Sequim's high school equestrian team is shown at its second Washington State High School Equestrian Teams meet of the season. From left are Matisen Anders

KAREN GRIFFITHS’ HORSEPLAY COLUMN: Equestrian teams put in many fine performances

SEQUIM EQUESTRIAN COACH Katie Salmon-Haylie reports that last weekend’s Washington High School Equestrian Teams (WAHSET) meet was a great success, with “everyone learning more, getting better and moving up.”

She says team captain Anne Meek is “our powerhouse in games and cattle work with her horse Katz. Returning senior Matisen Anders and newcomer Kaytee Gibeau are placing high in performance classes. All of our team, old and new, placed in the top 10 in at least one event. I am so proud of them.”

Port Angeles coach Tina VanAusdale expressed similar praise for their team.

Top 10 results

■ Showmanship: Kaytee, eighth.

■ Trail: Matisen, seventh; Kaytee, ninth.

■ IHOR: Rachael Breitbach/Ciara Gentry/Cassidy Hodgin/Paige Swordmaker, fifth; Karynna Eichmann/Kaytee/Haylie Newton/Amy Tucker, eighth.

■ Reining: Kelly Anders, fourth.

■ Stock seat: Kaytee, eighth; Rachel, 10th.

■ Saddle seat: Haylie and Matisen, third; Karynna, fifth.

■ Hunt seat over fences: Katie Rivers, first; Matisen, fifth; Kaytee, ninth.

■ Working pairs: Kelly/Matisen, ninth.

■ Drill working fours: Sydney Balkan/Kaytee/Anne/Chelsea Smith, fourth.

■ Drill team: Emily VanAusdle, Ciara, Rachel, Paige, Bailee Palmer, Cassidy, Micayla Weider, Ashley Farmer, third.

■ Poles: Rielly Reed, first; Emily, second.

■ Figure eight: Anne, first; Emily, second; Ashley, seventh.

■ Individual flags: Rielly, fourth.

■ Canadian flags: Sydney/Anne/Haylie/Chelsea, fourth

■ Birangle: Ciara/Cassidy, sixth; Paige/Lydia Cornelson, seventh.

■ Keyhole: Anne, sixth; Ciara, ninth.

■ Barrels: Anne, first; Emily, third; Rielly, ninth; Cassidy, 10th.

■ Breakaway roping: Anne, third; Emily, sixth

■ Steer daubing: Anne, first; Emily, second

■ Cow sorting: Sydney/Chelsea, third; Cassidy/Micayla, sixth.

BCH news

I’m constantly impressed by the vast work Back Country Horsemen members do to help maintain and keep open countless miles of trails for all users — including hikers, bikers and joggers — and to protect the right to ride horses on public lands.

Earlier this month, Peninsula members Larry and Sherry Baysinger co-hosted a trail maintenance workshop with USFS Recreational Ranger Molly Erickson.

Larry, who facilitated the Feb. 15 workshop, was recently awarded a BCH of Washington grant to work on the 20-mile-plus Littleton/Mount Muller trail system. Molly gave a brief history of that trail system and Littleton Horse Camp.

Larry and Sherry, who run Sol Duc Valley Packers, spoke on planning, safety and medical emergencies.

Retired Olympic National Park mule packer Clare Donato spoke on water management and turnpiking, while Ernie Vail, past Olympic National Park trail maintenance supervisor, and Sarah Woodard (who together operate Olympak Llama Tours) talked about logging out and clearing trail.

They demonstrated their lightweight backpack system for carrying a chain saw, tools and fuel into the backcountry.

Vicki VanCalcar, a 15-year volunteer backcountry ranger with ONP, talked about the importance of brushing. She encouraged brushers to be aggressive when keeping the brush and small trees away from the trail.

Carl Pengrass, retired ONP trail maintenance supervisor, spoke of his love for the mountains and the joy of building bridges, puncheon and trail for 30-plus years.

Larry then talked about switchbacks, reroutes and trail obliteration.

Del Sage of the BCH Peninsula Chapter described cable rigging using grip hoists and pully systems. He had a system set up outside to demonstrate how a cable system works to move materials. Safety was emphasized, both in the setup of the cable system and for those using the system.

Tom Mix and Sage were recently lauded for their bridge-building help when they headed up the rigging crew on a Pacific Crest Trail project.


1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday — First aid/CPR certification training at the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles, with instructor Duck Rose, a Port Angeles firefighter for 15 years and Peninsula horseman. Hosted by BCH Peninsula chapter. Cost is $45 with a $10 discount to BCH members.

To RSVP, email [email protected] or phone Patty Brady 360-808-8331.

6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday — Jefferson Equestrian Association fundraiser dance and silent auction. American Legion, 209 Monroe St., Port Townsend. Donation at the door.

Michelle Grimmer says they are still in need of silent auction items. To donate any non-horsey or horsey items, contact her at 360-301-0403 or [email protected]

Proceeds go to the new horse park at 1172 Cape George Road in Port Townsend. The park enables access to equestrian sports for children and adults who wouldn’t otherwise be able to ride.

It also will be a public park open to bicyclists, dog-walkers and hikers.

For information, visit

9 a.m. March 8-9 — Baker Stables Reining & Horsemanship clinic by Mike Stokes. All are welcome to audit for free. Phone Dana King at 360-460-7832.

9 a.m. March 30 — Baker Stable Schooling Show, 164 Four Winds, Port Angeles. Phone 360-460-7832.


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 protected] at least two weeks in advance. You can also write Griffiths at PDN, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

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