EXCITEMENT WAS IN the air as four riders astride their four prancing horses entered the large indoor arena to ready themselves for their biggest and fastest team event of the day — pole racing.
This was no ordinary race because this was an interstate competition during which the top 10 individual rider teams from Patterned Speed Horse Association (PSHA) in Washington state compete against Oregon State’s top 10 gamers from Western Horsemen of Oregon.
The annual event took place at Clark County Fairgrounds in Oregon over Labor Day weekend.
Washington won with 1,673.5 points over Oregon with 1,536.5. Yay, Washington!
First off, I want to say a big congratulations to Ady Crosby, Dan Dickson, Emma Albright and Waynora Martin for coming in No. 1 with a time of 95.913 seconds in team poles.
Poles is not an easy race, because horse and rider must weave through seven poles placed in a straight line — twice — without knocking any down. Fastest time wins.
Albright on Tinkerbell started off, followed by Dickson on Dude, Martin on Belle and, as the crowd roared and stomped their feet with excitement, Crosby on Time for the final fast and clean run for the win.
Here are some fun facts: The same team also won team poles at the PSHA state finals.
Those who know Crosby know she normally rides her horse Batman, but he’s been battling a pesky abscess so she borrowed 11-year-old Samantha Park’s horse Time, who, for years was trained by Nick “Bucky” Dickson — Dan and Molly Dickson’s son — and was his winning horse starting when he was as young as Samantha.
Samantha didn’t place high enough to compete at interstate, but her big brother Duncan, 13, earned points in all five of his individual events.
Their father, Jamie Parks, is the PSHA president and was a terrific leader and announcer all weekend.
While grandpa Sam didn’t compete, their grandma Donna Parks continued to amaze all with her creative seamstress talents, making outfits for both children, enabling Duncan to win best dressed cowboy, winning a $50 Coastal gift card and some horse goodies.
Martin won the senior division saddle. She was second place in flags (7.981), keyhole (6.747) and poles (20.725), and third place in figure eight (10.351) .
Albright placed first in junior flags riding Pam Crosby’s horse Tinkerbell with a time of 8.504. And she placed ninth in junior keyhole with 7.480.
Duncan Parks placed second in junior keyhole with 6.950, 11th in figure eight with 10.946 and seventh in junior poles with 21.883.
Ady Crosby and Clara Duncan placed fifth in the team event two-man, three-barrel with 22.923 (this included a +5 penalty for a dropped flag but their original time was a smoking 17.923 and they still placed fifth).
Martin and Dan Dickson placed fourth in the same team event at 21.812. They also placed fifth in two-man birangle with 24.016.
Ady Crosby and Dan Dickson placed third in rescue race with 8.675.
I got a really nice surprise this week when I spied two very healthy plants growing on top of the far side of my compost pile.
No, they weren’t planted, and this was pure composted manure with no dirt mixed in, so how they got there is a bit of a mystery to me.
I do throw my compostable table scraps (vegetable and fruit scraps, melon rinds, etc.) on top of the fresh manure pile, but how did any seeds survive my turning the pile and then growing on top of the side that’s finished compositing and is ready for me to spread on the pasture and plants?
I do give the horses watermelon, but they certainly don’t eat tomatoes, so I don’t know how seeds got in there.
I’m not going to give how they got there much more thought, I’m just going to enjoy eating them.
The annual Mount Muller Ride & Littleton Campout hosted by the Mount Olympus Chapter of Back Country Horsemen is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, Sept. 20-22.
Saturday is the big ride, with a rider safety meeting at 9:45 a.m.
Staggered groups of riders will start leaving at 10 a.m.
The potluck is expected to start around 3:30 p.m. followed by an auction.
The public is welcome to attend.
Please RSVP if you need a camping spot with horses, or if you’re riding for the day and coming to the potluck.
To make reservations, contact the Mount Olympus Chapter of Back Country Horsemen through their Facebook page, call Jaymie Doan at 360-417-1898 or email [email protected]
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 call her at 360-460-6299.