KAREN GRIFFITHS’ HORSEPLAY COLUMN: Sequim, Port Angeles score big at state meet

OH, HOW I remember with fondness — and chilliness — the years my mother, Deonne Hanson, and I attended Washington State High School Equestrian Teams competitions, while my niece Brooke Stromberg was on Sequim’s team.

Actually, my foremost memories of the three district meets — traditionally held January through December — is of shivering in freezing weather.

At the first meet, all the prepared parents had those seat cushions to make sitting on the bleachers more comfortable, lots of blankets, hand warmers, soup and coffee in thermoses, and portable propane heaters.

Being novices, we had brought some towels to sit on (which does nothing to warm your buns when sitting on frigid wooden bleachers) and blankets that weren’t even wool.

Chilly newbies

Yeah, we and all the other newbies were chilled to the bone that first meet; however, while fully prepared for the rest of the meets, I was still cold — except when rooting for members of our team.

Nothing warms a body up faster than cheering for a favorite competitor.

The final event of the first three-day meet we attended was the drill team competition.

Let me tell you, when Sequim’s 10-member team entered the arena with horses prancing and performing in sync, I got goose bumps.

It was so beautiful.

In my mind, their performance rivaled the beauty of the horses performing in Cavalia — which I attended Jan. 28 with friend Z Barker.

Cavalia, described as a “lavish orchestration of multimedia and performing arts charged with poetry and pure emotion in a dream-like virtual setting,” according to its website, combines Cirque du Soleil acrobatics, dance, aerial artistry and live music with magnificent horses.

Z was so enthralled she said she wanted to “run away and join the show as a groomer to those beautiful stallions.”

I reminded her she had four equines, two kids and a husband who needed her at home.

The show is playing in Seattle until Feb. 26. Tickets are available at www.cavalia.net.

This year, the Sequim drill team has only four members, so it is competing under Working Fours.

[For a photo of the Sequim team at this year’s competition, visit www.peninsuladailynews.com.]

Regular drill teams consist of six or more riders.

I had to chuckle when I read Sequim equestrian team coach Terri Winters’ summary of this year’s first meet:

“Under extremely cold weather, Sequim and Port Angeles High School Equestrian Teams participated in the first meet of the season.”

She congratulated team members Kat Afton, Matisen Anders, Kyla Gabriel, Anne Meek, Justine Roads, Christina Overby, Eilena Sharpe and Devyn Vining on a job well done.

She gave a “big thank-you to all the parents for their support and help, for sitting for hours in the cold weather and hauling your kids and horses, plus taking pictures.”

Hard work

She also acknowledged her team for its hard work at all the practices and meets, adding: “You are the ones that make this team a success. Thank you, too, Mary Gallagher at Freedom Farms, for the use of your beautiful arena for our practices.”

Freedom Farms donates arena time to both the PA and Sequim teams.

I will provide a photo and more comments from the PA team after the second WAHSET meet Feb. 25-26.

Sequim results

■ Drill Working Fours, first: Sharpe (drill captain), Anders, Overby and Roads.

■ IHOR Team, second: Sharpe, Anders, Overby and Roads.

■ Working Pairs, second: Anders and Overby; 10th, Afton and Vining; 10th, Sharpe and Meek.

■ Canadian Flags, fourth: Meek, Overby, Roads and Sharpe.

■ Cow Sorting Team, sixth: Afton and Vining.

All the girls had top-15 placings in their various individual events, including:

■ In-Hand Trail, first: Sharpe.

■ Dressage: Afton, first; Sharpe, third; Gabriel, fourth; Vining, 10th; and Roads, 13th.

■ Showmanship: Overby, fourth.

■ In-Hand Trail: Sharpe, first.

■ Trail: Roads, ninth; Overby, 11th. Gabriel, 11th; and Anders, 14th.

■ Working Rancher: Overby, sixth.

■ Reining: Anders, fifth.

■ Stock Seat: Overby, third; and Roads, fifth.

■ Hunt Seat: Roads, fourth; Sharpe, seventh; Vining, ninth; Gabriel, ninth; and Overby, 14th.

■ Hunt Seat Over Fences: Sharpe, second; and Gabriel, fifth.

■ Saddle Seat: Gabriel, third.

■ Poles: Meek, third.

■ Barrels: Meek, fourth.

■ Figure Eight: Meek, second.

■ Steer Daubing: Meek, second.

■ Flags: Afton, 13th.

