RANGELY I Colorado Northwestern Community College equine instructor and IHSA Coach Stacey Bailey accompanied Tasha Gibson to El Reno, Okla., to compete in the third and final IHSA semi finals, where she qualified for the IHSA Nationals in open reining.
Gibson had previously qualified for the finals in open horsemanship and open reigning, having placed as champion and reserve champion, respectively, in the region.
Tasha competed against 16 other individuals in each class from schools across the nation. Individuals had to place 4th or better to qualify for IHSA Nationals, and competition was tough, Bailey said.
After a preliminary and final heat of horsemanship, Tasha finished, which is “a great job for her first year,” Bailey said.
“Tasha’s great ride came in the first class on Saturday morning, when she rode in the open reining class,” Bailey said. “She rode her way to reserve champion (second out of 16). That means she qualified for IHSA Nationals.
“As the CNCC Horse Show Team’s first full year in the IHSA, we could not be more proud,” Bailey said. “This is Tasha’s first full year of IHSA and her first year showing in reining.”
The team will travel to West Springfield, Mass., the first weekend in May for Gibson to compete against the top 12 individuals in the nation.