competition Season

The Equestrian team is governed by the Michigan Interscholastic Horsemanship Association ( and has competition season in September with State Championship show held in early October. Mandatory practices begin in early August and are held at a minimum of once weekly (location to be determined each year based on the location of the horses on the team), with more mandatory practices added as needed. The team meets several times through the course of the school year (post-season, into spring and summer vacation at times to be determined) for unmounted meetings to discuss fundraising, plans for the following season, and to brush up on skills. Team members are encouraged to show their horses year-round either independently or with teammates to maintain and improve their horsemanship skills.

Coaching Staff


Jessica Smith



Fall: August - November



  • 2013 - First year as a team
  • 2013 - Undefeated in District 2 in both Western Riding and Two-Man Relay Race
  • 2014 - 1st Place in Western Reining
  • 2014 - Increased team size by 50%, including three new Freshman riders.
  • 2014 - Recipient of the District 2 MIHA Sportsmanship Award, an annual award presented to the district team who exhibits the most sportsmanship, professionalism, enthusiasm and demonstrates the highest caliber of horsemanship at competitions.


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Female students who are interested in leadership and interscholastic athletics are invited to attend the MHSAA Women in Sports Leadership Conference entitled “The Courage to Lead” in Lansing from February 2-3, 2020. Further details and registration information can be found on the MHSAA website. The deadline to register is January 10, 2020.