Sports

Vashon riders revive a unique trail ride competition

Char Phillips on her mare Gypsy negotiates the gate obstacle. They won the Best Conditioned Horse Award at the Vashon Maury Island Cooperative Trail Ride. - Mary O’Brien Photo
Char Phillips on her mare Gypsy negotiates the gate obstacle. They won the Best Conditioned Horse Award at the Vashon Maury Island Cooperative Trail Ride.
— image credit: Mary O’Brien Photo

On Saturday, Sept. 10, 19 Vashon riders and their horses gathered at Paradise Ridge Park for the Vashon Maury Island Cooperative Trail Ride, the first competitive trail ride on Vashon in 25 years. The event sponsored by the Vashon Maury Island Horse Association.

The course was more than 13 miles long, covering trails from Paradise Ridge to Misty Isle all the way up to the Island Center Forest. The horse and rider teams were judged on the horses’ condition, how well they negotiated obstacles and the time in which they finished.

A competitive trail ride is not a race, but a paced trail ride with obstacles along the way. The obstacles were as simple as crossing the road in a safe, polite manner to walking through water, walking over a small bridge and walking safely down a very steep hill. Riders were not allowed to dismount unless for safety reasons.

Friends and family joined the riders and volunteers for a potluck barbecue lunch while the scores were tallied.

Kate Shook took first place in the Senior division riding Craig Harmeling’s molly mule Jordan.

Leigh Selari won first in the Social Security division (horse plus rider’s age equals more than 65) riding her own thoroughbred General.

The best conditioned horse award went to Char Phillips and her home-bred mare Gypsy.

There was also a prize for the team with the most years accumulated between horse and rider (oldest horse and rider team), and Janet Quimby and her Arabian Danny proudly took the prize donated by Island Lumber.

The event was made possible by a large cadre of volunteers as well as Island Lumber, which sponsored the event, giving prizes to first through third place in the two divisions and prizes for the best conditioned and oldest awards.

 

—Shana Blum helped organize the trail ride.

 

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