Libby Swanberg , Kennady Gilbertson and Paige Reed are all smiles after attaining multiple top wins, medals and awards at WAHSET Meet 3, held at Grays Harbor Fairgrounds April 11- 14. (Photo by Katie Salmon-Newton)

Libby Swanberg , Kennady Gilbertson and Paige Reed are all smiles after attaining multiple top wins, medals and awards at WAHSET Meet 3, held at Grays Harbor Fairgrounds April 11- 14. (Photo by Katie Salmon-Newton)

HORSEPLAY: Sequim High team wins District 4 championship

OH MY, MY, but these gals can boogie!

At Meet 3, Sequim High School’s equestrian team consistently placed in the top five of 21 events —including 12 first place wins — 10 gold medals and the Washington High School Equestrian Team District 4 Small Teams Championship for the third year in a row!

At the season-end celebration, Katelynn Middleton-Sharpe won Versatility Champion, Libby Swanberg won Timed Events Versatility Champion and Asha Swanberg won Timed Events Champion; all earned silver belt buckles for their achievements. Joanna Seelye won the Exceptional Athlete award, earning a buckle as well.

“Overall, a great season, and we are so proud of each and every one of our athletes,” said coach Misty Gilbertson. “They have all worked so hard with their horses this season, and their efforts showed. The entire team can be congratulated for a very successful season!”

I don’t recall the last time this occurred, but this year the entire team — Joanna Seelye, Taylor Lewis, Kennady Gilbertson, Sydney Hutton, Celbie Karjalainen, Lily Meyer, Katelynn Middleton-Sharpe, Paige Reed, Libby and Asha Swanberg — qualified for State Finals, held in Moses Lake May 16-19. Go Sequim!

Farewell

Giving a huge thanks and shout out to Katie Salmon-Newton for all the work, mentoring, money and time she’s invested these past 11 years as Sequim’s WAHSET team’s volunteer coach! I know how much she cared for the team as a whole, along with each individual’s well-being and success. I invited Katie to send me her thoughts about her coaching years:

In 2013, Teri Winters handed over the Sequim Equestrian Team to me as my daughter Haylie entered 9th grade at SHS. Teri had invested 11 years in the team and was ready to pass it on to someone she knew would love it as much as she did. I was excited for the new opportunity, knowing I was taking it over from someone who had been very dedicated to growing the Sequim team.

The first few years, I held the head coach position by myself and had several friends help as assistant coaches, Glenda Meek, Staci Cawyer, Kristen Eshom, DyAnn Vedin and others.

Then former team members, too, as the years rolled by, including Sydney Balkan, Haylie Newton, Miranda Williams, Yana Hoesel, and Keri Tucker. It was a blessing to have all those people invest their time and talents during different seasons! After a few years, Bettina Hoesel and I shared the head coach position for multiple seasons. We had so much fun together and we worked together well — both of us having knowledge that built a strong skilled team!”

Throughout 11 years, I’ve had the privilege to Coach more than 50 different athletes and their wide array of horses. Many of them for all four of their high school years. What a blessing to have been a part of so many wonderful high school equestrian’s lives! Spending so much time together in a sport that lasts from October to May, we all get to know each other pretty well. Many great friendships were built, and I still enjoy seeing former team members and hearing about their lives any chance I get!

I can’t believe my 11th year is almost wrapping up. After 10 years as head coach, this year I filled the role of drill team coach and have mentored new head coach Ady , performance coach Natalie , and administrative coach Misty. It has taken a long time to find replacements, as it is a big commitment —no pay and a very long season — but ,I am confident that we have a great new team! I am so happy that there is a wonderful trio of ladies [Misty Gilbertson, Ady Crosby and Natalie Blankenship] to take SET on into the next 11 years!

