KAREN GRIFFITHS’ PENINSULA HORSEPLAY: Horse, newest rider share bond

Duncan Parks rides Just in Time.

Duncan Parks rides Just in Time.

SEE TIME FLY, an 18-year-old gelding, is a multitalented horse who, in the past, has helped his riders win several All-Around-Champion saddles in Junior Rodeo. As recently as last year, he won a Poles State Championship in Patterned Speed Horse Association for his previous owner, Shannon Robbins.

Duncan is 6-year-old Duncan Parks, who has a passion for horses and barrel racing.

I first heard about Time when I heard about a then-13-year-old Nick “Bucky” Dickson rising early in the morning to practice rodeo and gaming events before going off to school. Soon, Time and Nick become superstars in Pacific Northwest Junior Rodeo competitions.

Time then was sold to Ashley Angevine. While Time flourished under Nick’s aggressive riding style, he gradually learned to respond to Ashley’s gentler, feminine touch, all the while keeping his competitive drive to help Ashley excel as a member of the Port Angeles High School equestrian team.

Time then helped Sequim High School equestrian team competitor Shannon Robbins win accolades.

Presently, it looks as if Time’s found his permanent and final home with Duncan’s grandparents, Sam and Donna Parks, in Agnew.

The senior Parkses are longtime, active supporters of Peninsula Junior Rodeo, and Sam Parks competes in PSHA events. It will be years before Duncan outgrows Time, and by then, Time will become little sister Samantha’s horse.

Though Duncan doesn’t live with his grandparents, grandma Donna says, “Time gives out a nicker every time he sees him coming.”

I have to say I never witnessed Time bonding with his previous owners to the depth he has with Duncan. Perhaps it’s because Duncan himself seems to have special connection with horses. I recall Duncan as a toddler who couldn’t get enough of Grandpa Sam leading him around on his big horse.

As soon as Duncan could sit in his saddle without help, Sam started leading him through events on his little black Shetland pony, Shadow.

Shortly, Duncan was steering Shadow through the course by himself. After a successful race season last year, it was apparent Duncan was ready for a faster mount.

Enter Time.

I’ve seen them compete in two shows this year so far, and both times I was amazed to see Time slowing down to a pace Duncan could handle. It looks to me as if the horse keeps one eye on Duncan, even slowing his gait when sensing the boy is off-center.

Mind you, the horse is still running through the events, and Duncan has fallen off a few times when Time has kicked off too fast rounding a barrel or pole, but the tough little cowboy gets right back on his seemingly apologetic horse.

Earlier this year, Duncan posted a 9.4-second in Cal Stake, a 27-second pole run and an 18-second barrel run. Fast times for such a young man.

To watch them run is to see what the joy of the sport is all about: a kid and his horse taking care of each other, having a blast and learning.

And this is quality family time for Duncan. Nearly every weekend, you’ll find the entire family — grandparents, parents and little sister — at the arena helping to get the horses ready and work the arena.

“We’re so proud of him,” says Duncan’s dad, Jamie Parks. “He rides hard and has a great attitude about everything he’s doing out there.

“We’re really lucky to get to spend so much time as a family and watch our kids do something they love. And Samantha is starting to catch on. If Duncan doesn’t watch out, she’ll be catching him before he knows it.”

Duncan and Time will be competing Saturdays and Sundays, July 7 and 8 and July 14 and 15 at the Crosby arena in Agnew.

Details are on the PSHA website, http://www.patternedspeedhorse.com/Calendar.

Events

— Sunday — 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eyes that Smile Open House, 555 Roupe Road. Head south on Hooker Road in Carlsborg. A quarter-mile down, Roupe Road is to the left.

For more information, phone 360-457-4677 or visit the group’s Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/c2kt6yx.

— Sunday, July 21-22 and Aug. 4 — Performance Horse shows at Clallam County Fairgrounds. Contact Maria Rentas 360-457-4623.

— July 7-8 — Mitzi Summers’ Bitless Bridle and Centered Riding Clinic sponsored by Jefferson Equestrian Association at Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

Visit www.jeffersonequestrian.org for more information. Preregister by contacting Summer Martell at summermartell@hotmail.com or 360-531-1726.

— July 10-13 — 13th annual Jefferson County Horse Project Horse Camp. Open to both adults and children older than 8, beginner to advanced riders. Classes include English (dressage and jumping) and Western games. Limited room. Phone Emma White Thunder at 360-531-4341.

— July 14-15 — Jefferson County Pre-Fair open horse show at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

On Saturday, performance classes begin 9 a.m. On Sunday, Western games begin 10 a.m. start.

For entries postmarked by July 6, performance classes are $6 each and Western games $5. Add $1 to each class day of show.

Forms available at www.4hclover.com.

— Aug. 3-5 — Joe Wolter Cow Clinic at Freedom Farms. Learn key elements of working livestock, including positioning, timing, pressure points, control and horsemanship.

Preregister with Mary Gallagher at 360-457-4897.

For more information, http://www.joewolter.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 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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