Sequim and Port Angeles’ equestrian teams in the front row, from left, are Miranda Williams, Keri Tucker, Madison Carlson, Emily Menshew, Yana Hoesel, Ben Robertson and Grace Niemeyer; in the back row, from left, are Abbi Priest, Abigail Hjelmeseth, Lilly Thomas, Emily Gear, Cassi Ann Moore, Emma Albright, Madi Murphy and Amanda Murphy. (Bettina Hoesel)

Sequim and Port Angeles’ equestrian teams in the front row, from left, are Miranda Williams, Keri Tucker, Madison Carlson, Emily Menshew, Yana Hoesel, Ben Robertson and Grace Niemeyer; in the back row, from left, are Abbi Priest, Abigail Hjelmeseth, Lilly Thomas, Emily Gear, Cassi Ann Moore, Emma Albright, Madi Murphy and Amanda Murphy. (Bettina Hoesel)

HORSEPLAY: Indy running again; high school riders place at meets

I AM OVERJOYED.

Yep, my heart was overflowing with joy at the sight of Indy running, bucking and even doin a brief four hooves in the air leap when I gave him and his mother, Lacey, full access to their pasture of green grass earlier this week.

It’s hard to believe this was the boy who just last June I contemplated euthanizing after he was diagnosed with a severe case of ringbone around his left front pastern joint.

He had an acute limp, was obviously in pain and, as my veterinarian announced, he was now a pasture pet who would never be truly fit to be ridden again.

Putting him down wasn’t a decision I was ready to make.

I’ve made the painful decision to euthanize one of my beloved animals many times in my life, but only after the light in their eyes had grown dim because they were in a prolonged state of misery.

This wasn’t Indy yet, but per the vet’s recommendation I did start Indy on the joint supplement Cosequin ASU.

Over time I think it has helped.

The vet also let me know as the ringbone advanced it could end up fusing the joint solid, and while Indy would still limp, he could possibly be ridden again on short, easy rides.

And so, here we are.

Less than a year later and Indy’s actually running and playing again.

It’s given me joy and a sense of hope, and don’t we all feel better when we have hope?

WAHSET

Our high school equestrian teams had an exciting second Washington State High School Equestrian Team (WAHSET) District 4 meet, held in Spanaway March 16-18.

Sequim coach Katie Salmon-Newton said their newest member, Abbi Priest, joined the team as a non-competition team manager.

She decided to join in the competition for meet two and “in her very first competition ever she placed in the top 10.”

Her teammates are Grace Niemeyer, Lilly Thomas, Amanda Murphy, Keri Tucker, Miranda Williams, Yana Hoesel and Madi Murphy.

Competing for Port Angeles are Cassi Ann Moore, Abby Hjelmeseth, Emma Albright, Emily Gear, Emily Menshew, Ben Robertson and Madison Carlson.

Port Angeles coach Tina VanAusdale said, “Most of the kids have already qualified to go to state finals in several events and, for those who haven’t, there is still one more meet to go to for a chance to qualify.”

Top 10 District 4, meet 2

• Jumping: Robertson, fourth place; Niemeyer, fifth place.

• Dressage: Niemeyer, second place; Gear, second place; Robertson, 10th place.

• Hunt seat: Gear, first place; Niemeyer, third place; Robertson, eighth place.

• Saddle seat: Gear, first place.

• Showmanship: Menshew, first place.

• Stockseat: Menshew, fourth place; Hjelmeseth, fifth place.

• Driving: Thomas, fifth place.

• In hand trail: Thomas, third place.

• Working rancher: Gear, first place; Menshew, third place; Tucker, ninth place.

• Trail: Gear, first place; Robertson, second place; Menshew, third place.

• Reining: Albright, eighth place.

• Working pairs: Niemeyer and Tucker, third place; Williams and Hoesel, 10th place.

• Drill team freestyle fours: Amanda Murphy, Williams, Niemeyer and Hoesel, first place.

• Barrels: Moore, first place; Hoesel, seventh place;

• Figure eight: Hoesel, fourth place; Carlson, eighth place.

• Pole bending: Moore, first place; Hoesel, seventh place.

• Keyhole: Albright, seventh place; Priest, ninth place; Madi Murphy, 10th place.

• Individual flags: Moore, first place; Hoesel, third place; Amanda Murphy, fifth place; Tucker, sixth place.

• Birangle: Hoesel and Niemeyer, second place; Williams and Tucker, eighth place.

• Team Canadian flags: Hoesel, Williams, Madi Murphy, and Amanda Murphy, first place.

• Steer daubing: Amanda Murphy, fourth place; Williams, fifth place.

• Cow sorting: Moore and Gear, fourth place; Hjelmeseth and Carlson, sixth place; Hoesel and Williams, eighth place; Niemeyer and Tucker, ninth place.

Port Angeles finished first place for large schools at the second meet.

Meet 3

The third and final District 4 qualifying meet was held March 30 through April 1 in Spanaway.

VanAusdale said it’s the one the riders strive to do their best at because the final results reveal who qualifies to compete at the state finals, held May 17-20 at the Grant County Fairgrounds.

Winners there move on to compete at the Pacific Northwest Invitational Competition, which is against Oregon’s top high school teams.

“Both PA and Sequim had amazing teams this year,” VanAusdale said. “PA has seven riders this year, and every one of them placed in the top 10 in at least one of the meets. Most of them have qualified for state. Sequim has eight on their team and many of them will also go to state.”

Top 10

• Jumping: Robertson, fourth place; Niemeyer, fifth place.

