A cowboy celebration | TSLN.com

A cowboy celebration

Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns

The 20th Annual National Cowboy Symposium & Celebration went into the history books at Lubbock, TX last weekend. It was an event to remember, amazing in its growth over two decades, impressive in its coverage of our multi-faceted cowboy culture, and extensive in the talent it showcased.

Founder Alvin G. Davis was honored in a special presentation as “Mr. Cowboy Culture” – a title long overdue in view of his lifelong and worldwide efforts to ‘preach the cowboy gospel’. The honors and awards he’s earned are exceeded only by the organizations and events he’s founded, and we tip our ol’ Tri-State Stetson heartily to Alvin and his wonderful wife Barbara! Thanks for including us in so many wonderful experiences at NCS&C!

TSLN writer/cartoonist Jan Swan Wood from Newell, SD accompanied my cowboy and me to Lubbock, along with another ranch wife and dear friend, writer/photographer V.L. Pollat of the Lance Creek, WY area. In a rare departure from our normal “hit the road and never let the engine cool off” mode of travel, we took time to visit one of Texas’ jewels, Palo Duro Canyon on the way home. Jan and I had seen it before, long ago; Will and Valerie had not been there.

It’s sure not hard to understand why the Comanche people fought so hard to keep it; nor why Col. Charlie Goodnight figured he’d found the cattleman’s paradise and was quick to head his southern Colorado herds in that direction. I just wish we could erase our history of the bloody smear from all those Comanche horses murdered by the US Cavalry… I feel a bitter sadness over that every time I go there.

Speaking of horses, and slaughter… the American Quarter Horse Association recently notified members of a dangerous bill up for vote, saying it has great importance “if you are involved in the horse industry” and/or “if you care about the welfare of horses.” That prob’ly takes us all in.

Being out of town, I didn’t get the info in time to share with you, but the AQHA alert said, “H.R. 6598, ironically named the ‘Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act,’ is scheduled for a vote by the House Judiciary Committee this Wednesday, September 10…

Recommended Stories For You

“If enacted into law, this bill would make it a federal crime to buy, sell, own or transport a horse, alive or dead, with the intent to use it for human consumption. The crime would be punishable with a fine and up to three years in prison. This bill would further complicate the plight of horses and horse-related businesses following the closure of U.S. processing plants.

“H.R. 6598 stems from animal rights activists’ misguided and damaging efforts to permanently ban horse slaughter. The anti-slaughter movement campaigns on emotion, ignores the facts, and denies the unintended consequences of the ban. Since the last U.S. processing plant was closed almost a year ago, horses have been abandoned in greater numbers; many more horses now suffer inhumane journeys and painful deaths at slaughter facilities outside our borders; and honest, hard-working people involved in the horse industry find their livelihood in danger.

“The animal rights movement has a well established and well-funded political machine already in place. Its voice is drowning out the voice of the horse industry. We, the people who care the most and know the most about horses and their management, should have the greatest influence on the laws that affect our industry and the animals we are devoted to.”

Other groups voicing talking points on the downside of this bill said, “H.R. 6598 is NOT a measure that will protect our horses, and cattle producers should be able to make our own decisions about the animals in our care. Our management decisions, in regards to our private property should not be considered criminal acts that can result in three years of federal prison time. H.R. 6598 puts prosecutorial authority, as well as care of the confiscated horses, under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Attorney General, thus making U.S. tax payers responsible for paying for the care of these horses as a direct result of government action. Also, the U.S. Attorney General lacks the knowledge and expertise to be able to properly care for these horses.”

I only hope enough horsemen heard about this in time, and that legislators listened to the voices of those protesting against it. Once such crazy laws are in place they stick to the books like leeches.

It amazes me that, considering our current overpopulation of horses, people are cloning them! That fad has hit rodeo now, with Flying Five Rodeo Company cloning Spring Fling and King’s Way; and Franklin Rodeo Company cloning Airwolf and the bull Yellow Jacket. Dr. Greg VeneKlasen of Canyon, TX heads up ViaGen’s cloning program and says he hopes to see a cloned horse at the Wrangler NFR within a decade; and he has cloned a bronc named Go Wild, which he co-owns with Clint Johnson.

