EQUESTRIAN, VETERINARIAN AND mother Linda Allen became my doggie’s doc and my friend a little more than 13 years ago when she moved from California to Sequim to open Pacific Northwest Veterinary Hospital.
We met just prior to her official opening when one of my Leonberger dogs contracted metritis, a bacterial infection, within a week of giving birth to her second litter.
Linda literally saved her life.
From the start, Linda’s kids, Aimee and Austin (who was just a toddler still in diapers), were either hanging out at the clinic with their mom or accompanying their papa, Karl Allen, to his roofing jobs.
They were an integral part of her home and work life.
Fast-forward to the present: Aimee and Austin, along with Amelia Brummel and Kelsey Hammond, were one of 28 teams competing at the United States Pony Clubs’ (USPC) Northwest Regional Qualifying Dressage Rally for West Coast Championships.
Aimee, Austin and Amelia are members of the Equitese Pony Club, while Kelsey is a member of the Emerald Hills Pony Club.
Admittedly, I don’t know much about USPC, but don’t be misled by the term “pony” in its name, as riders compete on horses of all types and sizes.
Aimee rode her 17-hand Oldenburg, Baloo, in second level and brought home the first-place ribbons in both musical freestyle and overall high point at second level for the weekend.
The team overall finished eighth, which is a considerable placing considering they were short one rider for overall points.
Amelia rode her thoroughbred mare, Maggie, in training level, while Kelsey rode her Arabian gelding, Wes, in training level.
All three riders qualified to represent the Northwest region at championships, to be held in August at the new horse park in Cle Elum.
Under the leadership of team stable manager Austin, the team won first place overall in stable management, receiving a rarely achieved score of “zero” penalty points for the entire weekend.
Austin received the perpetual stable manager award and qualified to represent the Northwest region.
Aimee and Austin are both honor students at Sequim High School and are recognized by the United States Equestrian Federation as high school athletes, based not only on their commitment to the sport, but also for maintaining a grade-point average greater than 3.5.
Equestrian enthusiasts interested in learning more about the United States Pony Clubs can visit www.ponyclub.org.
Eyes That Smile
Recently, I spoke with Brian Pettyjohn, executive director of the newly formed Eyes That Smile, a registered 501(c)(3) linked with the Olympic Peninsula Equine Network (OPEN), a horse rescue organization.
He’s excited about the group’s upcoming open house Saturday, June 30, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at its headquarters at 555 Roupe Road in Sequim.
He’s hoping folks will stop by to learn more about the organization and meet some of its rescue horses (all are up for adoption after rehabilitation).
The afternoon will include round-pen demonstrations, an equine chiropractic demonstration by Dr. Ingrid Langsetmo, refreshments, raffles, prizes and a silent auction.
Even if you can’t attend, think about sending in a donation to help feed the rescue horses they take in.
Starving, abused and neglected horses are a burgeoning problem due to these trying economic times, so donations are needed to help fund the program.
Earlier this year, OPEN took in seven of the 16 horses seized by the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.
The horses, which include a foal, three pregnant mares and a stallion, were said to be underweight by 50 to 200 pounds each.
Under the watchful eye of Valerie Jackson and Diane Royall, vice presidents of the organization, those horses are now thriving.
“We’re ecstatic about all the good things happening within the organization,” said Pettyjohn.
“In fact, soon, we’ll be offering EAGALA [Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association], a combined horse and human psychotherapy program designed to help therapists treat everything from addiction to autism to troubled teens to post-traumatic stress syndrome, as well as other equine learning programs.”
The group already has raised funds to give five youths equine care scholarships, valued at $500.
I’ll be writing more about Eyes That Smile in the near future.
If you would like more information, phone 360-457-4677 or visit the group’s Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/c2kt6yx.
■ June 18-22 and 25-29 — Freedom Farms summer camps, 493 Spring Road, Port Angeles. Preregister with Mary Gallagher at 360-457-4897.
■ July 7-8 — Mitzi Summers’ bitless bridle and centered riding clinic, Sponsored by the Jefferson Equestrian Association at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.
Visit www.jeffersonequestrian.org for more information. Preregister by contacting Summer Martell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-531-1726.
Due to the clinician’s flight problems, May’s bitless bridle and centered riding workshops were rescheduled to July.
■ July 1 and 21-22, and Aug. 4 — Performance horse shows at the Clallam County Fairgrounds. Phone Maria Rentas at 360-457-4623.
■ July 7-8 and 14-15 — Patterned Speed Horse Association Game Show at Crosby Arena, 122 Franson Road in Agnew. Phone Pam Crosby at 360-670-3906.
■ Aug. 3-5 — Joe Worter’s cow clinic at Freedom Farms in Port Angeles. Learn key elements of working livestock, including positioning, timing, pressure points, control and horsemanship. Preregister with Gallagher at 360-457-4897.
Jefferson County Horse Project events
■ June 23 — County Mounties 4-H Club’s sponsored game day.
■ July 10 — 13th annual Jefferson County Horse Project Horse Camp.
■ July 14-15 — Pre-fair open horse show. Forms are available at www.4hclover.com.
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 email@example.com at least two weeks in advance. You can also write Griffiths at PDN, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.