Katie

2024 District 4 Medal winners

(High points totaled from all three meets, and all competitors, in each event):

Sydney Hutton — Gold in Jumping, Silver in Saddle Seat, Bronze in Dressage

Katelynn Middleton-Sharpe — Gold in Saddle Seat, Silver in Keyhole

Taylor Lewis — Gold in Reining, Silver in Stock Seat

Libby Swanberg — Gold in Breakaway Roping, Silver in Reining, Silver in Working Rancher, Silver in Figure 8, Silver in Individual Flags

Asha Swanberg — Gold in Pole Bending, Bronze in Figure 8, Bronze in Individual Flags, Gold in Steer Daubing

Paige Reed — Bronze in Pole Bending, Silver in Barrels

Joanna Seelye — Gold in Individual Flags

Kennady Gilbertson — Gold in Keyhole

Canadian Flags Team — Bronze to Asha, Libby, Kennady and Paige

Two-Man Bi-Wrangle Teams — Gold to Libby and Asha, Silver toKennady and Paige

Team Sorting — Gold to Libby and Asha; Silver to Kennady and Paige

Versatility Team — Gold to Asha, Celbie, Libby, Kennady and Paige

Meet 3 results:

Dressage — 2nd Sydney Hutton; 7th Katelynn Middleton-Sharpe

Saddle Seat — 1st Sydney; 2nd Katelynn

Jumping — 1st Sydney

Hunt Seat — 4th Sydney

Stock Seat — 3rd Taylor Lewis; 7th Celbie Karjalainen

Showmanship — 7th Celbie; 12th Taylor; 14th Katelynn

In-hand Obstacle Relay — 5th Celbie, Lily Meyer, Katelynn & Taylor

Reining — 1st Taylor; 2nd Libby Swanberg

In-hand Trail — 5th Taylor

Trail Equitation — 5th Celbie

Working Rancher — 3rd Libby

Working Pairs — 1st Libby & Asha Swanberg; 4th Joanna Seelye and Lily Meyer

Drill Freestyle 4’s — 1st Lily, Taylor, Joanna, Katelynn, Sydney

2-Man Bi-wrangle — 1st Libby & Asha; 4th Joanna & Katelynn; 8th Kennady Gilbertson & Paige Reed; 12th Lily & Taylor; 16th Sydney & Celbie

Pole Bending — 1st Asha; 2nd Paige; 14th Joanna; 19th Kennady; 20th Lily

Figure 8 — 1st Kennady; 3rd Libby; 4th Paige; 9th Katelynn; 13th Joanna; 19th Asha; 26th Celbie

Individual Flags — 1st Paige; 2nd Kennady; 3rd Asha; 4th Joanna; 12th Libby; 14th Lily

Keyhole — 1st Kennady; 2nd Katelynn; 4th Asha; 17th Lily

Barrels — 3rd Kennady; 4th Asha; 5th Paige; 20th Taylor; 22nd Lily; 23rd Joanna

Breakaway Roping — 1st Libby

Steer Daubing — 2nd Asha; 3rd Libby; 4th Paige; 7th Joanna; 8th Kennady

Team Sorting — 1st Kennady & Paige; 2nd Libby & Asha; 7th Sydney & Celbie; 10th Joanna & Katelynn’ 11th Lily & Taylor

Youths/family

June 1,2. Youth Trail Clinic at Sage Horse Camp! Sign up now to learn trail riding skills, Obstacle course, Trail tools, and more! Camp over Saturday night. Ages 8-18 and parents. Hosted by Backcountry Horseman’s Peninsula Chapter. $50 per family. Camping or haul in. To register, contact Kim Merrick 253-261-6188 or eloise55@gmail.com.

________

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.

Sisters Libby and Asha Swanberg are a winning combination. Season-end awards include gold medals in Team Sorting and Two-Man Bi-wrangle. (Photo by Katie Salmon-Newton)

Sisters Libby and Asha Swanberg are a winning combination. Season-end awards include gold medals in Team Sorting and Two-Man Bi-wrangle. (Photo by Katie Salmon-Newton)

By the end of meet three, Sequim High School Senior Sydney Hutton’s multiple wins included gold in Jumping, silver in Saddle Seat, bronze in Dressage. (Photo by Katie Salmon-Newton)

By the end of meet three, Sequim High School Senior Sydney Hutton’s multiple wins included gold in Jumping, silver in Saddle Seat, bronze in Dressage. (Photo by Katie Salmon-Newton)

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