Marquis Farrier Service

2004 High Point Champions

Our Last Competition

Hurricane Charlie Didn't Stop Them Whip Crackers From Competing At Their State Championship On Nov 7 & 8  2004

We took home a 2nd place in the quad division, a 3rd place in open division and a 1st place in over all high points for the whole weekend.


Cracking the Whip

Arcadia Whip Crackers at it again

The arcadia whip Crackers horseback riding drill team took the opportunity at state competition to show Florida that even though their hometowns were hit by hurricane charley, it didn't have them beat.


        This past spring, the groups four riders were eagerly anticipating their trip to state after taking home two first place trophies at their district qualifications meet in Fort Myers. They were practicing  routines  once a week and working at home with their horses.

        That was until Charley swept through Charlotte and Desoto Counties damaging the homes of every member of the group as well as coach and group member Mike Marquis' Horse Creek Stables where the team practiced.

        Concerned with their homes and families, none of the group even got on their horses for two months while they tried to pick up the pieces of their hurricane-torn lives. Then in October, 16-year old Charlotte High School student and rider Kyla Zahorniack decided ENOUGH was ENOUGH!

        "We did so well at districts, I just felt like we shouldn't quit" Zahorniak said. So she gathered fellow Charlotte High School team member 14-year old Emilee Anderson and Karen Coleman-Triana, who's a teacher at the school. They all agreed it was time to get back on their horses and show the state that they weren't finished. Riding was a normalcy they craved.

        With that they went to Mike Marquis and his wife and to see what they could do to be able to compete in less than a month. Marquis and the girls began a training regiment that consisted of three to four practices a week lasting anywhere from two to six hours to get their horses back on track.

        Anderson pulled up her routine notes and helped to improvise a new one to perform. While the riders were rehearsing, Laura along with parents and friends of the group made costumes for both horse and riders and tried to pull together funds to send the group to Tampa.

        On Nov.7 a Saturday the team arrived in Tampa to compete in the quad division & open division.
Their Caribbean theme routine helped them win a RESERVE CHAMPIONSHIP AWARD!
Sunday they finishing their competing in their divisions where they competed against teams almost four times their size. They composed a routine from the 70's hit show Charlie's' Angles and rode to the music "Holding Out For A Hero" and they dedicated this performance to all those who helped out with the recovery effort after this seasons hurricanes.
This routine helped them finish in 3rd place in the state and it also helped them win a 1st place trophy for over-all high score for the weekend!

        "We earned this," Marquis said. "We couldn't let the hurricane rob us of everything." " WE MADE IT HAPPEN."

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