EXCITEMENT AND GIGGLES were in the air during this month’s pre-fair 4-H horse show at the Clallam County Fairgrounds.
“It was a blast for all of us, both new and past members,” said Paisley Morris, a member of the Neon Riders 4-H club. “It was such an experience, and we are all so excited for fair!” The 4-H horse show is part of the Clallam County Fair held each year the third week in August.
Neon Rider’s leader Katie Newton said a fun-fact about the show’s judge, Jessica Parks-Welsh (daughter of Agnew’s Donna and “Super Sam” Parks, a locally celebrated game show competitor) grew up involved with 4-H and showed at the same fairgrounds she was now judging. Her family was always very active supporters of local horse youth organizations, and as an adult she’s following in their footsteps.
“We loved having her judge our show,” exclaimed Katie.
“One of the most important things we do at the end of a show are the high-point awards,” said Paisley. “High-point awards are awarded to the person who rode the best in their group of riders, like Elise Sirguy, our walk/trot champion. She rode the best of all walk/trot riders and Grace Karjalainen, who was the walk trot reserve champion, meaning she was one rank under the champion.
“We also have our intermediate [age group] champion, Lila Torey. She rode the absolute best in the intermediate group. Its reserve champion is Ellie Karjalainen. For our senior group Taylor Maughan won champion, and there was a tie for reserve between Celbie Karjalainen and Ava Hairell. Gaming champion and reserve a new high point award that just started this year was won by Katelynn Sharpe and reserve champion was won by Silver Spurs 4-H club member Zakara Braun.”
She said there was also a high-point award called Helping Hands, a trophy awarded to the person that was the most helpful to everyone at the show, both running it and competing. A sheet of paper on a clipboard was placed at the beginning of the show for people to write the names down they felt was helpful. After each name was written down the name would be announced for that person to go to the announcer’s booth to pick up a prize. This went on throughout the show. At the show’s end the person whose name was called the most received the Helping Hands trophy for that show.The trophy is then returned before the start of the next show so it could, again, be awarded to the most helpful person at that show. This show’s winner was Kinlee Morris. Good for you Kinlee!
Paisley lauded the show for giving us, “so much experience before fair, and I know all of us girls are looking forward for more to come.”
Helping local horses in need is a cause I’m passionate about, and it’s why I’m so supportive of our Sequim-based horse rescue, rehabilitate and rehome organization, OPEN. All donations go toward helping the horses, and no one, including its co-founders Diane Royall and Valerie Jackson —who spend countless hours helping horses and owners each month — receive wages.
Yes, those two have so much compassion and love for horses they willingly give their labor and time for free. Chew on that concept of how much they’re giving of their own personal time awhile.
And now they are very much in need of donations to help fill their barn with a year’s worth of hay.
“We hope to be able to fill our barn this summer with a year’s worth of hay like we did last year,” said Valerie. Tickets for tonight’s event are $50 for adults (kids are free with paid adult)If you’re unable to come to the event — with its games, raffle prizes, demonstrations by equine professionals, dinner, campfire social and live music — perhaps you can send donations through their Web site at www.olypenequinennet.org. Click donations.
Diane and daughter Katie Tippets (both experience hoof trimmers) came over to trim Lacey’s front hooves and give me some tips to make it easier. At 31, my former barrel racing has advanced arthritis in her knees and pastern joints, so resists lifting the hoof up long enough to clean, let alone trim.
Diane showed me how to train Lacey to just tilt her hoof a bit while keeping her toe resting on the ground. Keeping the toe on the ground helped Lacey keep her balance while Katie knelt with her rear knee on the ground and the other leg supporting the back of Lacey’s elbow. In this manner she was able to use nippers and hoof knife to trim, making sure to give Lacey several rest periods to avoid stressing the joint too much. I was amazed how cooperative Lacey was for her!
Since then, I’ve been working on using the “tilt” instead of “lift” command to Lacey, however, I’m unable to mimicking Katie’s kneeling position for three reasons: At 65 I’m much older and not nearly as agile as I was at her age, I’ve got stiff painful joints caused by Multiple Sclerosis and osteo-arthritis in my knees (I’m getting surgery next month for a total right-knee replacement). Thankfully, I can still easily bend at the waist to touch the ground, which enables me to work the underside of her hooves. Now, if I could only get Lacey to show the same spirit of willingness for me as she did Katie!
Layton Hill Horse Camp has changed its name to Sage Horse Camp. Check out its new Web site sagehorsecamp.com.
Karen Griffiths’ column, Peninsula Horseplay, appears the second and fourth Saturday of each month.
If you have a horse event, clinic or seminar you would like listed, please email Griffiths at email@example.com at least two weeks in advance. You can also call her at 360-460-6299.