THREE CHEERS AND a hip-hip hurrah for Sequim High School Equestrian Team, with Celbie Karjalainen, Kennady Gilbertson, Paige Reed, Katelynn Sharp, Rylie Smith, Sydney Hutton, Libby Swanberg and Lily Meyer, on winning District 4’s Washington High School Equestrian Team’s Small Teams Championship this year!
April 6-9 found the team competing their third and final meet of the season at the Grays Harbor Fairgrounds in Elma. At the end the teams gathered to celebrate and to hear the weekend’s results, plus to final out the total points from all three meets to find out who won the medals, for both individuals and teams, and to discover who will compete at the WAHSET state finals held May 19-May 21 at the Grant County Fairgrounds in Moses Lake. For more information and how to view the live streaming coverage go to https://www.wahset.info/events-2/state-meet.
At the celebration Celbie Karjalainen won an Inspirational Athlete award and the team won three District 4 buckles. Coach Katie Newton said only six are awarded so the team “really swept it!” Paige Reed earned hers for Timed Events Champion. Libby Swanberg and Sydney Hutton tied for first place and so both received buckles for Champions in Versatility.
Versatility is determined by a 3:2 split in performance events and timed events. Athletes with the highest points receive the awards. Sydney had top points for the performance 3, timed 2. Libby had the top points for timed 3, performance 2. Katie hailed the entire team’s efforts and stated, “We can be very proud of our Sequim girls!”
District meet 3 results
Performance events, drill teams
Dressage — 6th Sydney Hutton, State Alternate; 7th Katelynn Sharpe; 11th Celbie Karjalainen
Hunt seat equitation — 8th Sharpe
In-Hand Obstacle Relay — 5th Hutton/Karjalainen/Sharpe/Paige Reed
In-Hand Trail — 9th Kennady Gilbertson
Reining — 1st Libby Swanberg (Gold medal, state qualifier)
Saddleseat Equitation — 2nd Sharpe (Bronze, SQ).
Showmanship — 8th Karjalainen, 10th Sharpe
Stockseat Equitation — 6th Sharpe (State Alternate)
Team Versatility — 3rd Gilbertson/Karjalainen/Sharpe/Swanberg
Trail — 8th Hutton (State 2nd Alternate), 10th Karjalainen
Working Pairs — 1st Reed/Swanberg (Gold, SQ); 3rd Karjalainen/Sharpe (Bronze, SQ)
Working Rancher — 5th Swanberg (Bronze, SQ)
Drill Freestyle Fours — 2nd Gilbertson/Hutton/Reed/Swanberg (Gold, SQ)
Timed events, drill teams
Barrels — 1st Reed (Gold, SQ); 2. Gilbertson (SQ); 7th Hutton (State second alternate), 13th Karjalainen
Figure Eight — 1. Reed (Gold, state qualifier); 3rd Swanberg (silver, SQ); 4th Gilbertson (Bronze, SQ); 8. Hutton (State 2nd Alternate); 23 Lilly Meyer
Individual Flags — 1st Reed (Bronze, SQ); 6th Swanberg (Silver, SQ); 11th Gilbertson; 13th Meyer
Keyhole — 1st Swanberg (Gold, SQ); 2nd Gilbertson (Bronze, SQ); 3rd Reed (Silver, SQ); 4th Sharpe; 12th Meyer
Pole Bending — 8th Reed (Bronze, SQ)
Team Canadian Flags —Gilbertson-Hutton-Reed-Swanberg (State Qualifiers)
Two-Man Birangle — 1st Gilbertson-Hutton (Silver & SQ); 2nd Reed-Swanberg (Gold, SQ)
Breakaway Roping — 1st Swanberg (Gold, SQ)
Daubing — 4th Reed (Silver, HQ); 8th Sharpe
Team Sorting — 9th Karjalainen/Swanberg (Silver, SQ); 11th Gilbertson/Reed (Bronze, SQ) ; 16th Hutton/Sharpe.
Close friend Zorina Barker called me in tears earlier in this week to share her frustrations over her inability to provide her family’s donkey, Broo, 30, with veterinary care last weekend when he was suffering through a night of severe choking and gagging after eating alfalfa pellets, some of which formed a mass in his esophagus tube.
She called area veterinarians to ask for emergency help, but no one was willing to drive to her home a few miles west of Lake Crescent, near mile post 216 off highway 101. Nor were they willing to help a few days later when she pleaded for help getting the needed medication to help Broo combat the ensuing lung infection, because, she was told, they would have to see him first, but they refused to travel her way.
