Trot Poles 101

hunters-iconHave you always wanted to try riding Hunter/Jumpers, but never had the opportunity? Well, guess what? The SAFE Show is your chance to give Hunters a try! And what better place to start than in the Trot Poles!

There are four classes in each Hunter Division, for example: CLOVER HUNTERS (TROT POLES)

  • 401 Clover Hunters, Under Saddle (Walk Trot)
  • 402 Clover Equitation, Not To Jump (Walk Trot)
  • 403 Clover Hunters, Trot Poles
  • 404 Clover Equitation, Trot Poles

The first two classes listed, 401 and 402, are Flat Classes. All the riders will enter the ring at the same time, and the judge will instruct all riders to walk, trot, reverse direction, and line up with your numbers facing the judge. It’s just like a rail class in the main arena. In class 401, Clover Hunters Under Saddle, the judge will be evaluating your horse’s performance, just like in a Pleasure class. In class 402, Clover Equitation, Not To Jump, the judge will be evaluating your performance as a rider.

Sample Hunter Course (click to enlarge)

The second two classes listed, 403 and 404, are Over Fences Classes. In both classes, you and your horse will enter the arena alone, and navigate over a course of 8 fences. For the Trot Pole division, each fence will just be a pole placed on the ground that you trot over. You may ride the entire course in the trot. The course will be posted at the entry to the arena, and you’ll need to memorize it before you take your turn. The course will consist of 8 fences, and they will be arranged in a pattern of straight lines and vertical lines. This drawing at the right shows you an example of what a hunter course might look like. Note: this is NOT the course that will used at the SAFE Show, it’s just an example! In the Clover Hunters, you’ll trot over the 8 fences and then make a big circle at the end of the ring before coming down to a walk and walking out of the arena.

There’s a lot more to Hunters that what I’ve just told you, but your coach or trainer will have to take it from here. But riding in the Clover Hunter Trot Pole Division is a good way to get a taste for the Hunter world, and it’s fun too!

If you don’t have experience riding your horse over fences, we don’t recommend that you enter any of the other Hunter divisions, because we want you to stay safe. If your horse has never seen a jump before, he might not want to go over it and stop suddenly, or he might jump WAY over it and unseat you. But if you’re a beginner who is comfortable navigating your horse at the trot, you could have some fun with the Trot Poles classes! And if you’re a grown up, don’t worry, you will not be alone! There are already a few brave adult riders signed up for Clover Hunters, so don’t let the fear of being beaten by a tiny kid on a pony stop you from entering! Register for the SAFE Show now for the best stabling assignments! Click here to enter!

SAFE Show Updates for July 17

SAFE_Show_New_LogoLess than three weeks remain until the show, and all the planning and preparation is coming together wonderfully! We have a few random updates to share with you, in no particular order:

  • We have added a Musical Freestyle Test of Choice class to the Dressage line up for Sunday, Aug 3. We already have several entries, including a Western dressage rider who’ll be performing to music, so if you want to get in on the fun, enter now! And spectators, take note! Musical freestyles will follow our Pas De Deux class…lots of fun things to watch on Sunday afternoon! Special thanks to Gwen Blake and Donida Farm who have donated the use of their sound system for Musical Freestyles at the SAFE Show!
  • The overall high score in Dressage will win the opportunity to attend Dressage Through The Levels of 2015, a clinic with Janet Foy and Scott Hassler, which takes place Dec 6-7 at Donida Farm. This two day auditors package, valued at $150, was donated by Gwen Blake and Donida Farm.
  • If you have already submitted your entry form for the SAFE show and you want to add classes, pay for camping, order additional shavings, or change your stall reservation, you can do so online by using the Add Classes online form.
  • Competitors can order additional bales of shavings as part of their online entry, or by using the Add Classes online form. All stalls come with first bedding, and additional bales of shavings are $9 each. Order and pre-pay online to make it easy! (Please, no outside bedding permitted at Dondia Farm.)
  • Don’t forget to buy your dinner tickets for the Saturday night dinner party! We’re serving up slow roasted Texas-style barbecue from Dickie’s Barbecue Pit. along with fresh frozen ice cream made while you watch by Sub Zero Ice Cream. Dinner activities include the Gambler’s Choice Trails Challenge, the Bonanza Prize Drawing, fun classes, a drill team demo, and more! Dinner tickets must be purchased by July 30, so don’t delay, get yours today! Click here to order dinner tickets online!
  • Sponsorships are still available! We are looking for a sponsor for our Main Arena as well as our second Dressage arena! The following High Point Sponsorships are also still unclaimed:

