Congratulations to Heron Pond Farm owner/trainer Christine Headley, riding Gordy, for receiving The Dressage Foundation’s $1,000 grant from its Trip Harting Fund for Pony Club Members and Graduates. (Courtesy of Hannah Grace)

Congratulations to Heron Pond Farm owner/trainer Christine Headley, riding Gordy, for receiving The Dressage Foundation’s $1,000 grant from its Trip Harting Fund for Pony Club Members and Graduates. (Courtesy of Hannah Grace)

HORSEPLAY: Port Townsend horse trainer, coach wins $1,000 grant

IT’S DISHEARTENING WHEN I visit Miller Peninsula State Park and see cars parked in slots for horse trailers. Consequently, I’d like to remind those who stop at the recreation area to please park their cars in the smaller slots and leave the center area — designated by the long white parallel stripes in the center — for trucks pulling horse trailers.

Perhaps parkgoers don’t remember or even realize the parking lot is there only because members of the Back County Horseman’s Peninsula Chapter initiated, worked on and made the parking lot happen, not only for horsemen but for everyone’s enjoyment (See my Oct. 11, 2015, column at tinyurl.com/PDN- Horseplay-Miller-Parking).

Recently, chapter members spent even more of their time and money to widen and shore up a back area of the lot so tires won’t sink in the mud. Hopefully, parkgoers can appreciate the BCH members’ hard work by avoiding in the horse trailer areas.

Heron Pond award

From time to time in Horseplay, I’ve highlighted the work and successes of Heron Pond Farm owner Christine Headley and her students. Headley’s background includes Dressage, Eventers and Hunter jumpers.

Yet, I was quite surprised when her name popped up in a headline on my news app: “The Dressage Foundation is pleased to award a $1,000 grant from its Trip Harting Fund for Pony Club Members and Graduates to Christine Headley of Port Townsend.”

Wow! It went on to state Headley is a U.S. Pony Club A graduate (traditional) and teaches mounted lessons at several Pony Clubs in her area. She enjoys coaching at Pony Club rallies and has coached teams that qualified for the U.S. Pony Clubs (USPC) West Coast Championships. She is also a U.S. Dressage Foundation (USDF) certified instructor and bronze medalist. Headley recently completed Part 1 of the USDF ‘L’ Education Program and will use her grant funding to attend Part 2.

Naturally, I phoned to congratulate and catch up with her.

“People from all over the country applied for the grant, so I feel really excited I got selected this year,” she said with excitement.

“I am looking forward to be adding ‘the view from C’ to my body of knowledge as a professional,” she said. “Growing up as a member of United States Pony Club has largely shaped who I am today, and I am thrilled that there are grants such as this one to recognize the hard work and dedication required to become an upper-level Pony Clubber.

“Achieving my A Certification was a huge accomplishment that has prepared me for many things in life, including the rigor of conveying information under pressure,” she continued. “I will always support Pony Club, as it holds a special place in my heart for all of the life skills that it taught me and will continue to teach the fundamentals that this amazing program fosters.”

She’s thankful the Dressage Foundation offers these types of grants and educational opportunities because “continuing one’s education is paramount for success.”

At her training facility in Port Townsend, Headley and her students who show (some of her students are beginners, others are there to better their horsemanship skills and aren’t interested in showing) are excitedly ramping up for the upcoming show season.

“I have two horses that have a lot of, you know, promise and athletic potential that I’m really excited to take out to hit the show circuit this summer,” she said.

Joining her will be students and clients with whom she’s been enjoying “some really fun partnerships.

“I’ve had some people kind of graduated up from leasing or riding school horses that I’ve formed horse partnerships with that I’m really excited to get out into the show arena to show off all our hard work we’ve been putting in here at home,” she said.

This weekend, Heron Pond Farm will host a Greg Eliel Horsemanship Clinic: Horses, Leadership & Life, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at its location, 152 Douglas Way, in Port Townsend.

For more information, phone 360-286-9256 or email Headley at ch_equestrian@yahoo.com. Or you can visit Heron Pond’s Facebook page or website at teamheron pondfarm.com

More information can also be found at dressage foundation.org and www.ponyclub.org.

________

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 kbg@olympus.net at least two weeks in advance. You can also call her at 360-460-6299.

Heron Pond Farm student Molly Lance, aboard Rocky, with her Lower Puget Sound Dressage High Point Series winning ribbon in the Champion Junior Division. (Courtesy photo)

Heron Pond Farm student Molly Lance, aboard Rocky, with her Lower Puget Sound Dressage High Point Series winning ribbon in the Champion Junior Division. (Courtesy photo)

Congratulations to Heron Pond Farm student Grayce Swindler achieving her D2 Horse Management Certification in Pony Club. (Courtesy photo)

Congratulations to Heron Pond Farm student Grayce Swindler achieving her D2 Horse Management Certification in Pony Club. (Courtesy photo)

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