Libby Swanberg and Sydney Hutton took part in the Senior Salute, which lauds the accomplishments of graduating high school seniors and bids them a successful future. (Photo by Katie Salmon-Newton)

Libby Swanberg and Sydney Hutton took part in the Senior Salute, which lauds the accomplishments of graduating high school seniors and bids them a successful future. (Photo by Katie Salmon-Newton)

HORSEPLAY: Sequim equestrian team wins, sets record

SEQUIM HIGH SCHOOL equestrian team is certainly having a winning season!

At their second Washington State High School Equestrian Team District meet, Sequim’s team of Taylor Lewis, Kennady Gilbertson, Sydney Hutton, Celbie Karjalainen, Lily Meyer, Katelynn Middleton-Sharpe, Joanna Seelye, Paige Reed, Asha Swanberg and Libby Swanberg succeeded in placing first in 15 events, and second in seven events . Plus there was a dazzling record-breaking run in Steer Daubing of just .96 seconds by Kennady, and her awesome horse Annie, that shattered the district record of 1.25, tying the state WASHET record set in 2013!

Coach Ady Crosby’s mom, Pam Crosby, gave me the heads up that in addition to the Sequim team achieving 15 1st- place wins, they also won 1st place in all 10 of the cow and gaming

“I’m pretty sure this is the first time this has ever happened, not just for the Sequim team, but in District 4 — and probably all the districts for that matter,” she said, “The team is talented, and also coached by a talented first-year head coach. I know I’m her mom, but it’s a fact. Lol.”

I’ve got some very fond memories of years ago traveling with the Crosby clan with then teenage Ady, Pam and her parents Shirley and Ted (who has sadly passed away) Clara Duncan, Mishel Arther (Gallaway) and my niece Brooke Stromberg in their motor home, for both Patterned Speed Horse and WASHSET events in Washington and Oregon.

Coach Ady still holds State Record in Individual Flags with a time of 7.920 seconds in 2006.

Fast fact: In 2019 Cassie Ann Moore of Chimacum, competing on Port Angeles’ team, holds the District 4 record for Breakaway roping in 2.59 seconds. That same year ,Cassie and Zoe Thompson set the record in Team Sorting in 51.03 seconds. In 2013, Port Angeles’ Kynzie Hendricks set the record District record in Figure 8 with a time of 17.915 seconds, along with Pole Bending in 2013 with a time of 20.760.

For years Port Angeles, as well as Sequim, had thriving WASHET teams. Currently (and sadly) the Port Angeles high school team has no one volunteering to coach it, and no one locally competing on it. Ironically, PA High School continues to have a team. How? Well, last year PA riders were able to co-op with Kitsap High School to compete on its team. This year KHS decided to no longer back its local high school equestrians, so that team, coached by the Kitsap coach, with practices held in Kitsap, is now competing under PA’s banner.

Off kilter

Despite breaking a record, and coming in first in several events, apparently in her first solo speed event off Kennady flew off her horse and landed on the ground. According to her mom, administrative coach Misty Gilbertson, her horse Annie was confused in the individual pole racing event after she ran an off-set pole pattern the night before for the Versatility team competition (where they placed 1st). “The next day, Annie headed one way and Kennady another, which led to a wreck that could have been far worse than it was,” said Misty. “Kennady dusted herself off and went on to earn several top placings, and she also broke the district steer daubing record of 1.25 seconds with a 0.96 seconds, tying the state record set in 2013 — proud of you Kennady!”

Misty said she was proud of the entire team, adding, “All the girls worked really hard, and worked so well together as a team supporting one another.”

Results from meet two, held Feb. 22-25 at the Grays Harbor Fairgrounds in Elma:

Performance Events:

Dressage — Sydney Hutton 3rd; Katelynn Middleton-Sharpe 4th.

Saddle Seat Equitation — Katelynn 1st; Sydney 2nd.

Hunt Seat Over Fences — Sydney 2nd.

Hunt Seat Equitation— Sydney 6th.

