Before departing for the Wisconsin Interscholastic Horsemanship Association State Championship Show Friday, Oct. 25, heartbreak struck for the Ripon High School equestrian team.

   It had to say goodbye to Bella, the horse of Becca Bogucke, which crossed the rainbow bridge.

   “It is something that as an adult is devastating, but for a child to have to do this is just not right,” Ripon head coach Joan Silloway said. “That child was Becca. The inner strength this girl has is amazing. She pulled herself together with the support of teammates, friends, family, trainers and coach and she ‘Rode for Bella.’”

   The Tigers rallied behind Bogucke and Bella to finish as the State Division C Reserve Champions.

   They scored 88 points to tie for second out of 14 teams in Division C, which is comprised of schools featuring three to five riders.

   Wisconsin Dells won the division with 117 points and was followed by Ripon (88), Waunakee (88), Lake Mills (85), Elmbrook (78), Mondovi (76), Lake Mills (74), Granton (71), Slinger (66), Mauston (66), Madison East (60), Eleva-Strum (46), Baraboo (41) and Wausau East (18).

   Making up the team for Ripon were senior Allison Ott, juniors Karrington Hoch and Bogucke, sophomore Amanda Beck and freshman Madelyn Weis.

Read the full story, which includes results on individual finishes, in the Nov. 7, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.