Waiting to see how the process pans out are many top prorodeo hands who’ve invested in gene banking, involving animal DNA frozen in ViaGen’s lab for potential future use. That list includes Trevor Brazile, Speed Williams, Blair Burke and Stran Smith who are saving DNA from Texaco, Viper, Hammer and Topper, respectively.

I believe the theory that cloned babies are born at the age the donor was when DNA was removed. Therefore I find it interesting that Dr. VeneKlasen comments, “I’ve got quite a few clones on the ground here, and they’re magical. They give you goose bumps. Some of the things they do are not foal-like…”

Maybe they’re not really “foals,” doctor…

You may recall mention here of the Civilian Conservation Corps statue and museum that were to be dedicated near Hill City, SD this month. Just received word from Peggy Sanders on that event, which has been postponed until spring, due to “construction difficulties.” Meanwhile you can still contact Peggy if you have CCC memorabilia or information; and we’ll try to let you know when the dedication is rescheduled.

Speakin’ of events in the Black Hills, the Rushmore Polo & Social Club and Black Hills Polo Club participated in the recent Paul E. Lippman Memorial Polo Cup matches at Newton Fork Ranch out of Hill City. Lippman, who played for the ElDorado Polo Club out of Palm Springs, CA and passed away in 2004, taught the sport to many players in this region. One of the popular players of the day was Kurt Ketelsen of the Ellsworth community, whose father played polo with the cavalry at Fort Meade in the ’30’s.

Also on the regional calendar is the 11th Annual Badger Clark Poetry & Music Gathering in Hot Springs, SD. The festivities begin at 7 p.m. September 26th with “Bunkhouse Tales” – an open jam session at Wolly’s Mammoth Family Fun. The 27th there’s a Poetry Seminar starting at 9 a.m., a 1 p.m. Matinee and an 8 p.m. Big Show. This event attracts some of the finest talent in our region, and you can learn more at http://www.hotsprings-sd.com.

That’s the end of this ol’ lariat rope once more…

The 20th Annual National Cowboy Symposium & Celebration went into the history books at Lubbock, TX last weekend. It was an event to remember, amazing in its growth over two decades, impressive in its coverage of our multi-faceted cowboy culture, and extensive in the talent it showcased.

Founder Alvin G. Davis was honored in a special presentation as “Mr. Cowboy Culture” – a title long overdue in view of his lifelong and worldwide efforts to ‘preach the cowboy gospel’. The honors and awards he’s earned are exceeded only by the organizations and events he’s founded, and we tip our ol’ Tri-State Stetson heartily to Alvin and his wonderful wife Barbara! Thanks for including us in so many wonderful experiences at NCS&C!

TSLN writer/cartoonist Jan Swan Wood from Newell, SD accompanied my cowboy and me to Lubbock, along with another ranch wife and dear friend, writer/photographer V.L. Pollat of the Lance Creek, WY area. In a rare departure from our normal “hit the road and never let the engine cool off” mode of travel, we took time to visit one of Texas’ jewels, Palo Duro Canyon on the way home. Jan and I had seen it before, long ago; Will and Valerie had not been there.

It’s sure not hard to understand why the Comanche people fought so hard to keep it; nor why Col. Charlie Goodnight figured he’d found the cattleman’s paradise and was quick to head his southern Colorado herds in that direction. I just wish we could erase our history of the bloody smear from all those Comanche horses murdered by the US Cavalry… I feel a bitter sadness over that every time I go there.

Speaking of horses, and slaughter… the American Quarter Horse Association recently notified members of a dangerous bill up for vote, saying it has great importance “if you are involved in the horse industry” and/or “if you care about the welfare of horses.” That prob’ly takes us all in.

Being out of town, I didn’t get the info in time to share with you, but the AQHA alert said, “H.R. 6598, ironically named the ‘Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act,’ is scheduled for a vote by the House Judiciary Committee this Wednesday, September 10…

“If enacted into law, this bill would make it a federal crime to buy, sell, own or transport a horse, alive or dead, with the intent to use it for human consumption. The crime would be punishable with a fine and up to three years in prison. This bill would further complicate the plight of horses and horse-related businesses following the closure of U.S. processing plants.

