Stacey Flintjer was sworn in as the newest member of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Posse last week — adding a new chapter to a long history of service by her family that goes back to World War II.
Flintjer is a third-generation member of the posse, an all-volunteer organization that engages in a number of charitable and search-and-rescue efforts throughout the area — typically, with an equine bent.
The posse is perhaps best known today for patrolling the parking lot of Clackamas Town Center on horseback each year during the holiday, but they’re also one of the longest participating organizations in the Clackamas County 4-H and FFA Livestock Auction at the Clackamas County Fair and are a fixture in many area parades.
The group saddles up for search-and-rescue efforts and during emergency situations (like riding into action during last September’s historic wildfires) and their Posse Equine Advocate Team (PEAT) helps the sheriff’s office manage the county’s many equine calls, helping to prevent countless unnecessary animal deaths.
Posse members are well-known for their equestrian prowess, performing throughout the Pacific Northwest, and even appeared on the popular television show You Asked for It in the ’50s.
Flintjer’s grandfather joined the group in 1942, and her father is Vern Hulit, a Canby legend and — in the words of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office this week — “posse royalty.”
“He’s served with the group for well over half a century, watching it take on roles ranging from widely renowned drill team to a cowboy-polo team to a search-and-rescue volunteer unit to charitable organization to holiday patrol fixture, among many other incarnations,” the CCSO said of Hulit, a retired animal nutritionist and seed wholesaler by trade.
Hulit also served almost two decades as director of the Portland Rose Festival, and he and Flintjer have been credited with the development of the modern parade equestrian display.
The festival’s annual award for outstanding preparation and excellence in equestrian presentation is named after him, and he and Flintjer were honored as grand marshals of the 2019 parade, leading a float that declared them “Heroes of the Rose Festival.” It was Hulit’s 60th year participating in the festival.
Flintjer herself began working on the parade at age 14 as a junior scooper, retired two trophies in the equestrian costume class and was named Festival Volunteer of the year a few years ago. She has headed the parade’s equestrian division for two decades.
Hulit, who is now 89, was on hand this week to watch Flintjer continue his legacy, being sworn into the posse by Undersheriff Michael Copenhaver.
“I promise to do my absolute best to carry on the tradition and uphold the honor and privilege of membership in this long-standing organization,” Flintjer said.
You can learn more about the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Posse — and find out how to get involved — at clackamas.us/sheriff/posse.
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