Horse Around Days

dsc_0020.jpgBy Merida McClanahan
The inaugural Horse Around Days was held at the Skagit County Fairgrounds in Mount Vernon WA, July 21 & 22nd 2007. The first event of its kind in the region, Horse Around Days offered a full slate of family fun activities from stick horse rodeo, breed demonstrations, clinics and musical entertainment.

Both rare and well-known breeds captivated and entertained spectators. Breed demonstrations included the Appaloosa (and a bunch of others). The Warhorse Challenge, Washington State Polo-Cross team and the Warm Beach Vaulting Team added speed, grace and daring to the mix.

Veterinarians and other professionals demonstrated how to care for a horse, what to look for when buying a horse, packhorse saddling, trail-riding emergency techniques, and basic first aid. Clinicians included Alice Trindle, Barb Apple, Terri & Matney Cook, natural hoof care expert Pat Wagner and Dr. Hanna Evergreen.

Patty Kelley, Funding Development Consultant and horse industry expert developed and managed Horse Around Days for Skagit Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services. Kelley states, “this exciting new event will expand funding options for Skagit DVSAS while giving the public a wonderful new family-friendly event. “The horse industry is very important to Washington State’s economy,” says Kelley. “And this festival showcased many wonderful breeds and disciplines that contribute to the health of the industry.”

The Appaloosa industry was ably represented by ApHC members, Pam Jacobs of Standwood, WA and Patti Shores of Monroe, WA. Pam presented her 8 year old Foundation gelding A True Dream, aka Cody, who was ridden by a first time equestrian, McKenzie McClanahan age 12. This beautiful varnish roan gelding is a son of World Champion Appaloosa halter stallion Live the Dream. Pam and her family have been raising and showing Appaloosa horses for more than 35 years. Pam has been a member since 1977 and was given her first Appaloosa mare on her tenth birthday…Christmas day. All of her horses trace back to that first mare. Cody was kept a stallion and bred a handful of mares until he was five years old. He was gelded and given to Jamie Jacobs, Pam’s daughter, who at age 14 began to ride and train the horse as a 4-H project. Cody has never been sent to a “professional” trainer. Because of his great disposition, Jamie has trained this horse pretty much on her own (with the help of friends now and then – and Mom of course). Cody’s favorite treat is orange soda pop, and kids of all ages enjoyed watching him drink the orange pop right out of the can. Cody is the perfect example of the personality and intelligence of the Appaloosa horse.

First time equestrian Ariana Allen, age nine, road Ala Bay-B, aka “Mikey,” Pam’s 26 year old Appaloosa mare that has been used as a walk-trot horse for daughter Jamie and now trains many beginning kids about the Appaloosa and the joy of loving of horses. Mikey is used as a trail horse for family, friend or beginners. She is a minimum colored Appaloosa that is from Pam’s first very mare. Mikey has many year-end high-point awards from her younger days, but is now a fun loving trail horse, happy to teach more kids about riding.

Patti’s non-characteristic mare and her loud leopard colt stole the entire the show. The colt’s name is Signed by Wrangler, aka “Zazz” – short for Pizazz. Zazz was sired by five-time World Champion Cow Horse “High Sign Nugget” and out of “Serious Cash” aka “Penny.” She has earned seven ROM’s, an ApHC Versatility Championship and has two World Top Tens. Patti did a wonderful job explaining patterns and colors to each and every person who asked, “Is the baby’s Mom an Appaloosa too?” Patti helped every passer-by review the ApHC “Guide-to-Identifying” chart posted on the stall door. People were amazed at no only the colors, but by how patient Penny was with every person invited into the round pen to hug that little colt Zazz.

Patti and Pam directed people to the ApHC booth in the tradeshow area and handed out brochures and cd’s right there at the stalls, in the rain, all weekend. They had their horses out introducing them to every person who turned a curious eye. These four horses were hugged, kissed, patted, stared at, and oohed and aahed over more in two days than any horse probably would experience in a typical lifetime.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest THANKS to Pam Jacobs and Patty Shores for bringing their horses. Not only do they have beautiful and gentle Appaloosas but their dedication to this breed and eager willingness to be available to each person who stopped by is inspiring. Again, thank you very much!

To view a slideshow of the first annual Horse Around Days event photos and to learn more about next year’s event visit


  1. Brandy Fraser Said,

    August 6, 2007 @ 3:00 pm

    Thank you so much for all the time and talent you displayed showing off our wonderful breed at the Horse Around Days Event in Mt Vernon, Washington.
    You all did a great job at getting some wonderful attention to the Appaloosa Breed.

  2. jaymie murphy Said,

    August 10, 2007 @ 12:01 pm

    thank u for presenting our beautiful appaloosa horses to so many people. i am sure it was a fun day for everyone! thank u once again, jaymie

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