LPSDC: Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight on Jennifer Gillum

Jennifer was our Volunteer of the Year for 2021. A LPSDC member for more than ten years, she enjoys the people in the club, and seeing new people join. “It is kind of like family,” she says. She also loves being part of the show process, and helping people; wearing many hats is great fun for her. She is happy if she is around horses, “Having a team makes it great, and LPSDC is a great group of people.” She loves the direction the club is going and how it has evolved in the last ten years.

This is Jennifer’s second time being Volunteer of the Year. In 2012 she was show manager for the entire season, also handling scheduling, all with a fractured shoulder!

From Lea McCullough, President of LPSDC in 2021, “Jennifer was an easy choice for me to be our Volunteer of the Year. In every way she stepped up and volunteered her time and energy to serve as our show manager at several shows including the end of the season Championships. Her attention to detail and high competency makes everyone involved breathe a sigh of relief, as we know she will handle all challenges with style and grace. During our Championship show, she also filled in during shortages of volunteers and stayed late to make sure all details were buttoned up. Every volunteer hour donated by our members is meaningful and appreciated deeply. But as volunteers go, Jennifer shone brightly last year. It was an easy choice to honor her in the capacity of Volunteer of the Year at our awards ceremony!”

Growing up in Santa Barbara, Jennifer Gillum got her first horse at 13. She was that little girl who always wanted a horse, and after a summer lease of a Shetland pony, her wish came true. Brandy was an 18-year old half Welsh/half Mustang who could do anything. After giving him to her sister, Jennifer found a beautiful half Welsh/half Arab mare named Sheba who she showed in Western Pleasure.

When she started high school, her parents said she had to pay her own way for her horse, but with no car or job, Sheba was sold. Jennifer’s goal became getting another horse as soon as she could afford one after graduating. Jennifer met her goal 16 years ago, buying 1.5 acres in Belfair and two horses for trail riding.

After meeting someone starting dressage lessons, Jennifer went to watch and became intrigued. She started lessons, but her horse was not for dressage, so she sold him and found her dream heart horse. Oelrich was half Friesian/half Tennessee Walker, and was with Jennifer for eight years before he developed neurological issues and passed away.

Depressed and horseless, a neighbor offered her the lease on a horse she had for sale with Jessica Wisdom. Calypso, a half Friesian/half Paint-Quarter Horse, is Jennifer’s current dressage partner and future Western Dressage partner, though is currently on stall rest with a ligament injury and two mini horses for company.

Presently Jennifer rides a friend’s horse who does both dressage and Western dressage. She rides at Clover Valley Riding Center in Port Orchard and trains with Jill Seely. Jennifer loves the group support at the barn, and appreciates Jill’s ability to “get you to do what you don’t want to do” because it helps her to get through her fears. She enjoys Jill’s teaching skills and philosophy.

Jennifer’s goal is to ride through Third Level and get her Bronze Medal. It’s a long road, and she may or may not reach her goal, but daily riding and being around horses is her happy place and best stress reliever.

Outside of horses, Jennifer has worked managing inventory in supply chain for 25 years with a distributor of electronic components. She also fosters rescue dogs with Chew Rescue in Gig Harbor, typically having between one and three foster dogs at a time. She also has three foster failures at home.

L Judge Program

LPSDC has just finished part one of the L program. It was a rousing success with a total of over 175 people coming as participants, auditors, demo riders, or volunteers over the course of three weekends of intense learning. Most participants found it not only extremely educational, but also fun. It was a welcome return to in-person activities. We had participants from seven states (WA, OR, ID, MT, NV, CA, and IL). We are continuing with part 2 in summer 2022.  Part 2 consists of two weekends of practice judging and instruction at ring-side; then one weekend of exam. It is limited to 10 participants. The program is now full. Participants need to bring their own scribes, and I know that some are still looking. This can be a great way to get in on the education and a first-hand view of what it takes to become a judge. We are also in need of a few more volunteers. The weekends are May 7 – 8 at Devonwood, July 9 – 10 at Whidbey, and Sept 3 – 4 at Devonwood.  Anyone interested in scribing or volunteering can contact Jo Renn: jorenn22@yahoo.com.  

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