Rodeo season, sad news, good and bad news | TSLN.com

Rodeo season, sad news, good and bad news

My how time flies. On one hand, it’s been the longest winter ever, but on the other, here it is March already! My winter horse is sharp shod, so let’s hit a lope and see what’s happening on the circle.

The Spring Series at Golliher’s (north of Spearfish) is starting up on March 7. It’s always fun to go watch too, and exhibitions start around 10 a.m. with the PeeWees (AKA: Cute As Can Be division) at noon.

Also coming up right away is the Tri-State Rough Stock Series rodeo at Newcastle, WY on March 13. Entries open March 8 and its NRCA and Tri-State Rodeo approved. The timed events will be at 10 a.m. and the rough stock at 7 p.m.

Montana’s High School Rodeo season kicks off with a qualifying cutting at Billings on March 19. Nothing happening right away with the other states high school rodeos, but April will get very busy for ND, MT, WY, NE and SD.

Upon looking at all of the surrounding state’s high school rodeo websites (just Google ’em), I see there are some absolutely fantastic rodeo schools happening this spring. Wow, what an opportunity for our kids to learn from the best in the business! All events can only benefit from a good school, but rough stock especially is important. The young rough stock riders need to learn so much that can’t be learned at home on the ranch and shouldn’t be learned at a rodeo, and these schools are meant for just that level and need, with the safety of the student foremost.

Friend Janie sent me the dates for the 2010 Belle Jackpot Association, and they are May 21, June 9 and 16, July 7 and 14, and August 4, 11 and 25. All start at 6 p.m. at the Roundup Grounds in Belle Fourche, SD. Great place to put the seasoning on a horse or yourself for less money than just hitting the rodeo trail, plus the whole family can take part.

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Barb Daniels says that Wyoming Horse Council Membership dues are, well, due. They are accomplishing a lot statewide and it’s a good way to have your voice heard with others of like mind and in the same business. Call her at 307-348-4424 for more info.

I want to express my sympathy to the families of two well-known men in the horse racing world. Chris Fiegen, 39, was a Harding County High School graduate (1989) who went on to compile over 800 wins in his career as a professional jockey. Recent years found him riding in Florida, where he was tragically killed in a car accident on Feb. 14 in Miami. Chris will be missed by his wife Janna and daughters Jade and Chloe, all of Loxahatchee, FL, his parents, Pat and Dorothy of Buffalo, SD, plus three brothers and three sisters.

Also riding over the great divide recently was Raymond Yost of Wheatland, WY, who died Feb. 19. Raymond, 84 years, and his dear wife Bette, raced horses in the Intermountain region from Montana to New Mexico for many years, and enjoyed a lot of success and lifelong friendships. Many of their horses had “Bourdeaux” in their names and Bourdeaux Jet and Bourdeaux Kirk were two of their runners. Raymond is survived by Bette, and their son Don, plus four granddaughters.

Fred and Clara Wilson’s good mare Miss N Chablis not only won the Ranch Horse Competition Open Division at the BHSS, but also won at the BHSS AQHA show, under both judges. She won the Jr. Cowhorse and Jr. Cutting and is unofficially qualified for the 2010 World Show. The gorgeous five year old mare is by Doc Bueno Dinero and out of a No Maybes mare, and is trained and shown by the very capable Levi Grimes of Kadoka, SD. The Wilsons have been raising good horses for decades and she is right out of the heart of their program. Congrats!

On the “it’s about time” front, there’s a new watchdog organization that is going to be keeping an eye on the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and will analyze their activities. It’s called HumaneWatch.org if you want to look it up. The website includes a blog by Center for Consumer Freedom’s Director of Research, a library and database capable of tracking the multitude of non-profit and for-profit organizations that make up the HSUS’s huge financial empire. There is some talk of there being an investigation underway to examine the HSUS non-profit status. The HSUS is a big business that rakes in millions from people who think that the HSUS actually cares for animals. If you want to donate to the Humane Society, just go to your local shelter and help them out. They aren’t affiliated with the HSUS and are actually doing a lot of good.

Another plus this week is that the Missouri Horse Slaughter Bill was voted on on Feb. 18 and passed by a decisive margin. It moved on to the next level in the legislature but no date has been set yet for a hearing. This could be the flagship for other states to return humane horse slaughter to the U.S. before more horses suffer terrible deaths through neglect and abandonment. Not a pretty picture.

New Canadian horse slaughter rules could cause drastic slowdown of U.S. exports, for as of July 31, 2010, all horses slaughtered in Canada will have to have detailed info regarding vaccinations, medications and illnesses. Undocumented horses brought to Canada to slaughter will require a six month quarantine before slaughter. Statistically, 56 percent of the horses processed in Canada are U.S. horses so this could just knock the legs out from under the already terrible market for slaughter horses. This would be a really good time to get on the phone and remind our reps in D.C. to keep HR 503 and SB 7272 from passing. Those are the ones that would make it illegal to transport horses if they could possibly be slaughtered for human consumption.

The sentencing of Three Strikes Ranch owner Jason Meduna took place in Alliance, NE recently. Meduna, famous for starving horses to death or nearly to death on his ranch in Nebraska, was sentenced to 40-120 months in prison, plus the judge said he can’t own, possess or reside with animals for 30 years. The judge said in a statement that Meduna never accepted responsibility for what happened so was likely to repeat the offense if he had animals again. Of course, Meduna plans to appeal.

I’ll talk to you again next week and tell you what I’ve seen and heard on my circle.

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