The Soldotna Equestrian Association (SEA) was one of the first organizations to step up and offer an evacuation plan for Funny River livestock. While preparing for their first Rodeo Round Up of the season as soon as they heard of the threat to Funny River and Kasilof livestock owners they offered an evacuation plan to the Soldotna Rodeo grounds. According to Amanda Buchholz of the SEA, “We housed over 55 animals during the threat. We had alpacas, goats, pigs, cows, horses, rabbits, cats, sheep and birds. It was like a zoo! And being spring time we had lots of new babies. Gate panels were brought down, everyone jumped in to help build and assemble what needed to be built to house the animals. A livestock trailer and truck was provided by Brayden Holly. Calls came in as early as 1:00a.m. in the morning to send out rescue teams for help. Joe Dilley organized the operation at the Soldotna rodeo grounds making sure all animals were separated, sorted and watered. Joe even stayed each night at the rodeo grounds so parents of fur babies knew they were safe. Currently at this time all animals have been returned safely to their homes. We also encouraged families with campers or tents to stay on the grounds with their animals. Restrooms were provided and there was no cost to park. We were glad the SEA could be of help in a time of need,” said Buchholz.
With 90 plus members the Soldotna Equestrian Assoc. Association was organized to focus and promote the common interests of safe riding instruction, competition and education on matters related to all segments of the horse industry. “Our association is made up of a 10 member board of directors that includes President Chris Sorrels, V.P. Jenny Stausbaugh, Secretary Amanda Buchholz, Treasurer Rhonda Harvey, plus Joe Dilley, Steve Barrow, Erica Bowers, Connie Taplin, George Peters and Rodeo Secretary Corey Wilkinson. We will be holding four more shows, called Rodeo Round Ups on the Kenai this summer with the next coming up June 7th & 8th at the Soldotna Rodeo Grounds. Then the 4th of July weekend July 5th & 6th, another July 26th & 27th, and will conclude the season August 16th & 17th,” said Buchholz.
Here are the results of Round Up # 1: Bull Riding – Steven Toney winnings $750.00. Team Roping – Jim Bo and Dan Voth $1012.00, Ribbon Roping – Steven Primera and Jenna Mahoney $414.00, Double Mugging – Travis Beck and Justin Rainwater $276.00. Women’s Break Away – Corey Wilkinson $90.00. 17 & Up Barrel Racing – Alena Hanley $240.00. 11 – 16 Barrel Racing – Jolene Hime $30.00. Steer Daubing – Hanna Kelson $20.00. 17 & Up Poles – Ciarra McKinzie $100.00. 11 – 16 Poles – Hanna Kelson $20.00. Calf Riding – Lane Smith $30.00. Jr Bull Riding – Jessie Rogde $45.00. 0 – 10 Barrels & Poles – Lane Smith $20.00. 0 – 10 Lead Line Barrels – Buckshot Koloski $15.00. 0 – 10 Lead Line Poles – Gracie Blazka $15.00.
SEA sponsors include Stanley Ford, Fire Control Systems, UpTown Motel, Pollard Wireline, Silva Saddle, Duck INN, Stanley Chrysler, Rodeo Alaska, Fowler DirtWorks, Craig Taylor, Outlaw Body & Paint and Pacific Star Seafoods for ice. To learn more about the SEA log on to www.soldotnaequestrianassociation.com.