KAREN GRIFFITHS’ HORSEPLAY COLUMN: Agnew mother gets back in the saddle

WHAT’S A FORMER barrel racer to do after her kid goes off to college and she’s left twiddling her thumbs?

Well, if you’re Pam Crosby, you lose weight, tone up and get back to racing.

After raising and coaching her daughter, Ady Crosby (a state Western games record holder), in games, the Agnew mom decided it was time to get back in the saddle again.

A friend of hers, I was thrilled to see her looking so good and running smokin’-hot times last weekend during a patterned speed horse games show at Quarter Moon Ranch in Carlsborg.

Ranch owner passes away

Sadly, on Sunday, ranch owner Ann Beam, a true-grit horsewomen, passed away. She’d suffered for years from Alzheimer’s disease.

She is survived by husband Jim Beam and daughter Waynora Martin (both were hosting and judging the weekend show) and son Lance Martin.

I met Ann about 11 years ago at a local game show held at Marie Dickinson’s old place in Agnew.

Ann was probably the oldest competitor there and quite a sight wearing her trademark white boots worn with her jeans tucked in the top.

She was very proud of the jacket she’d won at an end-of-the year awards banquet. It had the Western games association logo on the back and her name written on the front.

Later, I was told it was given to her so if she got lost, people would know her name.

As I watched Ann race, I learned from her. Prior to each race, she’d whisper in her horse’s ear which event they were about to run — be it barrel, poles or figure eight — and the horse knew.

That was an “aha” moment for me, and I found telling the horse the event really does help it understand which race it’s expected to run. That’s when I started telling my horse the course, encouraging my niece, Brooke Stromberg, to do the same.

Sometimes, I’d see Ann riding down a Carlsborg road or crossing over U.S. Highway 101 to ride her horse, Higher Ground, in the hills.

I was told “her little horse always took care of her and would bring her home.”

An adventurer

Ever the adventurer, in 1975, Ann, along with three teenagers, rode their horses with the Bicentennial Wagon Train from Sequim to North Platte, Neb.

I heard one time she was driving her horse and trailer home from a show when her truck broke down prior to crossing the Hood Canal Bridge. In true Ann style, she simply unloaded Higher Ground and started riding home to Carlsborg.

“She didn’t realize everyone else in the group were way behind her,” said Waynora.

“First, we came across her rig and then found her riding across the bridge. I don’t know anyway who’s ever ridden a horse across the bridge, so that was a first.”

The family hasn’t decided yet on where or when a memorial service will be held.


■ 10 a.m. Saturday, June 25 — Western gaming horse show sponsored by County Mounties 4-H Club and Jefferson County 4-H Horse Program. This is a one-day show that everyone is welcome to participate in or come and watch. Early-bird pricing deadline is June 21.

Phone Ashley Govia at 360-301-4103.

■ 6 p.m. start this Monday and Monday, June 27 — Chimacum Creek 2011 Summer Barrel Racing Series at Chimacum Saddlery on Chimacum Road.

Phone Bethel Moore at 360-301-1547.

■ 9 a.m. Sunday, June 26 — Peninsula Performance Horse Association schooling show at Baker Stables, 164 Four Winds Road, Port Angeles.

Phone Sue Carver at 360-683-7538.


Karen Griffiths’ column, Peninsula Horseplay, appears every other Wednesday.

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 write Griffiths at PDN, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

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