Stock Seat — Taylor Lewis 1st; Celbie Karjalainen 4th.

Showmanship — Taylor 5th, Katelynn and Celbie tied for 8th.

In-Hand Obstacle Relay (IHOR) — Celbie, Lily Meyer, Katelynn & Taylor 6th.

Trail Equitation — Celbie 12th.

Reining — Libby Swanberg 1st; Taylor 2nd.

In-Hand Trail — Sydney 9th.

Working Rancher — Libby 2nd.

Working Pairs — Libby and Asha Swanberg 1st; Joanna Seelye and Lily Meyer 5th.

Drill Team Freestyle 4’s — Lily, Taylor, Joanna, Katelynn, & Sydney (Team Captain) 1st.

Timed Events

Bi-wrangle — Paige Reed & Kennady 1st; Libby & Asha 2nd; Joanna & Katelynn 11th; Sydney & Celbie 12th; Lily & Taylor 16th.

Team Canadian Flags —Libby, Kennady, Paige, Asha 1st.

Team Versatility — Libby, Celbie, Kennady, Paige 1st.

Pole Bending — Paige 1st; Asha 8th; Joanna 18th; Lily 19th.

Figure 8 — Asha 1st; Libby 3rd; Paige 4th; Katelynn 6th; Joanna 16th; Celbie 19th.

Individual Flags — Libby 1st; Joanna 2nd; Paige 3rd; Kennady 4th; Asha 7th.

Keyhole — Kennady 1st; Libby 2nd; Katelynn 3rd; Joanna 6th; Taylor 17th.

Barrels — Paige 1st; Celbie 7th; Joanna 14th; Kennady 16th; Asha 22nd; Taylor 23rd; Lily 25th.

Cattle Events

Breakaway Roping — Libby 1st.

Steer Daubing — Kennady 1st; Asha 2nd; Paige 3rd; Katelynn 10th.

Team Sorting — Libby & Asha 1st; Kennady & Paige 4th; Sydney and Celbie 13th; Joanna & Katelynn 15th; Lily & Taylor 19th.

I can’t wait to see how well the team performs at the third and final meet of the season, April 11 - 14 at Grays Harbor County Fairgrounds. With high scores such as these it’s a given the Sequim Team will be well represented at the State Finals, attentively set for May 16-19 at Grant County Fairgrounds. More information about WAHSET, including definitions and rules for each event, can be found online at wahset.info.

Olympic Peninsula Riders have got a lot going on this winter! In addition to lots of riding with horse friends, many competed in an obstacle course challenge last weekend at a private arena in Sequim. After the event, organizer Judy Depree thank participators for their help and encouragement. She also received a whole bunch of compliments for putting it together, including one from Molly Dickson, who said her for the fun event, adding We are all starved for something to do with our horses!” All who ride trail-safe horses can join the fun simply by meeting up on the Facebook page, Olympic Peninsula Riders.

Freedom Farm, 493 Spring Road in Agnew, is busy getting the Farm ready for its upcoming clinic with Martin Black, March 20-24 (Wednesday to Sunday). Join them for horsemanship sessions, along with special sessions set for colt starting and cow work, and always, daily discussions with this master horseman. Also, this month’s Feet First Hoof Care class is March 31, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. To reserve your spot to ride, or to audit, contact Mary Gallagher at 360-457-4897 or MaryGallagher@freedom- farm.net.

________

Karen Griffiths’ column, Peninsula Horseplay, appears the second and fourth Saturday of each month.

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 call her at 360-460-6299.

Congratulations to Sequim High School equestrian team’s Kennady Gilbertson, and Annie, on breaking the district record of 1.25 in Steer Daubing with a time of .96 seconds, tying the state WASHET record set in 2013. (Photo by Sierrabreeze Photography)

Congratulations to Sequim High School equestrian team’s Kennady Gilbertson, and Annie, on breaking the district record of 1.25 in Steer Daubing with a time of .96 seconds, tying the state WASHET record set in 2013. (Photo by Sierrabreeze Photography)

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