If you’re interested in supporting the show and helping our horses, please visit our Show Sponsorship page for more information!

Keep those entries coming, and as always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Bonnie Hammond at or by phone at 206-331-0006.

New for 2014: Show Trails Open Schooling!

trails-iconGreat things are planned for our Trails competition this year, starting with the addition of Mr Dan McCallister to the team. Dan sets show trails courses for AQHA breed shows, and he’s a real pro when it comes to designing courses to test your partnership with your horse! We’ve already seen some preliminary designs from Dan, and we promise, Trails at the SAFE show are going to be great this year!

We’re especially excited because Dan has agreed to open his trails course for schooling sessions before competition on both mornings of the show. For a fee of $15, you and your horse can have a 20 minute schooling session on the actual course. As an added bonus, Dan will be available for coaching if you want help with any of the obstacles, or you’re welcome to work alone if you’d prefer. Sign up for Saturday or Sunday open schooling sessions as part of your show entry…or add sessions online using the Add-A-Class form if you’re already signed up.

T&C-PermaBilt-2c_coatedThe Trails arena is sponsored by our good friends at Town & Country Post Frame Buildings, a division of PermaBilt Industries.

Introducing the Gambler’s Choice Trails Challenge at the SAFE Show


Here’s how it works: there will be 10 contestants, who will each have 2 minutes to complete a series of obstacles on a trails course. Each obstacle will be worth a specific number of points, and the rider who accumulates the most points during their run is the winner. The course is being designed and set by Dan McCallister, who sets trails for AQHA breed shows.

The super fun part is that before we start, all 10 riders will be auctioned off to the members of the crowd. The money from the auction goes into a pool, and when the dust settles, half of the pool money goes to SAFE, a quarter goes to the winning rider, and a quarter to the winning bidder. In other words, we’re putting on a Calcutta to raise donations for SAFE, so we’re looking for some major audience participation in this event!

In short, it’s going to be a blast, it’s for a great cause and you don’t want to miss it! It’s all part of the Saturday night dinner party at the SAFE Show, and everyone is welcome! We’re serving up slow roasted barbecue from Dickie’s Barbecue along with flash-frozen ice cream made while you watch by Sub Zero Ice Cream. We’ll be holding our annual Bonanza Prize Drawing, and conducting our fun classes like lead line and costume. And if that wasn’t enough, we’ll also be holding a Drill Team demonstration for anyone who’s interested in learning how to ride drill team!

Don’t wait to buy your dinner tickets! Click here to order online!

Interested in riding in the Gambler’s Choice? We still have a few rider spots available, so if you’re interested, contact Bonnie Hammond at for more information!

Dressage High Score Award

dressage-iconWe would like to thank Gwen Blake and Donida Farm for a wonderful donation that will be used as the High Score Award in the dressage ring at the SAFE show. The rider with the highest score of the day will be awarded a certificate for an auditors spot at the upcoming Dressage Through the Levels for 2015 clinic, which takes place Dec 6-7, 2014 at Donida Farm. Janet Foy and Scott Hassler will help you prepare for the new USDF tests being released in 2015, giving you the knowledge and training you’ll need to maximize your scores. This clinic has been presented to rave reviews on both coasts, and it’s an opportunity that you won’t want to miss. The rider with the highest dressage score at the SAFE show, regardless of level ridden, will attend both days of the clinic, a $150 value! Thank you to Gwen Blake and Donida Farm for this generous donation!

