Sequim's Clara Duncan and her horse

Sequim's Clara Duncan and her horse

KAREN GRIFFITHS’ HORSEPLAY COLUMN: Borrowed horse helps out at finals

ASK ME TO show you poetry in motion, and I will show you Lacey.

She’s one of the most beautiful dark Palominos I’ve ever seen, with a white blaze and a naturally graceful, lilting gait.

When I was looking for a new barrel-racing horse for my niece Brook Stromberg, a friend of the owner’s told me she knew of a horse I’d like that might be for sale. Indeed, she was.

The previous owner had acquire Lacey for her then-11-year-old daughter, who mainly rode her in English and jumping in 4-H.

When the daughter wanted to further her jumping skills, her parents got her a horse built for jumping — a Warmblood— because, you see, quarter horses aren’t really built for jumping over high fences and rails.

Their loss was our gain.

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.

Lacey’s had the privilege twice: two younger and two gals in their teens.

All of them have a sweet, determined and decidedly persnickety personality like Lacey’s.

When Brooke moved out of the area two years ago, I let her friend Ady Crosby ride Lacey for the 2010 race season.

Together, they had numerous excellent times and first-place wins.

This year, I let another friend, Clara Duncan, race her for the season.

Again, the two got some very fast times — 14.887 and 14.94 in barrels — which placed them sixth out of 71 and got them invited to the Patterned Speed Horse State Finals in Wenatchee in August.

Not too shabby for a borrowed horse that had had a year off from racing.

No more loaning her out, though.

Finals results

Patterned Speed Horse State Finals local rider results by age division:


■ Tylar Decker placed sixth in barrels and third in key race.

Senior A:

■ Barrels: Clara Duncan, fifth; Taylor Lemon, fourth.

■ Figure 8: Taylor, first, with a time of 10.586; first in keyhole with a time of 7.001.

■ California stake: Tanya Hull, first, with 7.843; Taylor, third; Ady Crosby, fourth; and Clara, fifth.

■ Poles: Taylor, third; and Ady, sixth.

■ Flags: Taylor, third.

■ Key race: Tanya, fifth; and Clara, sixth.

Super Senior A:

■ Pam Crosby placed sixth in key race and fourth in flags.

Super Senior B:

■ Waynora Martin placed fifth in flags, first in figure 8 with a time of 10.343, first in key race at 8.015, second in keyhole and third in California stake.

■ Poles: Brad Varner, sixth.

Team events:

■ Cowhide: Sam Parks and grandson Duncan, third; Clara Duncan and Molly Dickson, fourth.

■ Rescue Race: Molly Dickson and Zoe Thompson, sixth.

■ Two-man three-barrel: Ady and Clara, fourth.

BCH ride

Back Country Horseman Kris Phillips reported that the Peninsula chapter’s August ride was a great success. The group met at Margaret Sallstrom’s place off Piedmont Road in Joyce and rode into the hills above Lake Crescent on both the Adventure Discovery Trail and logging roads.

“The trails our group rode were in what I would consider virtually excellent condition due in large part to the hard work of many folks in the BCH,” said Phillips.

“It was a spectacular day weather-wise, with stunning views of the Strait and beyond.”

After the ride, the group enjoyed a potluck meal that included delicious pulled-pork and a homemade raspberry pie.

Saturday, Sept. 22, at 10 a.m. is the chapter’s annual Mount Muller trail ride, with a choice between the upper and lower trails. Shoes and a conditioned horse are recommended on the upper loop. The trailhead and campsite are 3 miles west of Lake Crescent. On U.S. Highway 101, look for the Littleton/Mount Muller turnoff.

Phone ride coordinator Judy Paty at 360-683-0781 or 206-999-6228 (cell).

Note: All National Forest land requires weed-free feed. Leave-no-trace ethics and common sense are required.


■ Friday through Sunday — Mustang Wild Horse Adoption at Spirit Horse Ranch in Port Angeles.

Featuring 10 Oregon mustangs, the adoption is offered through the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Program. Horses can be previewed Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday’s events start at 8 a.m. with an introduction by a representative of the Land Management, closely followed by a Gentled Wild Horse Parade, Wild Horse Gentling Demos, hoof trimming and rider’s core development demonstrations. Camping is available with or without horse.

This is the only time of year the ranch’s trails are open to other riders. The adoption starts at 2:30 p.m., with a potluck dinner Friday and Saturday around a campfire.

For more information about Spirit Horse Ranch and adopting a BLM mustang, visit or phone Becky Seibel at 360-670-1550.

Spirit Horse Ranch is located at 207 Mountain Valley Lane 10 miles west of Port Angeles off U.S. 101.

■ 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 15 — Dressage with Michelle Grimmer at Freedom Farm, 493 Spring Road, Port Angeles. Everyone is welcome. Class size will be limited, so phone Mary Gallagher at 360-457-4897 or email

■ Noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 16 — Cow working fun day at Freedom Farm. Phone Gallagher at 360-457-4897 or email


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 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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