Peninsula Junior Rodeo Association contestants at the Kitsap Junior Rodeo are

KAREN GRIFFITHS’ HORSEPLAY COLUMN: Peninsula Junior Rodeo riders strut stuff

I REMEMBER HIM as a gangly, shy red-haired kid competing in junior rodeo events on a borrowed horse.

I never thought the man lying on the ground in the photo and sporting a red beard was the same person until Peninsula Junior Rodeo coach Tina Van­Ausdle told me it was Carl Bissonette, and that the quiet kid competing in hard-knock events such as calf roping and bull and bronc riding with fierce determination would one day stand in front of a classroom teaching math.

Turns out Carl was the show judge at last month’s Northwest Junior Rodeo competition in Kitsap County.

When he is not judging a rodeo or teaching, he’s riding and training horses.

It should be noted that Carl was also a top competitor in high school rodeo, even qualifying for the National High School Finals Rodeo before getting his degree at Central Washington University.

Way to go, Carl!

Kitsap Rodeo results

■ Amelia Hermann, junior division: goat tying, first; trail course, fourth; barrels, sixth; poles, sixth.

■ Emily VanAusdle, senior division: trail course, third; team ropin, first with partner Trevor Williams; flags, first; goat tying, second; steer ribbon dogging, sixth; All-Around Senior Girl saddle winner.

■ Madison Ballou, junior division: girl goat tying, fifth.

■ Rhett Wilson Jr., junior division: boy goat tying, third.

■ Micayla Weider, senior division: poles, fifth.

Emily and Micayla also recently competed at the Washington High School Equestrian Teams’ interstate competition in Redmond, Ore.

It was WAHSET’s top 5 competing against Oregon’s top 5.

Emily placed fifth in barrels and sixth in figure 8.

Together, Emily and Micayla placed fourth in birangle.

Good job, girls!

Mom and Port Angeles team coach Tina VanAusdle told me it was a very long drive” and that she was pooped.

Hang in there, Tina! You’re doing a wonderful job.

It’s time

I know how miserable it is to muck out horse turnout areas in the deep mud, so I learned how to make the areas mud-free.

Several years ago, I received help in designing a mud-free paddock from the Clallam County Conservation District.

I added gutters to the shelters, laid down some 12-foot-wide road underlayment I’d gotten at Sunset Wire Rope and about 4 inches of five-eighths-inch minus gravel over it.

For years, the area stayed mud-free as long as I picked up the manure.

It’s now in need of more gravel and some sprucing up — things I plan on doing before the fall.

Four years ago, my neighbor Svein Seljeseth also received planning help from the district.

He did more thorough preparation by hiring a dozer to scrape off the top 4 to 6 inches of mud and dirt.

Then he dug 3-foot-deep drainage ditches around the area, placed 4 inches of perforated drain tubing in it and filled the drainage ditches with drain rock.

Then he laid down the road underlayment cloth and hauled in 100 yards of five-eighths-inch minus gravel, which he says has “totally eliminated the mud problem”.

District workshop

On Wednesday, July 23, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Jefferson County Conservation District is offering a free “Healthy Horses & Healthy Pastures” workshop at 95 Blossom Lane in Port Townsend with Clallam Conservation District Planner Meghan Adamire.

Participants will learn how to identify and control noxious weeds in pastures, learn which weeds are poisonous to livestock and horses, and become familiar with signs and symptoms of possible poisoning.

The workshop will discuss ways to improve pasture production, including rotational grazing, timing of grazing, fertilizing and reseeding, plus introduce hay-buying tips and mud and manure farm management.

Dana Ecelberger from the Jefferson Conservation District will speak on soil testing and cost-share programs offered through the district.

Space is limited, so reserve a spot by phoning 360-385-4105 or emailing [email protected]


■ July 26 (performance, 9 a.m. start) and July 27 (games, 10 a.m. start) — The Jefferson County 4-H Horse Program hosts its annual open pre-fair horse show at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Port Townsend.

Classes are $6 each for performance and $5 each for gaming classes for entries postmarked by Friday.

Classes are an additional $1 the day of show.

For more information or show forms, phone Tanya Schweitzer at 360-301-3559.

■ Today-Friday and Aug. 4-8 — Freedom Farm, 493 Spring Road, Agnew, has two more summer horse camps for kids.

■ Aug. 7-10 — Go with Freedom Farm for an adult beach camp at Long Beach. Daily instruction and group beach rides.

Contact Mary Gallagher at 360-457-4897 or visit the website

■ Aug. 10 — Open gaming/barrel racing with payouts at the Jefferson County Fair.

Contact Angie Doan for information or entry forms at 360-385-6683 or [email protected]


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.

More in News

PHOTO: Time for Peninsula pumpkins

Eight-year-old Lacie Schmitt gets help from her father, Isaac Schmitt of Port… Continue reading

Short delays to be expected around Lake Crescent

Guardrail installation, ditch cleaning and striping of fog… Continue reading

Annual Harvest of Hope reaps $115,000 for Olympic Medical Center expansion

The Olympic Medical Center Foundation raised $115,000 at its 16th… Continue reading

Property tax payment deadline looms

The second half of the year’s property tax payments are due Oct.… Continue reading

EYE ON CLALLAM: County commissioners to consider Dungeness River off-channel reservoir

Clallam County commissioners will discuss a resolution supporting a proposed Dungeness River… Continue reading

Most Read