A quick trip to eastern South Dakota showed me quite a variety of conditions. East of the Missouri is green and lush with water standing in the corn rows. Just west of the Missouri looks good until one gets to the stretches that got hailed out. The further west I drove on Highway 34 though, the bleaker it got. Very dry conditions, browning grassland, and hayfields that look like they've been grazed already. I think I enjoyed the drought last winter a lot more than the one we're having now. Haying isn't going to be a long, drawn out process for many folks.
The U.S. House of Representatives Ag Appropriations committee had a voice vote to de fund USDA inspections. It will move on to the Senate next, so keep making the calls and letting them know that we have got to have horse processing in the U.S. This sounds worse than it is, though, as this is the same scenario that played out last year, then the Senate, with the GAO study in hand, funded the inspections, with Obama's signature included. We do need to keep up the fight, so make calls, send e-mails, and faxes, and let them know what the people who actually know something about the horse business think about it. Don't let up, please.
Remember what I said last week about the anti's howling about the emergency gather of the BLM horses in northern Nevada due to the drought? Well, you'll be relieved to know that Willie Nelson is absolutely appalled by the gather. I'm sure glad he weighed in on the situation. That ought to help the grass and water situation on the high desert a lot.
The Northern Bull Riding Tour continues with the Extreme Ranch Bull Riding at Armour, SD, on June 30. This event benefits the Make A Wish Foundation, so attending a great bull riding would also benefit a great organization.
The 93rd Annual Black Hills Roundup, Belle Fourche, SD, is coming up right away. On Friday June 29, there will be the "Stars of Rodeo Unite" event at the Roundup Grounds stage. This starts at 6 p.m. and is free, so bring a lawn chair and enjoy. On July 1, the rodeo slack will be at 8 a.m., then the Ranch Rodeo, which is a dandy, at 7 p.m. July 2 and 3 will have PRCA action at 7 p.m., then on July 4, the parade is at 10:30 a.m. and the rodeo at 2 p.m. Of course, there's a carnival downtown and other activities to attend as well, so, lots to do in Belle Fourche over the 4th. Personally, I'll be shaded up, eating too much and visiting with lots of family on my brother and sister-in-law's lawn after watching the parade go by their house. It's a tough day but I'll try to get through it.
The Black Hills Summer Circuit Quarter Horse show will be July 5-8 at Rapid City, SD, Central States Fairgrounds. The July 5 and 6, shows will be double judged, with the July 7 and 8, shows triple judged, so lots of points possible. It starts at 7:30 a.m. each day, so lots and lots of good watching for spectators. It's AQHA, CONQHA, SDQHA, WQHA approved. The show secretary is Mary Glass and she can be reached at 701-361-7732 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2nd Annual Will James Roundup will be July 13, 14, and 15 at Hardin, MT. July 13, will be the Working Ranch Horse competition at 10 a.m., followed by the Youth Ranch Horse. On July 14, there will be the Three Man Cow Doctoring, followed by the Ranch Bronc Riding. On July 15, at 11 a.m., will be the Ranch Rodeo. This was a fabulous show last year, so should be even better this year. Call 406-666-2330 for more info.
The Murdo Ranch Rodeo will be Saturday July 21, and they are taking the first 10 entries, so, get your team together and call either Sharon Hullinger at 605-516-0080 or Levi Newsam at 605-530-6151 for entries and information.
The 2nd annual New Underwood (SD) National Day of the Cowboy will be July 28. There will be a cowboy poetry/music program from 3-5 p.m., featuring Western Writer's group members. A free will donation will be divided between the TriState Old Time Cowboys Memorial Museum at Gordon, NE, and the High Plains Heritage Center at Spearfish, SD. It will be held at the Hackens Barn Theatre five miles north and one and a quarter miles west of New Underwood at: 16016 Pioneer Rd. After the cowboy poetry/music show, the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys will be hosting a chuckwagon supper for a small fee and cowboy church. That should be a fun day and evening for everyone.
Just a few rodeo highlights from the past week or so: At the Daines Ranch pro rodeo in Innisfail, Alberta, Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, SD, pulled a sweet $8,385 check for second in the barrels. Brittany Fleck, Mandan, ND, pocketed $4,192. That puts some fuel in the rodeo rigs just in time for the Cowboy Christmas run over the 4th of July.
At North Platte, NE, Buffalo Bill Rodeo, Scott White, Oelrichs, SD, and Jade Nelson, Philip, SD, tied for first in the team roping with a 5.4 second run. Cole Elshere, Faith, SD, won the saddle broncs and Shawn Coleman, Springfield, SD, tied for first in the bull riding.
Please send me your results and upcoming events so I can share them here. Pray for rain!