The Port Angeles High School equestrian team members are

The Port Angeles High School equestrian team members are

KAREN GRIFFITHS’ HORSEPLAY COLUMN: Port Angeles, ‘satellite’ riders qualify for state

MY LAST COLUMN was all about Sequim High School’s first Washington High School Equestrian Team competition, with nary a mention of Port Angeles’ WAHSET team.

The teams came home Sunday night from another successful but exhausting three days of competition.

PA’s team coach is Manon Heistand, its games coach is Bridget Stumbaugh, drill coach is Haley Hodgin and my parent contact is Tina VanAusdle.

Team members are Hunter Coburn, Ashley Farmer, Paige Swordmaker, Lydia Corneilson, Rachel Breitbach, Katie Rivers, Rielly Reed, Emily VanAusdle, Micayla Weider, Lauren Gallacci, Ciara Gentry, Cassidy Hodgen and Kynzie Hendricks.

New this year to the team are “satellite riders,” or those whose own high school doesn’t have an adult willing to donate their time, money and energy to coach an equestrian team (a season could easily cost those volunteer coaches a couple thousand dollars out of their own pocket).

If a student/rider wants to compete in WAHSET, he or she can petition another team to ride under its school banner.

Most of the time, that coach has an active part in coaching those students, and the student is expected to travel whatever distance it takes to team practice.

However, as in the case with Kitsap riders competing under PA’s team, the student can request to compete under independent status and thus doesn’t take part in team practices.

If he/she doesn’t ride well, that could add a lot more stress to the coach.

In this case, it seems to be working out well for both the PA and Kitsap riders.

There are seven riders from Kitsap riding under the PA banner for WAHSET this year.

They are Kat Afton, Mc­Canna Sanders, Kayla Bryan, Ashlee Thomas, Megan Donald, Olivia Krol and Lily Masters.

Tina told me: “We are happy to have the Kitsap equestrians with us. They bring a lot to our team.

“The parents are all very nice and jump in to help. We all work well together.”

She said several riders already have qualified for state finals, which means they’ve placed in the top 10 in the state in their event.

To have qualified already, it’s likely they’ve placed in the top three or four in the first two meets.

They have one more qualifying match to go this year.

The state finals will be held in Moses Lake from May 16-19.

Congratulations to these PA High School riders:

Meet 1, Jan. 25-27, Top 10

■ Hunt seat — Katie, first; Olivia, fifth.

■ Dressage — Kat, first; Micayla, third; Katie, fourth; Olivia, 10th.

■ Showmanship — Cassidy, fourth.

■ Equitation over fences — Katie, first; Micayla, second; Kat, fifth.

■ Working rancher — Rachel, sixth; Megan Donald, 10th.

■ Reining — Ashley, sixth; Lauren, seventh; Rachel, seventh.

■ Poles — Kynzie, first; Rielly, third.

■ Flags — Rielly, second; Lydia, seventh.

■ Figure 8 — Rielly, fourth; Kynzie, ninth; Ashley, 10th.

■ Barrels — Kynzie, third; Rielly, seventh.

■ Steer daubing — Emily, first; Ciara, fourth.

■ Breakaway roping — Emily, first.

■ Drill Team — Rachel, Ciara, Ashley and Cassidy, second.

■ In-hand obstacle relay — Rachel, Ashley, Lauren and Paige, first; Hunter, Cassidy, Katie and Micayla, third.

■ Birangle — Emily and Ashley, sixth; Rielly and Micayla, eighth.

■ Working pairs — Emily and Micayla, seventh.

■ Huntseat — Katie, first; Olivia, fifth.

■ Team cow penning — Lauren and Kynzie, seventh.

Meet 2, Feb. 22-24, Top 10

■ Birangle — Lauren and Kynzie, eighth; Rielly and Micayla, ninth.

■ Drill — Rachael, Ashley, Ciara and Cassidy, fourth.

■ IHOR — Paige, Ashley, Rachael and Lauren, first; Micayla, Cassidy, Katie and Kayla, fifth.

■ Working pairs — Megan and Lily, ninth.

■ Stock seat — McCanna, third.

■ Working rancher — Megan, eighth.

■ Hunt seat — Kat, sixth; Katie, ninth.

■ Reining — Rachael, sixth; Ashley, seventh; Megan, ninth; Lauren, 10th.

■ Dressage — Katie, fifth; Kat, sixth; Micayla, seventh; Olivia, eighth.

■ Poles — Emily, first; Kynzie, fourth.

■ Keyhole — Rielly, 10th.

■ Equitation over fences — Micayla, second; Katie, fourth; Kat, sixth.

■ Figure 8 — Emily, fourth.

■ Barrels — Emily, first; Kynzie, fifth.

■ Steer daubing — Emily, fifth

■ Breakaway roping — Emily, second.


■ 9 a.m. until finish Monday — Saddle-fitting clinic by Dawn Anderson at Freedom Farms in Agnew. If interested in scheduling time with her and your horse, phone Mary Gallagher at 360-457-4897 or visit Dawn’s website is

■ 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday — 1616 Monroe Road in Port Angeles.

The team is hosting a garage sale to raise money to help with paying stall and cattle fees, and to buy uniforms.

Anyone who has donations or wants to support can phone Chris Reed at 360-808-8101 or Tina VanAusdle at 360-460-0791.

■ 9 a.m. April 20 — Olympic National Park’s annual Barn Day at the Elwha Ranger Station, Elwha River Valley.

Learn about backcountry travel through Olympic National Park, with workshops on packing, trail equipment, Leave No Trace program and trail etiquette.

Lunch provided by Back Country Horsemen.

Contact Larry Lack, ONP trail supervisor, at 360-565-3178 or


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 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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