Jan Swan Wood: Mule babies, invisible workers, rodeo events and competitors, processing update | TSLN.com

Jan Swan Wood: Mule babies, invisible workers, rodeo events and competitors, processing update

Fall work has begun over a lot of the region. Calves are being preconditioned, yearlings are being shipped and foals are being weaned. One of my neighbors got her stud colts gelded last week while still nursing their mamas. She said they never acted like anything had happened to them and was pleased with this first time of gelding the weanlings.

I'm so far behind around our place that I'm not sure if I'm starting the fall work from last year or the year before. Another of my good neighbors asked me if I had any old broken up wood laying around as she needed it for a craft project. I told her my corrals came to mind. Slowly but surely, though, they are getting rebuilt but it's sure a long running task.

Near Collbran, Colo., a mule gave birth to a foal last April, an event which is as rare as hen's teeth, frog hair, honest politicians and blizzards in Belize. The molly mule, Kate, is owned by Winterhawk Outfitters and they were definitely surprised by the little baby's arrival. DNA testing has confirmed that the foal is out of Kate, but the sire has not stepped forward to accept any parental responsibility. The owners had bought Kate last year with a group of mules and no one had any idea she was pregnant, so they don't know what all she was exposed to while still in Arkansas. It is suspected, however, that the sire is a donkey.

Also in the "you've got to be kidding" vein, the city of Detroit, Mich., pays their union farrier a wage of $56,245 in salary and benefits annually. Keep in mind that Detroit just filed for bankruptcy, yet they are paying someone that wage when there are no horses or mules in the employ of the city of Detroit. A union representative said that it is not possible to eliminate a position. There may not be any horses or mules, but there are apparently are some jackasses, if you'll excuse my use of the word.

The Eastern Wyoming Ranch Rodeo was held Sept. 14 at Lusk, Wyo. The 4-3 Land and Cattle and FX Bar team won the deal and a trip to the WRCA finals in Amarillo, Texas, in November. The team consists of J.D. Williams, Boe Kottwitz, Clay Ashurst, Frank Thompson, Clayton Williams and Chris Laucomer. Top Hand award went to Andrew Wasserburger and Top Horse award went to the mount of Jarryd Burris.

I'm proud as punch of my brother-in-law Bob Burke, Sundance, Wyo. He won the NDRA (North Dakota Rodeo Association) Men's Breakaway at the finals and has a nice new saddle to watch TV from in his living room. Bob rodeos the Slope Circuit in North Dakota, as well as the NRCA and SDRA rodeos every year. He's also a top Barrel Raker at barrel races where his wife, daughter and grandkids compete.

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Casey Stirling, New Underwood, S.D., who broke his back when he came off his bull at a Mitchell, S.D. bull riding is finally home. He underwent surgery on Aug. 23 and is starting rehab. He should make a full recovery but it will be a while before he's up and going again.

I'm sure glad to see Highmore, S.D.'s Jake Rinehart back on the road and winning in the steer wrestling. He was laid up for a while with an elbow injury, but is back to form and sure gunning for a berth at the WNFR.

The Red Dirt and Roughstock Tour Finals will be Friday, Sept. 27, at the Kjerstad Event Center, Rapid City, S.D. There will be 10 each in barebacks, saddle broncs and bulls. For details and ticket information, go to http://www.RedDirtRoughstock.com.

Another processing plant is ready to start processing horses as soon as inspectors are in place. Rains Natural Meats in Gallatin, Mo., received their grant of inspection from the USDA. However, there is speculation that they might get sucked in under the umbrella of the injunction that is preventing other plants from opening. If they aren't though, they could be in business soon. HSUS and it's brethren may not be so hasty to try to drag them into it with the $500,000/month bond they'll have to pay if the processing factions win the lawsuit. Right now, Valley Meats, Roswell, N.M., is waiting for a ruling on the whole deal.

I hope your haying is about to wind up and that your fall work is progressing nicely. Be sure and send me any info or events that you want shared here. I'm always glad to do that.

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