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As usual, I was clueless.
I had no idea the riders and horses standing before me were a cavalry ready to repel the British invasion from British Columbia until their leader, Gordon Frye, clued me in.
“We are the Jefferson County Mounted Militia, and we are ready to fight the big war,” said Frye with a stern face.
I have to say he certainly looked ready and very smart in his red cap and black military uniform with its flowing cape.
His small but mighty cavalry of seven looked ready to follow him, too, but I'm not sure they were battle-ready.
They were, however, crowd-pleasers.
The cavalry, which included two people I know, Buckhorn Range Back Country Horsemen member Juelanne Dalzell and young Jefferson County Mounties 4-H's Rachel Doan, won many hearts with their drill team maneuvers as they paraded down main street Port Townsend last Saturday morning for the city's Victorian Heritage Festival.
The official start time was 10:30 a.m., but if you didn't get there 10 minutes earlier, you missed it.
Frye was apologetic to those who arrived on time only to see them finishing.
“We mounted up as planned at 10:20, expecting to wait on our horse until start time, but when the police officer directing traffic saw us mounted, he stopped the cars and told us to go.”
In spite of the glitch, the equestrians had a fun time, gave a good performance and stayed after to let onlookers pet their horses and answer questions.
Hopefully, they will be back again next year and it can include members of the high school equestrian teams who were at their third and final Washington State High School Equestrian Team meet (the results will be in my next column).
Agnew's Kelsie Wilson recently rescued three young horses, ages 7 years, 8 years and 6 months, she discovered “so thin you can count every bone in their body.”
Kelsie, a young woman who's grown up with horses, 4-H and as an avid barrel racer, is doing a good job nursing them back to health.
Her big heart doesn't include a large pocketbook, though, so I applaud her for reaching out to our community for help in paying for vet care (the oldest is in dire need of dental work) and the necessary extra feed, vitamins and supplements to get them healthy.
To donate and view photos, visit www.gofundme.com/7hfdko.
Extreme trail clinic
Olympic View Stables, 136 Finn Hall Road in Agnew, is hosting a Mark Bolender Clinic from May 2-4.
Bolender is an expert in mountain trail, extreme trail and competitive trail, and a three-time National Grand Champion (2008, 2009, 2010).
He owns Bolender Horse Park in Washington state and has designed and built extreme trail courses across the nation.
The cost is $350 to participate, $30 to audit.
To reserve a spot, phone Carol Maden at 360-912-4005 and leave a message.
Friday, May 2, is demonstration day, so there will be no charge, and all are invited.
Visit www.bolenderhorsepark.com/about-en/mark for more information.
■ Noon Saturday — Adult horsemanship class at Freedom Farm, 493 Spring Road in Agnew. Confirm with Mary Gallagher at 360-457-4897 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
■ 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 27 — Baker Stable Open Schooling School, 164 Four Winds in Port Angeles. Phone 360-460-7832 or 360-457-6039.
■ April 1-3 — Spring break horse camp at Freedom Farm for ages 5-9. Horses provided. Riding and basic horse care taught. Contact Gallagher.
■ 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 5 — Back Country Horsemen tuneup clinic at Olympic View Stables, 136 Finn Hall Road in Agnew. Phone Carol Madden at 360-912-4005 or 360-670-7739. Morning presentations with a break for lunch and an evening ride, along with a trail course competition.
■ 7 p.m. Thursday, April 10 — BCH Buckhorn Range meeting at the Tri-Area Community Center, 10 West Valley Road in Chimacum. “Coexisting with Carnivores on the Olympic Peninsula” will be presented by Lorna Smith, executive director of Western Wildlife Outreach, and Darrel Smith, WWO biologist.
■ Saturday-Sunday, April 12-13 — BCH Buckhorn Range's Bill Richey de-spooking clinic. Hosted by Stephany Handland at 360-830-4877.
■ 9 a.m. Saturday, April 12 — Olympic National Park Mule Barn Day at the Elwha Mule Barn.
■ Saturday, April 19 — Buckhorn Range chapter ride at Toandos, followed by a chili feed. Hostess Nichol Short, email@example.com.
■ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 19 — Tack sale with Eyes That Smile. Donations (tax-deductible) needed. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.eyesthatsmile.org.
■ 9 a.m. Sunday, April 27 — BCH Peninsula Chapter Salt Creek Spaghetti Ride. Contact Linda Mosley at 360-928-3715. Directions:
Take U.S. Highway 101 west of Port Angeles and turn onto state Highway 112 at the junction.
Go 7.2 miles, turn north (right) on Camp Hayden Road and continue for 3.5 miles, then turn right into the Salt Creek campgrounds entrance.
Parking is on the east.
Bring your favorite spaghetti sauce with or without meat and a favorite side dish.
Trails go from easy to advance with steep areas. Shoes or boots are recommended.
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 email@example.com at least two weeks in advance. You can also write Griffiths at PDN, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.