KAREN GRIFFITHS’ HORSEPLAY COLUMN: 4-H drill teams ride to victory at fair

The County Mounties and Silver Spurs 4-H drill teams performed at the Jefferson County Fair last weekend. From left are Kalyssa Strayer

The County Mounties and Silver Spurs 4-H drill teams performed at the Jefferson County Fair last weekend. From left are Kalyssa Strayer

>ON SATURDAY, I asked my mother to accompany me to a photo shoot of the 4-H drill teams at the Jefferson County Fair.

There, I noticed many other grandparents sitting in the bleachers and cheering their grandkids on.

Thanks to the benevolence of my parents, Robert and Deonne Hanson, my nieces, nephews and I have had the privilege of owning, trail riding and showing our horses for the past 17 years in Sequim.

Sadly, my father passed away at home Aug. 6 of congestive heart failure.

Frequently, when sitting outside in the sun on the deck, he used to thank me for bringing horses into his life, for the joy of watching his then-young grandchildren gallop their ponies in the backyard and, later, simply watching the horses graze in the pasture (I have my own house on the property).

My parents were among the many supportive and generous grandparents who are themselves good role models and who forged strong, powerful and long-lasting relationships with their grandchildren.

Without them, extracurricular activities — be it horses, music or after-school sports — wouldn’t be possible for many youths.

Here’s to all the supportive grandparents out there who are helping turn dreams into reality.

Drill team

Jefferson County 4-H Horse and Pony Project manager and 4-H leader Tanya Schweitzer told me this year’s 4-H members were the “most enjoyable and best group I’ve ever had.”

Jefferson County has two 4-H horse groups, Silver Spurs and County Mounties.

Silver Spurs members Anne Meeks and Eilena Sharpe also compete with Sequim High School’s Washington State High School Equestrian Team, or WAHSET.

Currently, their school doesn’t have a team.

Last year, under then-coach Terri Winters’ guidance, they competed in drill team competitions.

They enjoyed them so much they came home and shared what they had learned with fellow equestrians.

Special awards

Thus, for the first time this year, Jefferson Fair attendees were treated to two drill team performances.

Way to go, girls!

In addition to winning ribbons, special awards went to:

■ Most Improved Rider: Zoe Justis.

■ Most Improved Attitude: Cassie Moore.

■ Best Sportsmanship: Enomi Hawke.

■ Most Helpful: Kelle Settje.

■ Most Helpful Horseless Member: Karley Caseber.

■ Super Mucker: Karynna Elchman.

■ Most Improved Confidence: Kalysa Strayer.

■ Sticky Butt Award: Chelsea Smith.

■ Miss Congeniality: Heidi Schleiger.

Minis

Another fair first this year was Sunday’s Mini Horse Show.

Mini horse expert and showman Lisa Hopper brought six horses for youths and her to use, plus three more other minis showed up to compete.

Lisa’s mini horse Fernando and she won high-point performance, and with her mini, Pickles, won reserve high point in games.

She said the performance was a great success, and it was a “very relaxing and fun time with friends.”

Youths Amanda Campbell, Joslyn Milsap, Haley Bishop and Lacy Bishop all did an excellent job in their respective age divisions.

Amanda, showing Harley, was high-point performance and tied for high-point games.

Joslyn, with Peanut, got high-point performance and tied in games.

Haley, with Peanut, won high point in performance and reserve in games.

Lacey and Harley won high-point performance and reserve in games.

In two weeks, Lisa will haul her minis to the Kitsap Fair, where she said that last year, more than 40 minis competed, so “it’s a really big deal.”

Hopefully next year, Jefferson will have more minis competing, too.

Going bitless

My neighbor and author Lisa Preston has a new book out, Bitless Bridles.

In it, she explains the art and science of bitless riding, plus how to make inexpensive bosals, chin-slips, Indian hackamores and halters.

It’s available through the publisher at www.alpinepub.com/horse_books.html or wherever books are sold.

Events

■ Thursday-Sunday — Clallam County Fair 4-H horse show

■ Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday — Cow working class at Freedom Farm, 493 Spring Road, Agnew. Sign up with Mary Gallagher at 360-457-4897.

■ Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 24-25 — Peninsula Junior Rodeo and Sandy Bailey Memorial Fundraiser at Clallam County Fairgrounds. Phone Tina VanAusdle at 360-460-0791.

■ Aug. 24-25 — Joe Wolters’ horsemanship and cow working clinic at Freedom Farm. Phone Gallagher at 360-457-4897.

■ Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 31-Sept. 1 — Freedom Farm’s Last Chance Fun Camp. Phone Gallagher at 360-457-4897.

________

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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