Choke can affect equines of any age. The problem is more prevalent among the elderly because of worn down teeth. It’s a condition in which the esophagus is blocked, usually by food material, and that causes the animal to start coughing, gaging and retching, evenstretching his neck and/or shaking his head in an effort to dissipate the blockage. Often the horse will drool heavily and bits of food will be discharge from his nostrils.
Unlike choking in people, however, choke in horses doesn’t interfere with the ability to breathe, so it does not pose an immediate threat to life, however, prolonged choking can do permanent damage, and doing the wrong thing can turn a relatively minor event into a potentially life-threatening problem.
A common human reaction is to want tosquirt water into the horse’s mouth to flush the blockage down. NEVER DO THAT! Administration of any oral medication, food or drinking can all cause worsening of choke and greatly increase the risk that he will develop aspiration pneumonia, a serious lung infection, should he inhale any of the liquid into his lungs.
Choke that continues more than a few minutes is an emergency that requires immediate veterinary attention. Nothing you can do will help, and you may make the situation much worse. Even rubbing the horse’s neck may cause injury.
Signs of damage from Choke after the fact include coughing, fever and a runny nose. If seen call your veterinarian because he may have drawn foreign materials or fluids into his lungs and developed aspiration pneumonia, which is difficult to treat and can be fatal.
Zorina said when moved to her home 25 years ago with her horses there were several good large animal veterinarians. “I’ve had horses since I was 13. They are truly therapy animals. Mine have helped me deal with depression, cope with being a drug addict and becoming clean [she’s been clean for years]. And now that my animals are older and in need of more veterinary help, I can’t get it.”
Since the problem affects almost every livestock owner on the West side I’m wondering if perhaps the Forks Chamber of Commerce could reach out to veterinary schools to ask for help? Individuals could write to the schools, too, to implore veterinarians to move their way. However, it continues to weigh heavily on my heart that local large animal veterinarians are allowing animals to suffer simply because they don’t want to drive that far. I’ve even heard of some refusing to make an emergency after normal business hours in Sequim. I just don’t get it. Didn’t they read Country veterinarian James Herriot’s books, such as All Creatures Great and Small? Delightful books I assure you.
Zorina said she’s been frustrated over the lack of care ever since Port Angeles’ Dr. Bob Mowbray and Sequim’s Dr. Eric Splawn, now deceased, retired.
She said she’s gained a greater appreciation for those two hard-working souls, and all the effort they put forth in caring for animals. To both, it was business as usual to work after hours on emergency calls, and take long drives to get there, to provide service to everyone living in Clallam County, whether it be east or west.
“They both came to my place over the years to perform routine veterinary care, such as vaccinations and teeth floating, and to put a suffering horse down, along with emergencies,” said Zorina. “I’ve had three horses colic after hours, and each time Splawn dropped everything and was here as soon as he could.”Dr. Splawn was my horse’s veterinarian, too, and he is missed! He and his best friend/wife/assistant Peggy were at my former home on Olson Road on many occasions, including neutering my beloved Indy in 2004 (who, at 9 months was very unruly and obstinate) and putting two beloved ponies to their final resting place there. Later, he helped with Indy at my current home in Happy Valley when he had colic. Dr. Splawn’s clients knew he was there for us 24/7.
In fact, being available 24/7 was a matter of fact for all the veterinarians I knew. And if they were going out of town, they arranged for another veterinarian to handle emergency calls.
So, the question becomes, why do the younger veterinarians of today seem to lack that same dedication and work ethic? I don’t have the answer, but I have heard her same frustrations from other West End horse owners.
“Now I feel like a horrible horse owner because I can’t get any veterinary support,” she complained. “I feel that is just unacceptable.”
The lack of veterinary support has caused her to say, no, to taking in a neglected horse. “I have a perfectly good place for him, and I’ve taken good care off all horses I’ve taken in, not only because I love animals, but I’ve taken to heart the Bible in the book of Proverb 12:10 where tells us ‘good people take care of their domestic animals’” she said. “I can’t even think of bringing another horse home knowing I don’t have the veterinary support.”
“I have zero respect for our current horse veterinarians,” she said, adding “I think they are only interested in charging top dollar, and going to homes they feel they can make the most money from in as short of time possible, rather than extending themselves to care for animals on the west side that is suffering, too, — I can’t even get anyone out here anymore to help me put a suffering horse down!”
I know Dr. Splawn charged by the mile when driving to her house, in addition to the standard farm call. She, as well as others there accept the extra travel fee as long as they know it in advance.
She called me to air her frustrations just as I was about to send this column to my editor so I didn’t have time to contact any veterinarians in advance for their response. I promise to do so and provide the follow up in a future column. If anyone wants to comment about this column, they can email through the address listed below.
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.