On Wed, Dec. 13 from 5 p.m. 7 p.m., the Sequim High School equestrian team is hosting a McTakeover at the McDonald’s in Sequim. Stop by to support the team, from left, Amanda Murphy, Keri Tucker, Miranda Williams, Yana Hoesel, Madi Murphy, Lilly Thomas, Abbi Priest and Grace Niemeyer as they work to raise the money to travel to competitions. (Katie Salmon-Newton)

On Wed, Dec. 13 from 5 p.m. 7 p.m., the Sequim High School equestrian team is hosting a McTakeover at the McDonald’s in Sequim. Stop by to support the team, from left, Amanda Murphy, Keri Tucker, Miranda Williams, Yana Hoesel, Madi Murphy, Lilly Thomas, Abbi Priest and Grace Niemeyer as they work to raise the money to travel to competitions. (Katie Salmon-Newton)

HORSEPLAY: Teen riders need to practice this winter

THIS TIME OF year it can be difficult for high school equestrians to keep a horse in top athletic condition for competitive events such as roping, barrel racing or jumping, yet that’s what they have to do to perform at high school rodeos or Washington State High School Equestrian Team (WAHSET) events.

Thankfully Freedom Farm’s co-owner, Mary Gallagher, is once again keeping her nice, big, covered arena open two nights a week for the Port Angeles and Sequim WAHSET teams to practice in safety without having to worry about dark nights, horses slipping in the mud or riders getting frostbit fingers and toes.

I was happy to hear Tina VanAusdale is continuing as the Port Angeles head coach, as well as Katie Salmon-Newton for Sequim’s team.

I’d like to give a huge shout out of thanks to them for continuing to volunteer their time and services to help these youths.

In my opinion both are outstanding mentors.

WAHSET is divided into seven districts across the state. Our teams are in District 4.

All three meets will be held at the Tacoma Unit: Jan. 18-21, Feb. 15-18 and March 16-18.

State finals will be May 17-18 at Grant County Fairgrounds in Moses Lake.


At 7 p.m. Dec. 20, the Jefferson Equestrian Association (JEA) is hosting a night of Bingo at the Hill Top Tavern, 2510 W. Sims Way, in Port Townsend.

JEA proceeds will go to help build an awesome community park for all to enjoy — not just equestrians.

Amy Greenbaum, JEA interim vice president, said, “This undertaking is a huge thing, all our hard work will justify the result, and benefit generations of residents in our local communities for years to come.

“A lot of funding is required to develop, build and maintain the park as outlined by the Conditional Use Permit which has been approved.”

The park will be open to the public for the enjoyment of riders of all ages, disciplines and abilities.

The equestrian community will benefit by hosting educational and competitive events and the broader community will benefit from economic vitalization, plus all can use the park for hiking, nature study, group activities, biking, dog walking and more.

For those who shop on Amazon and want to support the building of the park, go to the Amazon Smile Foundation and designate Jefferson Equestrian Association as the charity you’d like to support.

There is no additional cost to you.

The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5 percent of the purchase price from every eligible purchase.

Make sure you bookmark AmazonSmile so every purchase you make can benefit the JEA.

To learn more about the 80-acre park at 1172 Cape George Road in Port Townsend contact Kim Hunt at 360-379.0507 or online at jefferson equestrian.org.

Disaster prep

Clallam County’s Emergency Management Unit’s program director Jayme Wisecup is working hard to put together a certified Local Animal Rescue and Recovery Team Governance Group (LARRG) by providing Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) on Animal Response.

Members of the group so far include representatives from local horse groups such as Back Country Horsemen and OPEN, along with dog and cat rescue organizations and other local community members.

“Those who wish to become part of the county’s LARRG team need to also get certified in CERT 1 emergency response for people, and then take the CERT Animal Response training,” Wisecup said.

Because national disaster response comes through FEMA the training certification adheres to its programs and guidelines.

The next LARRG meeting will be in January at a location and time to be announced.

The material will cover animal-related issues in emergency management as well as disaster planning for animals.

After the classroom training comes search and rescue training, where you go on site to search through rubble, along with setting up disaster procedures after an earthquake, flooding or snowstorm.

Certification training includes search and response, medical triage, etc.

Volunteers will help with rescue and recovery efforts.

CERT training is currently offered in Sequim, Port Angeles and Joyce.

Forks is starting its CERT training in January.

In Sequim, email Cindy Zechenelly at cindyiz@hotmail.com.

For all other locations, questions and to volunteer. contact Wisecup at 360-417-2525 or email wisecup@co.clallam.wa.us.


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

More in Life

The 2024 Community Service Awards winners gather before Thursday's awards ceremony at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Port Angeles. This year's recipients were, seated from left, Steph Ellyas and Lyn Fiveash, and standing from left, Gordon Taylor, Don Zanon, Carol Labbe and Betsy Reed Schultz. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Six honored for community service efforts

Volunteers provide energy for trails, respite care

Photo by Karen Griffiths

Cutline: A fundraiser for WAG and Open starts Today at 11 a.m. with an English and jumping fun show, followed tomorrow with a Western Games show at Kari Payne’s 4-L arena off Blue Mountain Road, 95 S. McCrorie Rd. Port Angeles.  Fox-Bell Farm owner Shelby Vaughan, and her assistants Sophie Feik and Kaia Lestage (holding Marley) will be there to host. Shown is Tatar Trots, 10. a horse Shelby got from OPEN five years ago when he was a feral, unhandled stallion and, now, after castrating and training,  he’s a docile horse who enjoys teaching kids how to ride.


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