From left, Peninsula Junior Rodeo Association’s Rhett Wilson, Amelia Hermann, PJRA Queen Madison Ballou, Cassie Ann Moore and Princess Sierra Ballou were all winners at their hometown rodeo, held the third weekend in August at the Clallam County Fairgrounds in Port Angeles. (Kay Hermann)

From left, Peninsula Junior Rodeo Association’s Rhett Wilson, Amelia Hermann, PJRA Queen Madison Ballou, Cassie Ann Moore and Princess Sierra Ballou were all winners at their hometown rodeo, held the third weekend in August at the Clallam County Fairgrounds in Port Angeles. (Kay Hermann)

HORSEPLAY: Locals find success at Peninsula Junior Rodeo

Five Port Angeles girls won medals during the Peninsula Junior Rodeo Association’s junior rodeo in August.

STICK HORSE BARRELS, wild cow milking and chute dogging — are you familiar with those terms?

Probably not unless you’re a fan of junior rodeos.

Those are the real names of competitive events that many in the audience hooted, hollered and roared with excitement at during the annual Peninsula Junior Rodeo.

Held the third week in August at the Clallam County Fairgrounds, more than 100 National Junior Rodeo Association participants — ages 3 to 18 — from around the Northwest region came together for two days of competition.

Hosted for more than 20 years by our local Peninsula Junior Rodeo Association, the local NJRA chapter showed great skill and finesse, and having the fastest time is what wins events.

Local winners this year included PJRA Queen Madison Ballou, who won sixth in flags, and her sister, PJRA Princess Sierra Ballou, who won second in steer daubing and second in goat tying.

Cassie Ann Moore won first in flags, second in breakaway and second in poles.

Rhett Wilson won third in daubing, third in goat tying and fourth in breakaway.

Amelia Hermann won second in team roping, second in breakaway, third in goat tying, fourth in trail and fourth in daubing.

Top rail

A little more than a month has gone by since I moved from our family’s big house on the hill to a much smaller home in Happy Valley.

The property had zero fencing, so the first thing I did (with help) was to fence the perimeter to ensure my horses and dogs would be safe and secure here.

I’ve yet to install a top rail above my woven wire horse fence.

Instead of wood, which will need maintenance to keep it looking good and not decaying, I chose to use brown 5-inch-wide flexible vinyl horse rail fence.

I purchased it from a local big-box store because it offers free shipping — a huge savings over other retailers.

The vinyl railing and necessary brackets to attach it to my wooden posts arrived at the store in a timely manner.

When I picked it up, I was surprised with how heavy and big the vinyl is.

While some boxes with brackets were there, the majority weren’t at the special order desk when I picked it up.

However, according to the online link provided to track the order, they had arrived at the store.

I figured it must still be in the receiving area and I’d pick it up the next day.

So, with much excitement, I went home and unrolled the vinyl around the perimeter.

Then I went back to the store to pick up the brackets, but no one could find the boxes of post brackets.

Yes, there was proof those boxes were delivered and signed for, but no one could find the boxes.

A week went by of me going back to the store and pestering the workers to find it, but to date, no one has.

Ten days went by before the store reordered my brackets.

It will be at least 10 days more before they arrive.

In the meantime, my vinyl railing is still strewn about the pasture, and my neighbors are stopping by to ask what the heck it is.


As the daylight grows shorter and the weather turns cooler, I’m feeling the pressure to put up a hay barn, horse shelter and paddock before the soon-to-arrive rainy season.

Although my two horses have 3 basically flat acres of good grass pasture to roam and graze on, it won’t take long before the grass gets eaten down to nubs and ruined.

So now I’m in the process of fencing off a sacrifice, or paddock, area along with the barn and shelter.

A sacrifice area is a designated patch of land you literally remove the grass from in order to make it a mud-free paddock.

It will then be the main area the horses will live in.

I’ve chosen the highest ground on the property for it because water naturally drains away from it already.

Now I need to remove the top layer of grass and any large protruding objects and then smooth and level the surface to the point where there are no deep pockets water could pool in.

I’m also trenching the lower edge of the paddock and placing a drain pipe in it to help move water out of the area.

Then I’m putting down on the prepared surface a layer of driveway or road underlayment geotextile woven fabric, which is a 12-foot-wide high-tensile-strength fabric I buy from Sunset Do it Best Hardware store in Port Angeles.

Where needed, I’ll overlap the fabric at least 4 inches.

I’ve found in the past, there is no need to pin or put a spike in the corners to hold the fabric in place; just a pile of dirt or existing stone will hold it in place during the final layer, which will be at least 4 inches of crushed, minus five-eighth-inch stone with about 10 percent fines (or dust).

Other names for the stone are dense-grade aggregate (DGA) or crusher run.

This type of stone with fines will make a nice hard surface for the horses to walk on, along with an easy surface to pick up manure.

Done right, this hard surface will last for years as long as I do the daily maintenance of picking up the manure and placing it in a compost bin, which is also on my list to build.


On Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Clallam Conservation District is hosting a “Get Your Horse Property Ready for Winter” workshop.

Sign up to learn more about how to prep your own farm for the upcoming winter months.

Simple maintenance and preparation now can significantly decrease muddy conditions later this winter.

The workshop will include a tour of G Bar K Miller Ranch owned by Guy & Kathy Miller.

Their 7½-acre farm was thoughtfully planned to make the best use of the acreage and includes facilities for seven horses.

Mud-free paddocks, drainage to divert seasonal runoff water away from the paddocks and riding arena, and a manure storage bin create a chore-efficient farm even during wet months.

The workshop is free, but registration is required.

Call 360-775-3747, ext. 5, or email to register.

For more information, visit the website http://


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 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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