GREAT NEWS: THE Jefferson Equestrian Association is getting close to opening the Jefferson County Horse Park.
Scheduled to open this summer, the 80-acre park at 1172 Cape George Road in Port Townsend will be a multi-use equestrian facility for sport, training and competition.
Better yet, it’s going to be open to the public for all recreational users, including bicyclists, dog walkers and hikers.
All this is happening through private fundraising, business sponsorships and hard-working volunteers.
On Saturday, Feb. 18, at 12:30 p.m., the group will present a benefit matinee showing of Ron Davis’ award-winning documentary film “Harry & Snowman” at the Rose Theatre, 235 Taylor St. in Port Townsend.
“Harry & Snowman” follows the Cinderella story of Dutch immigrant Harry deLeyer and his transformative relationship with a broken-down Amish plow horse — named Snowman — that he rescued off a slaughter truck bound for the glue factory.
In less than two years, Harry and Snowman would go on to win the triple crown of show jumping, beating the nation’s bluebloods and traveling the world together as they became the media darlings of the 1950s and ’60s.
Their chance meeting at a Pennsylvania horse auction saved them both and crafted a friendship that would last a lifetime, as told by 86-year-old Harry first-hand for the very first time.
Tickets are $18 online at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-FilmTickets or $25 at the door if any remain.
Afterward, join the group for socializing with tea and desserts at The CoLab at 237 Taylor St. on the second floor for an additional $5.
There will be raffle prizes as well. All donations are tax-deductible. Proceeds will support the development of the Jefferson County Horse Park.
For more information, visit www.jefferson equestrian.org.
JEA board member Kim McGuire said the group is “really excited about this coming year” as all the county permits are in order, so they can begin building the infrastructure on the park grounds and can also start hosting events.
Sequim and Port Angeles’ high school equestrian teams traveled to Tacoma for a Washington State High School Equestrian Team (WAHSET) meet Jan 27-29.
The Port Angeles team included drill coach Haley Hodgin, Emma Albright, CassiAnn Moore, Abby Hjelmeseth, Ebony Billings, Emily Gear, Kaytee Gibeau, Madison Carlson, Lisi Hanson, Summer Moroz, Kristine Hanson, Emily Menshew and Cassie Roark.
Their coach, Tina Van Ausdle, said, “I’m so proud of all these girls. They went to their first meet, worked hard and came home with lots of top 10 wins.”
She said because it’s been an unusually cold and icy winter, she’s had to cancel “lots of practices due to scary road conditions because we don’t want to risk hurting the horses or the kids by driving on icy roads.”
Despite that, she said, the 12 girls on the team have all worked hard for the past four months to get ready for the meet, and she’s very proud that “every one of them finished in the top 10.
“Thankfully, the weather warmed up for our meet and we had a great time.”
Sequim’s team coach, Katie Salmon-Newton, also said she was proud of her 13-member team: Sydney Balkan, Yana Hoesel, Miranda Williams, Cristina Williams, Amy Tucker, Madi Murphy, Amanda Murphy, Faith Haggie, Abi Payseno, Emelie Furste, Grace Niemeyer, Lilly Thomas and Haylie Newton.
Top 10 placings
Dressage: Niemeyer, fourth; Gear, 10th.
Huntseat: Niemeyer, seventh; Gibeau, 10th.
Over fences: Niemeyer, eighth.
Trail: Menshew, fourth; Lisi Hanson, ninth.
Reining: Balkan, 10th.
Saddleseat: Gear, fifth.
Showmanship: Gibeau, fourth.
Stockseat: Gibeau, fourth; Menshew, eighth.
Working rancher: Menshew, fifth; Gibeau, sixth; Gear, seventh; Amanda Murphy, 10th.
Breakaway roping: Moore, first.
Steer daubing: Moore, first; Billings, fifth; Miranda Williams, seventh.
Cow sorting: Billings and Gear, ninth.
Barrels: Moore, first; Albright, sixth; Payseno, eighth.
Keyhole: Albright, second; Moroz, fifth.
Figure eight: Albright, fifth; Moroz, seventh; Hjelmeseth, ninth; Payseno, 10th.
Pole bending: Moore, first; Payseno, fourth; Albright, seventh.
Individual flags: Moore, first; Hjelmeseth, third; Billings, fifth; Balkan, sixth; Moroz, eighth; Carlson, 10th.
In-hand obstacle relay: Gibeau, Kristine Hanson, Moore and Gear, seventh.
Canadian flags: Billings, Hjelmeseth, Gibeau and Moore, seventh place; Balkan, Hoesel, M. Williams and Tucker, 10th place.
Drill team 4-man: Balkan, M. Murphy, M. Williams and Tucker, second.
Drill team: Gear, Gibeau, Moore, Hjelmeseth, Albright and Billings, second.
Team sorting: Balkan and Tucker, third place; Amanda Murphy and Madi Murphy, sixth.
Two-man birangle: Gear and Albright, second place; Moore and Billings, third place; Madi Murphy and Haggie, eighth.
Working pairs: Moore and Gibeau, second; Amanda Murphy and Furste, fifth; Hjelmeseth and Carlson, seventh; Balkan and Niemeyer, ninth.
Their next meet is Feb. 23.
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 write Griffiths at PDN, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.