KAREN GRIFFITHS' HORSEPLAY COLUMN: State fair a success for equine lovers
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LaDona Wilson
Clallam County 4-H Senior Division performance and game riders who competed at Western Washington State Fair in Puyallup are, back row from left, Nathan Gentry, Suzanne Heistand and Marissa Wilson; and front row from left, Lydia Cornelson, Lauren Gallicci, Paige Swordsmaker and Ashley Farmer.

BRING IT ON! Since it's impossible for me to attend the slew of horse events in our region, I love it when folks send me information and pictures about their experiences.

Events are especially plentiful during the summer, which makes it a bit difficult at times to include results in my column, but I do try to give precedence to our youth riders and their events.

Sometimes, I hear a complaint that I haven't included so-and-so, or reported on an event.

As I stated above, I simply can't make it to all events. Thus, I'm very appreciative of those who submit items, adventures and photos (preferably high-resolution and unedited photos).

I'm especially fond of hearing your funny stories.

I know I've gained a plethora in my lifetime.

Up and over

For instance, about 12 years ago when I rode my horse Coyote (now deceased), a 17-hand black/bay thoroughbred off the racetrack, with my then-young niece Brooke Stromberg and about 10 friends, including Rick and LeAnn Nolan, and Robin and Caleb Ramon.

We started from the Cassidy Creek DNR road and then veered off to take the trail over to the Blue Mountain side.

Our goal was to reach Slab Camp Road in seven hours (at that time, the only route was to cross over to Blue Mountain).

We were riding the section offtrail off High Country Road.

Coyote and I were in the middle of the group when we came across an evergreen tree with a low-lying branch.

All the horses in front of me walked under the limb with no problem as long as their riders leaned over their horse's neck.

Since my horse was taller than the others by a good 6 inches, I knew it'd be more difficult for me, but ever optimistic, I thought I'd make it under if I leaned off to Coyote's left side.

I thought it was a done deal, too, when Coyote's head passed under the branch.

Alas, I knew that wasn't to be when my forehead was hit with little twigs holding green spines.

Instinctively, I swung my left arm up and over that ambiguous limb just before it smacked my noggin.

I was left dangling in the air as Coyote plodded calmly down the trail behind the lead horses.

Suddenly, I heard a cackling behind me. It was LeAnn.

As I recall, she almost peed her pants at the hilarious sight in front of her (I agree, it was funny).

It was about 1 p.m. on a sunny summer day when we resumed our journey.

Suddenly, a deer crashed through the trees and ran between two horses in front of me and up a grassy knoll.

She was closely pursued by a small brown coyote.

As I uttered, “Wow, in broad daylight?” that coyote came back and surprised us all by trying to snap up Brooke's Dalmatian, Jasmine, who was trotting behind my horse.

Fortunately, she was quick on her feet and able to sidestep those snapping jaws.

My other dog, a 100-pound-plus Leonberger, gave a brief chase to that coyote while I snapped a long leash on Jasmine for safety.

Fair results

Thank you to LaDona Wilson and Manon Heistand for sending me a photo and the results from the state fair in Puyallup for Clallam County 4-H senior performance and games riders.


Showmanship: Suzanne Heistand (blue), Lauren Gallicci (blue), Nathan Gentry (red) and Paige Speaker (red).

English equation: Suzanne (blue), Lauren (blue) and Paige (red).

Stock seat: Suzanne (blue), Lauren (blue), Nathan (red) and Paige (red).

Trail: Suzanne (blue), Lauren (red), Nathan (white) and Paige (white).

Bareback: Suzanne (blue), Lauren (blue) and Paige (blue).

All four earned a blue ribbon in herdsmanship.


Three from the Silver Spurs 4-H Club went to state in the Senior Games division. They are Lydia Cornelson, Ashley Farmer and Marissa Wilson.

In Groom Squad, they earned a red ribbon as a team. Marissa and Lydia also did equine judging, as did Emily Menshew of Pony Express 4-H Club.

Judging: Marissa (blue), Lydia and Emily.

Public demonstration: Marissa (blue) and Lydia (red).

Marissa also submitted three pictures to the state fair in her photography project, earning one blue and two red ribbons.

Showmanship: Ashley (blue), Marissa (red) and Lydia (white).

Figure eight: Ashley (red), Marissa (white) and Lydia (white).

Poles: Ashley (red), Marissa (white) and Lydia (white).

Key race: Ashley (white) and Marissa (white).

Barrels: Ashley (white) Marissa (white) and Lydia (white).

All earned blue ribbons in herdsmanship.

LaDona said the gamers teamed up with youths from King, Island, Kittitas and San Juan counties, and learned the kids from San Juan have to pay almost $600 for a round-trip ferry ride to trailer their horses to the state fair.

“Sure makes our costs seem minimal,” she said.


■ Saturday, Oct. 13 — Freedom Farm dressage clinic, 493 Spring Road, by Michelle Grimmer. Hoof Beats member lessons from 10 a.m. to noon; adult lessons from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

■ 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10 — Freedom Farm mock dressage show

■ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21 — Freedom Farm cow-working and hobbling demonstration by Jessica Ware. Sign up in advance to participate.

■ Noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 — Freedom Farm adult workshop. Freedom Farm contact info: Mary Gallagher, 360-457-4897; freedomf@olypen.com; www.freedomfarms.net.

■ 9 a.m. Oct. 28 — Peninsula Performance Horse Association's annual Halloween schooling show at Baker Stables, 164 Four Winds Road in Port Angeles. For more information, phone Terri Winters at 460-5400.


Karen Griffiths' column, Peninsula Horseplay, appears every other Wednesday.

If you have a horse event, clinic or seminar you would like listed, please email Griffiths at kbg@olympus.net at least two weeks in advance. You can also write Griffiths at PDN, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

Last modified: October 09. 2012 5:28PM
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