Participants in the annual Jefferson County 4-H Horse Project's three-day clinic and horse camp in July learned how to clip coats and band manes for showing

KAREN GRIFFITHS’ HORSEPLAY COLUMN: Faring well at Jefferson fair

WELL DONE, GRASSHOPPER!

Like most people 18 years old, graduated senior Anne Meek and younger sister Kaitlyn must dislike thinking of their mother as “master” of anything over them, I imagine.

Yet that’s how I think of the younger Meeks’ tutelage during more than a decade of barrel racing under mom Glenda Meek’s more experienced guidance — as in the 1970s “Kung Fu” TV show’s master/teacher relationship.

For years, the two have proven top competitors in whichever event they’ve chosen, be it performance horse or games.

Their awards are too numerous to list, but as far as I know, Anne still holds the record-breaking time of 1.38 in steer daubing in District 4’s Washington High School Equestrian Team.

She also received the 4-H scholarship this year of $500 (she’s been in 4-H since grade school) and an Elks Club’s $1,000 scholarship.

Come fall, Anne will start college with the goal of attaining a Bachelor of Science in diagnostic ultrasound.

And kudos to Kaitlyn for qualifying in barrels, poles, breakaway and team roping in the National Junior High Finals Rodeo, held in Iowa in June.

Although she didn’t place in the top ten against 180 others in her events, it doesn’t take away that she was among the best in 47 states and Canadian provinces to qualify.

Once there, her proud mom said, “we all had a lot of fun there, and it was great experience.”

Mom is also a longtime volunteer at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Port Townsend, where she works as the superintendent of barrel racing.

On Sunday, as she’s done the final day of the fair for years, she organized a well-supported BRN4D- and National Barrel Horse Association-sanctioned barrel race.

“We always have a good turnout with lots of local support and racers who come from miles away from off the Peninsula,” Glenda said. “This year, we had 62 barrel runs.”

It was also Mama Glenda’s first barrel race since breaking her left femur last June.

She said her race was “loads of fun, but oh my, was it followed by a lot of pain.”

She said 4-H has benefited her girls in many ways, teaching them how to speak in public, record-keeping and how to work together as a group.

Bidding farewell

Glenda and I both lamented the loss of Marie Dickinson’s involvement in 4-H.

Marie, of Sequim, was a 4-H member as a youth who later became a “balls to the walls” Sidekicks 4-H leader, who, with daughter Tylar Decker, was hauling around a posse of youths to area 4-H shows and barrel races.

Now, Marie’s retired from 4-H, and Tylar’s headed off to college.

Life is much quieter for Marie, yet she’s still involved in the local horse community.

In July, she was one of five instructors at the Jefferson County 4-H Horse Project three-day clinic.

The others were Jean Grondahl, Christine Headley, Edna VanNort and Joan Somantico.

Students were taught horsemanship skills in showmanship, English, dressage, western, bareback, trail and gaming.

“Our clinic was attended not only by Jefferson County residents but Kitsap, both children and adults,” said Angie Doan, Jefferson County horse project leader.

“All of the attendees learned a lot and had great fun.”

Angie said the 4-H Horse Camp began on a hot Thursday in July at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

Each day began with an early breakfast provided

by the camp at 7 a.m., with the first classes starting at 8 a.m.

Morning classes included English and dressage taught by Christine and showmanship taught by Jean.

After a yummy homemade meal of a custom-ordered sandwich, potato salad and brownies, we had the afternoon classes of western and bareback riding taught by Edna, then trail taught by Joan.

The kids had a short dinner break of homemade casseroles and dessert, then were off to improve on their gaming skills with Marie.

And, as if the kids weren’t tired enough, they were treated to evening crafts, cotton candy, games and water balloons.

“Camp was thoroughly enjoyed by all, even the 4-H leaders, who were surprised by the kids ambushing them with water,” Angie said. “Everyone can’t wait until next year.”

Angie then went on to work with the horse 4-H at the Jeffco Fair, where, she said, “it was so hot, I was melting. Sunday night’s cleanup of the stalls and barn at the end of the fair was especially grueling because we were cleaning out all the stalls of manure and sawdust while it was very hot and muggy out.”

She said there was a “marked improvement in the skills of those who attended the horse camp and then participated at the fair.”

Although still recovering from her week of hard work and hot weather during the fair, on Monday evening, she shared that it was a “wonderful week. Everyone had fun. There were no injuries, and we couldn’t have done it without all the people who pitched in and helped.

“To all those, I say thank you, thank you and thank you some more.”

Events

■ Thursday-Sunday — Clallam County Fair. For more information, visit www.clallam.net/Fair.

■ Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday — Cowmanship class at Freedom Farm, 493 Spring Road, Agnew. Phone Mary Gallagher at 360-457-4897.

■ Saturday, Aug. 23, through Sunday, Aug. 24 — Peninsula Junior Rodeo at the Clallam County Fairgrounds, 1608 W. 16th St. in Port Angeles.

■ Noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 24 — Adult horsemanship at Freedom Farm. Phone Gallagher (see above entry).

________

Karen Griffiths’ column, Peninsula Horseplay, will move to Sundays starting Aug. 24.

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.

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