Jan Swan Wood: Bice’s gift, bja, horse processing holdup, events to watch | TSLN.com

Jan Swan Wood: Bice’s gift, bja, horse processing holdup, events to watch

I took a little break from the irrigating and headed for Wyoming to attend a friend's memorial service in the big country north of Recluse, Wyo. I'd forgotten just how pretty that country is and I saw a lot of hay bales and good grass over most of it. The dams could sure use a drink, but overall it looked good. I left the Wallis ranch and headed to Broadus, Mont., via gravel coming home (kind of the L.A. via Omaha route) and observed lots of hay being put up all the way across. The Powder River was running pretty well and there'd been a thunderstorm through a stretch of that country that sure made the water run. It had rinsed all the old ash off of those scoria ridges and buttes that had the fires last summer and the draws and gullies were pretty black up the sides from the runoff.

High school rodeo has so many really wonderful young contestents, but sometimes one of them does something that makes him or her stand out from the crowd. Wyatt Bice, Killdeer, N.D., an NDHSRA member sure did. At the NDHSRA finals awards presentation, Wyatt spoke of his friend Kelby Indergard, Squaw Gap, N.D., 17, who died in a snowmobile accident in January. He then asked Kelby's folks, Kelly and Stacey, to join him on the stage where Wyatt presented them with his Todd Slone saddle certificate that he had won as champion team roper/header. He told them that he thought Kelby would have won it anyway and he wanted them to have it. Kelby's brother, Seth, a freshman, qualified for the NHSRA finals in Rock Springs, Wyo., so Kelby's dad, accompanied by Wyatt, went to the Todd Slone booth and ordered the saddle.

Five months before Wyatt presented the certificate to the Indergards, he had asked his Mom if he could do that and she said it was his to do with as he wished if he won it. He decided then that he would give the saddle to Kelby's folks if he won the state finals. A man of his word, Wyatt did exactly as he had planned.

It sure does my heart good to hear of things like this. Reaffirms my believe that ranch and rodeo kids are pretty darned special.

Belle Jackpot Association is in full swing after a slow start. Rain made them miss a few of the early jackpots, but they're off and running now. The last three dates are July 31, Aug. 7 and Aug. 21. Events are barrels, poles, goat tying, goat tail untying, team roping and tie down roping. There's a division for every age. BJA starts at 6 p.m. at the Belle Fourche Roundup Grounds, Belle Fourche, S.D.

Powell, Wyo., bull rider, Kanin Asay will be on the sidelines for a while nursing an injury, but it will give him time to spend with his family, so it's not all bad. He and his wife Sydney just welcomed baby daughter Kymber on July 18. Their son Kasen will be two in September so I'm sure Sydney will welcome Daddy's help while he recuperates. Incidentally, he was laid up with an injury when Kasen was born too, so it seems the bulls think he needs to help Sydney with the new baby too.

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In the antacid and tension headache department, another stumbling block has been tossed out to stop legal horse processing. Robert Redford and former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson have jumped on the anti-slaughter bandwagon now. Their statement about their new animal welfare organization just happened to coincide with the New Mexico Environment Department's decision to not renew Valley Meat's wastewater discharge permit. Redford and Richardson (R2) have formed an animal protection foundation to fight the opening of plants in New Mexico and Iowa. The Foundation To Protect New Mexico's Wildlife's first act was to join a federal lawsuit with HSUS and other anti's to block the planned Aug. 5 opening of Valley Meats in Roswell, N.M. Their statement says that slaughter is "cruel and inhumane and perpetuates abuse and neglect of these beloved animals." An Aug. 2 hearing is set on the lawsuits that have been filed by the A.R. (animal rights) groups.

In more good news for the ranchers and farmers of New Mexico, R2's new foundation will focus on the "preservation and protection of the state's wild horse and burro population, with efforts also made on behalf of the Mexican gray wolf, bison and the reintroduction of native fish and mammal species." Of course, horses and burros aren't native to the U.S., but they seem to overlook that detail. Again, no solution is given for the unwanted, starving, neglected horses in the U.S., but they're sure all about prolonging it.

Rodeo Hart Ranch will be held Aug. 15-17 at Rapid City, S.D.. The open rodeo will have bulls, barebacks, saddle broncs, barrels and team roping (enter twice). For more information on entries, call or text 406-498-9249 or email lelandjmcmillan@gmail.com . The rodeo will have the good Wilson stock so will be good watching too.

There are some new events at the Ride A Horse Feed A Cowboy shindig in Hulett, Wyo., Aug. 23-25. They've added Stock Saddle Bronc Riding (aka ranch bronc riding), which has proven to be getting more popular with the working cowboy set. They've also added Wild Cow Milking, and that's always a blast to watch. You can find them on Facebook or online.

Well, I've loped a lot of country with this circle, so I'll pull up for this week. Send me your items.

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