FEELING THE MIGHT and power of their mighty steeds beneath them, a handful of local riders showed they are among the best of the Pacific Northwest in Western horse patterned games events.
Eight Peninsula Patterned Speed Horse Association members qualified for the interstate finals, an annual competition between the top 10 Western games riders from Washington PSHA and Western Horsemen of Oregon.
Started in 1957, the annual competition involves 10 individual and seven team events.
This year’s final score was Oregon with 1621.5 and Washington with 1440.5, leaving both states tied for winning 28 times each.
Port Angeles’ blazing-hot junior division rider Kynzie Hendricks, riding her aptly named Hottie, was this year’s pole-bending champion with a time of 21.064 seconds.
The team of Ady Crosby and Kammi Short were champions in two-man, three-barrel flags with a time of 17.822 and finishing two-man stake race in 23.856.
And although she lives in Cashmere, I’d like to give a shoutout to friend Lesa Bland and her horse Yippie Skippy for their fantastic senior division barrel race in 14.478 that earned them the championship. Way to go, Lesa!
Results for the Olympic Peninsula riders:
■ Tyler Decker: Figure eight, second; barrels, seventh; flags, ninth.
■ Kynzie: Pole-bending, first; figure eight, eighth.
■ Ady: Two-man, three-barrel flags, first; two-man stake, first; flags, 12th; team flags, fourth.
■ Waynora Martin: Flags, eighth; two-man stake, eighth; pole-bending, fifth; figure eight, ninth; barrels, 12th.
■ Dan Dickson: Two-man stake, eighth.
■ Sam Parks: Team flags, fourth; two-man, three-barrel flags, 14th.
■ Pam Crosby: Team flags, fourth; two-man, three-barrel flags, 14th.
Board chairman Brian Pettyjohn tells me Eyes That Smile, the nonprofit equine-rescue organization based in Sequim, has found a new way to help starved, abused and neglected horses taken in by rescue operations across the country by organizing the North American Hay Bank.
During a recent local animal welfare event hosted by Vision Gardens, he said, he received $750 in hay bank donations.
The first came from a woman asking whether she could donate hay money to the Missouri Forget Me Not Stable in Linn Creek, Mo., and Brian happily told her, “You got it.”
“If rescue operation is 501(c)3, then all that needs to happen is the organization (or a benefactor) needs to pay the $25 registration fee, and then donated hay money will go to the organization of choice,” Brian said.
“This woman paid the $25 fee plus her donation,” he said. “After that, it was just boom, boom, boom.
“By the end of the day, it all came together, and we raised several hundred dollars,” he added.
“Maybe it was just luck, but I think luck is nothing more than the juxtaposition of preparation and opportunity.”
Added Brian: “One of the reasons I decided to start the North American Hay Bank is to get contributions to purchase hay and to work as a colleagues with other equine-rescue operations.
“We want to be part of an equine rescue community who are all helping each other and working together for the cause because good hay is vital to the well-being of horses.”
He noted that good hay is one of the greatest expenses in horse-rescue organizations, and a lack of money to pay for hay is often the reason an owner starts neglecting, starving and/or trying to get rid of his or her horse.
It’s not all about donating to other rescue operations though; as Brian pointed out, Eyes That Smile is in need of donations, too.
“One guy just wanted to donate $25 to us, and that was great,” he added.
Eyes That Smile
To date, he said, Eyes That Smile, an organization started by Sequim’s Diane Royall and Valerie Jackson, has rescued more than 100 horses and has rehabilitated and found new homes for most.
Of course, new horses are coming in all the time, so donations for feed, veterinarian and farrier services are always needed.
The organization recently got its 501(c)3 tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service and can offer tax receipts for donations.
Donations are tax-deductible and can be sent to Eyes That Smile, P.O. Box 252, Sequim, WA 98382.
More information on the organization and adoptable horses and other animals can be found at www.eyesthatsmile.org.
For more information on the North American Hay Bank, phone Brian at 360-417-5188.
■ Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday — Cowmanship class at Freedom Farm, 493 Spring Road, Agnew. Phone Mary Gallagher at 360-457-4897.
■ Noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22 — Adult Horsemanship Class at Freedom Farm. Phone Gallagher for more information.
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.