“H.R. 6598 stems from animal rights activists’ misguided and damaging efforts to permanently ban horse slaughter. The anti-slaughter movement campaigns on emotion, ignores the facts, and denies the unintended consequences of the ban. Since the last U.S. processing plant was closed almost a year ago, horses have been abandoned in greater numbers; many more horses now suffer inhumane journeys and painful deaths at slaughter facilities outside our borders; and honest, hard-working people involved in the horse industry find their livelihood in danger.

“The animal rights movement has a well established and well-funded political machine already in place. Its voice is drowning out the voice of the horse industry. We, the people who care the most and know the most about horses and their management, should have the greatest influence on the laws that affect our industry and the animals we are devoted to.”

Other groups voicing talking points on the downside of this bill said, “H.R. 6598 is NOT a measure that will protect our horses, and cattle producers should be able to make our own decisions about the animals in our care. Our management decisions, in regards to our private property should not be considered criminal acts that can result in three years of federal prison time. H.R. 6598 puts prosecutorial authority, as well as care of the confiscated horses, under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Attorney General, thus making U.S. tax payers responsible for paying for the care of these horses as a direct result of government action. Also, the U.S. Attorney General lacks the knowledge and expertise to be able to properly care for these horses.”

I only hope enough horsemen heard about this in time, and that legislators listened to the voices of those protesting against it. Once such crazy laws are in place they stick to the books like leeches.

It amazes me that, considering our current overpopulation of horses, people are cloning them! That fad has hit rodeo now, with Flying Five Rodeo Company cloning Spring Fling and King’s Way; and Franklin Rodeo Company cloning Airwolf and the bull Yellow Jacket. Dr. Greg VeneKlasen of Canyon, TX heads up ViaGen’s cloning program and says he hopes to see a cloned horse at the Wrangler NFR within a decade; and he has cloned a bronc named Go Wild, which he co-owns with Clint Johnson.

Waiting to see how the process pans out are many top prorodeo hands who’ve invested in gene banking, involving animal DNA frozen in ViaGen’s lab for potential future use. That list includes Trevor Brazile, Speed Williams, Blair Burke and Stran Smith who are saving DNA from Texaco, Viper, Hammer and Topper, respectively.

I believe the theory that cloned babies are born at the age the donor was when DNA was removed. Therefore I find it interesting that Dr. VeneKlasen comments, “I’ve got quite a few clones on the ground here, and they’re magical. They give you goose bumps. Some of the things they do are not foal-like…”

Maybe they’re not really “foals,” doctor…

You may recall mention here of the Civilian Conservation Corps statue and museum that were to be dedicated near Hill City, SD this month. Just received word from Peggy Sanders on that event, which has been postponed until spring, due to “construction difficulties.” Meanwhile you can still contact Peggy if you have CCC memorabilia or information; and we’ll try to let you know when the dedication is rescheduled.

Speakin’ of events in the Black Hills, the Rushmore Polo & Social Club and Black Hills Polo Club participated in the recent Paul E. Lippman Memorial Polo Cup matches at Newton Fork Ranch out of Hill City. Lippman, who played for the ElDorado Polo Club out of Palm Springs, CA and passed away in 2004, taught the sport to many players in this region. One of the popular players of the day was Kurt Ketelsen of the Ellsworth community, whose father played polo with the cavalry at Fort Meade in the ’30’s.

Also on the regional calendar is the 11th Annual Badger Clark Poetry & Music Gathering in Hot Springs, SD. The festivities begin at 7 p.m. September 26th with “Bunkhouse Tales” – an open jam session at Wolly’s Mammoth Family Fun. The 27th there’s a Poetry Seminar starting at 9 a.m., a 1 p.m. Matinee and an 8 p.m. Big Show. This event attracts some of the finest talent in our region, and you can learn more at http://www.hotsprings-sd.com.

That’s the end of this ol’ lariat rope once more…

Go back to article