Port Angeles equestrian team coach Manon Heistand lauds her team of Allison Breitbach, Rachel Breitbach, Lydia Cornelson, Ashley Farmer, Lauren Gallacci, Nathan Gentry, Suzanne Heistand, Kynzie Hendricks, Stephanie Lindquist, Balee Palmer, Olivia Pluard, Katie Rivers, Ingrid Souza, Paige Swordmaker, Emily VanAusdle and Marissa Wilson.

PA results

■ Drill Team: Allison, Rachel, Ashley, Lauren, Suzanne, Emily and Marissa, second place.

■ Working Pairs: Lydia and Marissa, 15th place.

■ Canadian Flags Team: Lydia, Nathan, Paige and Marissa, fifth place.

■ IHOR: Team A, Suzanne, Stephanie, Olivia and Marissa, fourth; Team B, Allison, Rachel, Ashley and Lauren, eighth; and Team C, Lydia, Balee, Ingrid and Paige, 12th.

■ Biwrangle: Kynzie and Emily, fourth; Nathan and Ashley, 15th; Lauren and Suzanne, 19th; Allison and Paige, 21st; Stephanie and Marissa, 24th; and Lydia and Ingrid, 33rd.

■ Barrels: Kynzie, seventh; Paige, 19th; Nathan, 22nd; Marissa, 34th; Stephanie, 35th; Emily, 36th; and Lydia, 42nd.

■ Figure Eight: Kynzie, sixth; Emily, 11th; Stephanie, 18th; Nathan, 27th; Marissa, 31st; Lydia, 38th; and Paige, 41st.

■ Keyhole: Kynzie, second; Emily, sixth; Stephanie, 14th; Lydia, 27th; and Marissa, 30th.

■ Poles: Kynzie, first; Stephanie, seventh; Marissa, 16th; Nathan, 29th; and Lydia, 30th.

■ Reining: Suzanne, first; Ashley, fifth; and Rachel, eighth.

■ Working Rancher: Suzanne, seventh; Olivia, ninth; and Ashley and Marissa, 10th.

■ Trail: Olivia, first; Suzanne, fourth; Lauren, 13th; and Balee, 23rd.

■ Equitation Over Fences: Katie, first.

■ Showmanship: Olivia, seventh; Paige, 10th; Lauren, 11th; Balee, 14th; Katie, 18th; Ingrid, 20th; and Lydia, 21st.

■ Huntseat: Suzanne, first; Lauren, 11th; and Katie, 14th.

■ Stockseat: Suzanne, sixth; Olivia, eighth; Lauren, ninth; Allison, 12th; Paige, 15th; Balee, 19th; and Rachel, 25th.

■ Dressage: Katie, second.

WAHSET state finals will be May 10-13 in Lynden.


■ 8:30 a.m. Sunday — The Peninsula Performance Horse Association is hosting a FUNDAY schooling show at Bakers Stables, 164 Four Winds Road in Port Angeles. Included are Reining, Showmanship/Halter, Trail/ trail in Hand, Western/English Pleasure and Games. There is a flat fee of $25 plus a free lunch and a chance for a door prize. One lucky winner will receive a free all-day pass to its March 11 schooling show.

For more information, phone Terri Winters at 360-460-5400 or Sue Carver at 360-683-7538.

■ 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday — Healing Circle for Women at Freedom Farm. In this intimate circle of women, release energies that may be holding you back from your best. Led by Cristina Oliver, learn exercises — first with yourself and then with your horse — will help you discover a renewed life force.

No prior experience with horses is required. The only requirement is a desire to move toward being and feeling your best.

$25 charge. For details or to register, phone Oliver at 360-504-2547.

■ 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 — Freedom Farm Schooling Show. Freedom Farms is located on Spring Road off Old Olympic Highway in Agnew. Phone 360-457-4897, email freedomf@olypen.com or visit www.freedomfarms.net.

■ Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19 — Cow Working Fun Day at Freedom Farms.

■ 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 — Back Country Horseman Peninsula chapter ride at Robin Hill Park, Sequim. Coffee and doughnuts provided. Phone Judy Paty at 206-999- 6228. Visit www.pbchw.org for changes or additions.

Peninsula chapter meetings have changed to the fourth Friday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles.

■ Noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26 — Adult workshop at Freedom Farms. Adults welcome for a fun afternoon with horses. For more details or to attend, phone 360-457-4897.

■ Free online Hoof Care Course from Equine Soundness. To sign up, send the following information to info@equinesoundness.com: your name, mailing address, city, state, phone and email. Equine Soundness will then send you an invitation to the course.

For more information, visit www.equinesoundness.com or phone 803-647-1200.


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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