• Driving: Thomas, fourth place.

• In hand trail: Thomas, third place.

• Showmanship: Menshew, fourth place.

• Trail: Gear, first place; Robertson, second place; Menshew, third place..

• In hand obstacle relay: Robertson, Gear, Menshew, Moore and Albright, fourth place; Amanda Murphy, Abbi Priest, Thomas and Tucker, eighth place.

• Working Rancher: Gear, first place; Menshew, second place; Tucker, second place; Williams, fifth place.

• Huntseat: Menshew, sixth place; Niemeyer, ninth place.

• Saddleseat: Gear, third place.

• Stockseat: Menshew, fourth place; Hjelmeseth, sixth place.

• Dressage: Gear, third place; Niemeyer, fourth place.

• Working pairs: Menshew and Albright, second place; Niemeyer and Tucker, third place; Moore and Gear, fourth place.

• Working fours: Neimeyer, Tucker, Hoesel and Williams, first place.

• Drill team freestyle fours: Amanda Murphy, Williams, Niemeyer and Hoesel, first place.

• Barrels: Hoesel, second place; Moore, seventh place.

• Figure eight: Hoesel, fifth place; Niemeyer, sixth place; Hjelmeseth, 10th place.

• Pole bending: Moore, sixth place; Niemeyer, ninth place;

• Individual flags: Hoesel, fourth place, Amanda Murphy, fifth place; Priest, eighth place.

• Birangle: Hoesel and Niemeyer, fourth place; Williams and Tucker, 10th place.

• Team Canadian flags: Hoesel, Williams, Madi Murphy and Amanda Murphy, third place.

• Breakaway roping: Moore, first place.

• Steer daubing: Amanda Murphy, second place.

• Cow sorting: Moore and Gear, first place. The duo broke both the District 4 and state record at this meet; Williams and Hoesel, third place.

District 4 medals & state qualifiers

• In-hand trail: Thomas, bronze medal.

• In hand obstacle relay: Robertson, Gear, Menshew, Moore and Albright, bronze medal.

• Driving: Thomas, bronze medal.

• Showmanship: Menshew, bronze medal.

• Dressage: Gear, bronze medal.

• Trail: Port Angeles placed first, second and third in this event at all three meets. Gear, gold medal; Menshew, silver medal; Robertson, bronze medal.

• Stockseat: Menshew, bronze; Hjelmeseth, state first alternate.

• Saddleseat: Gear, gold medal.

• Huntseat: Niemeyer, gold medal.

• Working pairs: Menshew and Albright, silver medal; Niemeyer and Tucker, bronze medal.

• Working fours: Neimeyer, Tucker, Hoesel and Williams, gold medal.

• Drill team freestyle fours: Neimeyer, Tucker, Hoesel and Williams, gold medal.

• Figure eight: Hoesel, bronze medal.

• Individual flags: Hoesel, gold medal.

• Team Canadian flags: Hoesel, Williams, Madi Murphy and Amanda Murphy, gold medal.

• Barrels: Moore, silver medal; Hoesel, state qualifier.

• Pole bending: Moore, silver medal.

• Steer daubing: Amanda Murphy, silver medal.

• Breakaway roping: Moore, gold medal.

• Cow sorting: Hoesel and Williams, bronze medal; Moore and Gear, state qualifiers.

• Reserve high point timed events buckle: Hoesel.

Port Angeles brought home three of the six high-point belt buckle awards: Moore, high-point games; Gear, high-point performance rider and Menshew, reserve champion. Sequim’s Hoesel brought home the high-point belt in games reserve champion.

Eight $500 District 4 scholarships were awarded to District 4 seniors. Two went to PA’s Menshew and Sequim’s Amanda Murphy.

“I’m so proud of all these kids and their dedication to their teams and their horses,” VanAusdale said. “I can’t wait to see how well they do at state finals.”

Events

• Sequim equestrian team’s annual exhibition — 3 p.m. April 15 at Freedom Farm, 164 Spring Farms Road in Agnew.

The event is open to the public. For more information, email Salmon-Newton at [email protected] or call 360-775-0350.

• Patterned speed horse game shows — May 5-6 and June 9-10 at the Crosby arena, 122 Fransom Road, Agnew.

Saturdays start at 10 a.m., Sundays at 9 a.m.

Contact Pam Crosby at 360-670-3906 or [email protected]

For more information, go to www.patternedspeed horse.com/Calendar.

• OPEN’s hosting a low-cost routine vet clinic — 10 a.m. April 14 with Dr. Bo Weeks at 251 Roupe Road, Sequim.

Farrier appointments and consultations will be with Joe Marceau. There will also be a soft opening of OPEN’s new tack store.

For appointments and information, call 360-207-1688.

• Back Country Horsemen Peninsula Chapter’s annual Salt Creek spaghetti ride — 9 a.m. April 28 from Salt Creek County Park in Joyce.

They’ve also been busy updating the Miller Peninsula Trails with signage.

For more information, contact Linda Morin at [email protected] or 360-775-5060.

• Back Country Horsemen Mount Olympus Chapter has monthly membership meetings every third Monday of the month at the Upper Elwha Community Center.

For more information, contact Larry or Sherry Baysinger at 360-327-3611.

________

Karen Griffiths’ column, Peninsula Horseplay, appears the second and fourth Sunday of each month.

If you have a horse event, clinic or seminar you would like listed, please email Griffiths at [email protected] at least two weeks in advance. You can also call her at 360-460-6299.

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