For more about Dressage Through the Levels for 2015, visit the Donida Farm website at

Our judges for dressage at the SAFE show this year are Kellie Larsen and Jane Judson, who are both USDF “L” judges. Dressage takes place on Sunday, Aug 3.

To register online for dressage and other classes at the SAFE show, just click here!

Entries are now open for the 2014 SAFE Benefit Horse Show!

Entries are now open for the 2014 SAFE Benefit Horse Show! We have two full days of fun planned for you this year, so you don’t want to miss it! There’s English and Western performance classes, Hunter/Jumpers, Dressage, Western Dressage, Trails, and Fun Classes. Whether you’re a seasoned competitor or new to the show ring, the SAFE show is the place for you and your horse to shine!

Enter early for the best stall assignments!

Two easy ways to enter:

1) Use our online entry form.

2) Download the printed 2014_SAFE_Entry_Form and mail it in!

Stay tuned for information about our Saturday evening festivities, including Fun Classes and dinner!

Western Dressage at the SAFE Show

Rachel Koehler on Satin Poco Chexolina (photo by Karen Wegehenkel)

Rachel Koehler on Satin Poco Chexolina (photo by Karen Wegehenkel)

We’re offering Western Dressage again this year at the SAFE Show, as part of Dressage Day on Sunday Aug 3. There are three test-of-choice classes being offered: USEF Intro Level TOC, USEF Basic Level TOC, and USEF Level 1 or 2 TOC. There will be ribbons awarded in each class and a High Score Award for the best Western Dressage test of the day.

You can download the Western Dressage tests here Download Western Dressage Tests from the USEF Website.

Your support of Western Dressage at the SAFE Show makes it easier for us to continue to offer classes in this exciting new discipline. And if you’re never tried your hand at Western Dressage, the SAFE Show is the perfect place to branch out into something new! Register online for the SAFE Show and register early for the best stabling assignments! Dressage entries close July 30!

Save the date for the 2014 SAFE Benefit Horse Show

It will be here before we know it! The eighth annual SAFE Benefit Horse Show will take place on August 2 & 3, 2014 at Donida Farm in Auburn. We’ll be offering English and Western Performance classes, along with Dressage, Hunters, Trails, and Fun Classes. This year’s show will be our best one yet, so please save the dates and make your plans to be there!

Show Photography

We had several photographers onsite at the SAFE Show this year who will be offering their images for sale online. We’ll post links right here as we get them!


Karen Wegehenkel — SAFE Show 2013 Gallery (click here)

Monica Bretherton — Click here for Gallery


Bobbie Climer Photography — Click here for Gallery!

Congratulations to our 2013 Champions!

The 7th Annual SAFE Show was by far the best show we’ve ever put on, and we owe a huge thank you to all of our competitors, our volunteers, our sponsors, our vendors, and everyone who came to Donida Farm this past weekend to cheer them on. We had a marvelous time putting on this show and we hope that everyone has already marked their calendars for next year’s big event, the EIGHTH annual SAFE Benefit Horse Show, on August 2 & 3, 2014 at Donida Farm. We are already working to get the 2014 show recognized by the Washington State Horsemen, in hopes to encourage even more riders to participate next year.

