CALLING ALL EQUESTRIANS and dog lovers!
Are you ready for a play day? Come join the fun on Sat., Sept. 23, from 3-6 p.m. for a huge fundraiser event for OPEN and WAG at the 4L Arena. Compete in zany obstacle courses and timed events all on horseback.
The afternoon’s events will accommodate all riding disciplines and skill levels. Each event will be timed, and riders will be placed in brackets based on their time. Points will be awarded in each bracket and awards will be given at the end of the event.Owner Kari Payne recently completely renovated the 160-by-240-foot arena ground — and bought a new arena groomer — making it ready for speed for the day’s races.
Payne promises the games won’t be the usual events found at other play days.
“I’m putting slight changes and twists to events to sort of level the playing field and make it more fun for the novice riders or those whose horses are super patterned for gaming events,” she said. “These are going to really reward the communication and the trust between the horse or rider.”
A recommended donation entry fee of $35 includes all the events. There will also be a silent auction and raffle.
To those not familiar with Olympic Peninsula Equine Network (OPEN), the organization helps horses of all sizes and breeds, along with donkeys and mules by rescuing, rehabilitation and/or rehoming. For more information, phone 360-207-1688 or visit olypenequinenet.org)
Since 2001, Welfare for Animals Guild (WAG) has placed hundreds of dogs in need into new, loving homes. In 2017, they opened Halfway Home Ranch, an appointment only no-skill shelter/rescue facility for up to 24 dogs, with many more living in foster homes provided by volunteers while awaiting a new, permanent loving and safe homes. For more information, phone 360-460-6258 or go to wagsequimwa.com.
Horse and dog lovers alike can help both organizations by supporting the play day at 4L Arena.
If planning on participating, text or call Kari Payne at 503-789-4247 or email firstname.lastname@example.org so she has an advance idea of how many awards to prepare.
Front gates open at 1:45 p.m. Signups and suggested donation of $35 per rider begin at 2 p.m. with the games starting at 3 p.m. It’s located at 95 S. McCrorie Rd. in Port Angeles.
On Aug. 5, Back Country Horsemen Peninsula Chapter members experienced a good time riding in the Joyce Daze Parade.
Some members chose to stay a few days nearby at the Epona Ranch Campground. Owned by member Margaret Salstrom, members set up portable corrals for their horses or used high-lines attached to their horse trailers. Others trailered in each day to go on group rides.
On Aug. 4, riders Julie Kustura, Joan Wildman, Juelie Dalzell, Judy Sarles and Sandy Ihly readied their horses at the ranch and then took a relaxed ride through downtown Joyce to get the horses accustomed to the road and surroundings they would experience on the “big day,” said member Donna Hollatz.
She said on parade day the riders were joined by Ben Wildman pulling the chapter’s Tool Trailer, emblazoned with the emblems of all of BCH’s “partner” agencies they work with to keep public lands and trails open to everyone (National Park Service, US Forest Service, Washington State Parks, Department of Natural Resources, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Clallam County, Pacific Northwest Trail Association, Washington Trails Association and Pacific Crest Trail Association).
Member Linda Morin followed the unit with an electric lawn tractor and had the job of “super pooper scooper.”
A cheering crowd showed their appreciation for the opportunity to see the horses and the Peninsula Chapter was awarded the “Blue Ribbon” for the best Animal Entry in the parade.
After the parade, the group returned to the ranch where Salstrom put on a big fish fry for friends and neighbors. Everyone was treated to entertainment by local cowboy poet and storyteller Eric Tobin.
Hollatz said a frightening event occurred when one of the horses became tangled in his high line rope during the night. The safety knot was pulled so tight when the horse pulled back it wouldn’t release. Thankfully, a quick-witted and prepared rider had a sharp knife to cut the rope and safely released the horse.
It was a good reminder that equestrians should always have a sharp knife available and within easy reach for emergencies. It’s recommended to carry one on your belt (and not in a saddle bag) when on the trail, and to have one attached to the inside of your horse trailer door. To join the chapter, go to pbchw.org or phone Hollatz at 360-457-6694.
Today at 9 a.m., the Peninsula Chapter is hosting the Olympic Spirit Prize Ride at Sage Horse Camp, 2514 Chicken Coop Road, Sequim. The day includes an 8-mile, approximately 3-hour, trail ride with snack stops.
For more information contact Kim Merrick at 253-261-6188. To purchase prize ride tickets, go to form.jotform.com.
On Sept. 16-17, at 8 a.m., a Competitive Mounted Orienteering (CMO) event is scheduled at Sage Horse Camp (formerly Layton Hill). All riders welcome. Members cost $15 a day for adults, $10 for adult bringing a junior, and $10 for junior. $20 day for non-members.
Bring your own compass, feed, water and lunch. Bring a dish if staying for the evening’s pot luck dinner. Ride manager is Wendy Brundle, 360-808-1503. To reserve a camp site at Sage Horse Camp go online to hipcamp.com and type the name and city in the search engine.
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.