PROUD, ENCOURAGING, SUPPORTIVE — these were the words entering my mind Sunday as I watched Sequim Equestrian Team coach Terri Winters take the team members through their paces during the in-hand obstacle relay.
It was the opening event for an evening that included a sprinkling of Washington State High School Equestrian Team state competitive events.
So far this year, the team has won the District Four trophy and brought home 35 medals from three district meets. The members are looking forward to competing at the state finals May 12-15 in Moses Lake.
“The kids have been pushing their limits and trying new things. This year, everyone participated in the tough sport of cow sorting,” said Winters. “I couldn’t be more proud of my team.”
For the first time in Sequim’s history, riders qualified in every team event at state finals.
The audience, myself included, got a kick out of watching Shannon Robbins and Sasha O’Meara-Crowell perform their working-pairs routine. The girls chose a jail-bird theme, costumed their horses in black-and-white stripes and rode to Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock.”
Winters got involved with the team when her son, Jeremy, joined during its first year in Sequim eight years ago. She’s been the coach the past six years.
I got to know Winters a few years ago when my niece was on the team. Time after time, I watched her go the extra mile to encourage each to ride at his or her best.
She spends hours volunteering her time and resources to help the team practice, practice and practice some more, plus takes at least a month total off from her job (she works full time in her own hair salon) to attend the competitions.
To this day, she continues to carve out time to host monthly meetings at her home (including refreshments), keep track of results, submit news articles and take a myriad of photos to help her kids build a good portfolio to use for applying to a college and/or scholarships.
Why? Because she truly does want to see each one succeed, both now and in the future.
“It’s important for parents to keep their kids active and back their goal to help them stay out of trouble,” said Winters.
Yep, standing inside Freedom Farm’s covered arena brought back memories of watching my niece practice with the team — usually during the winter’s frigid weather.
In fact, as Winters has noted on many occasions, if not for Freedom Farm owner Mary Gallagher’s generosity, “this team would not have continued to have this success and be top competitors in the state. Because of her, we are able to practice all winter in spite of the rain and snow; few teams have that privilege.”
Yes, thank you, Mary Gallagher, and thank you coach Winters.
■ In-hand obstacle relay— Robbins, O’Meara-Crowell, Carley Lundgren, Lena Sharpe and Anne Meek.
■ Canadian flags —Clara Duncan, Robbins, Lundgren, Meek and Angie Pace.
■ Team sorting — Robbins and Duncan.
■ Drill team — Robbins, Lundgren, Sharpe, Meek, Justine Roads, Matisen Anders, Kyla Gabriel, Duncan, Pace, and O’Meara-Crowell.
■ Working pairs — Robbins and O’Meara.
■ Birangle — Lundgren and Meek.
INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE EVENTS
■ Showmanship — O’Meara-Crowell, bronze.
■ In-hand trail — Anders, first alternate.
■ Trail — O’Meara-Crowell, gold; Robbins, first alternate; Roads, second alternate.
■ Working rancher — Robbins, bronze.
■ Stock seat — O’Meara, bronze; Roads, second alternate.
■ Jumping — Sharpe, gold; Gabriel, bronze.
■ Dressage — Sharpe, silver.
INDIVIDUAL GAMES EVENTS
■ Poles — Duncan, gold; Robbins, silver.
■ Figure eight — Robbins, bronze; Duncan, state qualifier.
■ Flags — Duncan, silver.
■ Keyhole — Duncan, state qualifier.
■ Barrels — Meek, bronze; Duncan, state qualifier.
■ Breakaway — Meek, bronze.
Peninsula Junior Rodeo results from last month’s Puyallup Spring Fair:
Pee Wee Division
■ Barrel race — Jai-Lynn Taylor; first.
■ Pole bending — Taylor, third.
■ Goat tying — Taylor, fourth.
■ Dummy roping — Rhett Wilson, fifth.
■ Barrel Race: Ally Billings, first; Kaitlyn Meek, fifth; Emily VanAusdle, sixth.
■ Pole bending: VanAusdle, first.
■ Goat tying: K. Meek, fourth.
■ Steer daubing: K. Meek, third.
■ Breakaway roping: Wyatt Billings, second.
■ Breakaway roping: Kenzi Hendricks, second.
■ Goat tying: A. Meek, third.
■ Calf roping: Garth McCaleb, first.
■ Shute dogging: McCaleb, first.
■ Open team roping: Garth McCalem/Matt Olson, third.
■ 9 a.m. Saturday: Open Schooling Show at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Port Townsend. Performance classes start at 9 a.m. Western games will follow after performance. Performance classes are $5 each, Western games $4 each. Phone Mona at 360-643-1574.
■ 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday: JEA Barn Dance featuring Joe Crecca & the Homewreckers plus silent auction at Chimacum Grange, 9572 Rhody Drive. Pre-order tickets at www.jefferonequistrian.org. All ages welcome. Tickets are $20 at the door, $10 for youths 15 and younger. For questions, email summer firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 360-531-1726.
■ Noon Saturday: Horse camp for kids 6-12 at Chimacum Creek Farm, 611 Ole Torkelson Road, Chimacum. Phone Paula Stingle at 360-710-5812.
■ 7 p.m. Friday, May 13: BCH Buckhorn Range Chapter meeting at Tri-Area Community Center.
■ 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 14: Play Day and Tack/Farm/Garden and rummage sale at Chimacum Saddlery, & Tack; hosted by Buckhorn Range. 1091 Chimacum Road, Port Hadlock; phone Bethal Moore at 360-554-0402.
■ Noon May 14: Jackpot barrels & poles, 5 p.m. Cow sorting, 6:30 p.m. Potluck and bonfire at Chimacum Saddlery, 1091 Chimacum Road, Port Hadlock.
■ May 14: Discovery Pony Club Tack Sale has been canceled.
■ May 14-15: Jefferson County’s 4-H Horse Project’s biannual Equine Dental Clinic with Dr. Richard Vetter, Performance Equine Dentistry, at Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Spectators welcome to watch and learn. To schedule your horse, email Betty Mysak at email@example.com.
■ 10 a.m. Saturday, May 21: Back Country Horsemen ride at Miller Peninsula. Phone Tom Mix 360-582-0460.
Directions: Go east on U.S. Highway 2.8 miles past 7 Cedars Casino and turn north (left) onto Pierce Road. Turn right at the “Y” gate and follow the road through another gate at the tower. Parking is in the open area, with more parking at end of road and room to turn around. State Park land: Key is required for gates.
■ Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 22: Equine Bodywork Exploration at Chimacum Creek Farms, $25. Phone Paula Stingle at 360-710-5812.
■ May 28-29. PSHA Game Show at Quarter Moon Ranch on West Runion Road in Carlsborg. Saturday start time 10 a.m., Sunday 9 a.m. Will be rescheduled if rained out. Phone Waynora Martin at 360-683-6902.
■ Freedom Farms Summer Camps. Phone Mary Gallagher at 360-457-4897. Located at 493 Spring Road in Port Angeles.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks in advance. You can also write Griffiths at PDN, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.