Congratulations to our 2013 Champions and thank you one last time to the individuals and businesses that sponsored these awards:

Grand Champion — sponsored by Dapplebay Inc
Jessie Fisher and Downright Mystified

Reserve Champion — sponsored by Anderson Equine Saddle Fitting
Allyson Ibrahim and ConceptionbyDesign

Champion Rescue Horse — sponsored by Diamond J Training
ConceptionbyDesign, owned and ridden by Allyson Ibrahim

Champion Senior Horse — sponsored in memory of SAFE Buckwheat
25 year old Egg McTuffin, owned by Mckenna Woodworth and ridden by Hannah Guillien and Lillian Radabaugh

Champion Blind Horse — presented in honor of Spirit
Spirit, owned and ridden by Susan Irvine

Champion Bribed Horse
Mr Black Magic, owned and bribed by Cyarah Sell

English Rider High Point Awards

English Rider, 12 & Under — sponsored by Liesel Filkowski, Realtor
Mackenzie Huggler and Missy

English Rider, 13-17 — sponsored by The Gable Family
Courtney Wolff and Sho Mi Dafina

English Rider, 18-29 — sponsored by Evergreen Equine Veterinary Practice
Jessie Fisher and Downright Mystified

English Rider, 30 & over — sponsored by Mt Rainier Equine Veterinary Services
Allyson Ibrahim and ConceptionbyDesign

English Rider, Novice Division — sponsored by Debi Shatos & Summer Chaos
Chloe’ Smith and Four Sox in Time

Western Rider High Point Awards

Western Rider, 12 & Under — sponsored by BasherBoards
Bransen Sharp and He’s A Mover

Western Rider, 13-17— sponsored by The Gable Family
Mallory Phillips and Marbles Girlscout

Western Rider, 18-29— sponsored by AutoStep
Jessie Fisher and Downright Mystified

Western Rider, 30 & over— sponsored by The Back Forte Equestrian Center
Kim Nicholl and Lucky Lady Gunn

Western Rider, Novice Division — sponsored by BasherBoards
Roxanne Mun and Honey

Dressage High Score Awards

Dressage Intro Level High Score — sponsored by The Gable Family
Christopher Lewman and Winter Jewel

Dressage Training Level High Score — sponsored by Crescent Moegling
Stephanie Cooper and Sketchy Past

Dressage First Level and Above High Score — sponsored by Crescent Moegling
Cindy Tingley and Just Max

Western Dressage High Score — sponsored by Blake Dressage
Nancy Wymore and The Governor

Hunter Champions

Clover Hunters (Trot Poles) — sponsored by The Gable Family
Champion: Kirann Gable and SAFE Maggie
Reserve Champion: Abagail Cochran and Junior Mint

Lily Hunters (Cross Rails) — sponsored in honor of Jeffrey & Margaret Cypher
Champion: Kirann Gable and SAFE Maggie
Reserve Champion: Sue Putnam and Dylan

Jasmine Hunters (2′) — sponsored by Mindful Healing Veterinary Care
Champion: Lucy Pulfer and Kenai
Reserve Champion: Danielle Olson and Dylan

Willow Hunters (2’3″) — sponsored by Shannon DeVos & Renton Licensing
Champion: Madeline Mcsherry and Ginger
Reserve Champion: Mckenna Woodworth and Story Behind It

Cedar Hunters (2’6″) — sponsored by Eileen & Andy Carrel
Champion: Sheridan Jones and Corona
Reserve Champion: Ellie Combs and Rum Runner


Friday, Aug 1

3:00pm - 8:00pm – Load In 
3:00pm - 6:00pm -- Show Office Open for Pre-Entry

Saturday, Aug 2

7:00am – Open Trails Schooling Starts
8:00am – Main Arena: English classes begin
8:00am – Hunter Schooling starts
9:00am -- Hunter classes start
9:00am – Open Trails Schooling Ends
9:00am – Trails arena opens for competition
3:00pm – Trails arena closes
5:00pm – Dinner starts
5:00pm – Fun Classes Start
5:30pm – Drill Team Performance
5:45pm – Gambler’s Choice Trails Challenge
7:00pm – Bonanza Prize Drawing winners drawn

Sunday, Aug 3
7:00am – Open Trails Schooling Starts
8:00am – Main Arena: Western classes begin
9:00am – Dressage classes start 
9:00am – Open Trails Schooling Ends
9:00am – Trails arena opens for competition
3:00pm – Trails arena closes