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Welcome aboard

For the Jan. 9, 2010 edition of Tri-State Livestock News.

Some of you know me from my Outtagrass Cattle Company cartoons and various articles I’ve written for TSLN, so I’m not a new “face” to you. This column is a whole new endeavor for me, however, and I am deeply honored to have been asked by Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns to take over for her and carry the premise of the column on under my own brand. I will strive to do the best job I can for the paper and the readers, and hope that I can fill these very big boots that have been given to me. I’m not going to try to step in her tracks, so to speak, but make my own tracks, so this column will be a little different, as it should be.

I will welcome all the information that readers want to send me about upcoming events, concerns, news items and suchlike, so I can let others know what’s going on.

First off, I want to draw attention to a problem that the snow and cold present for horses and their owners. Horses can and will do just fine over the winter eating snow for moisture along with the grass they are grazing. It’s not ideal, but in some circumstances, perfectly acceptable, and I’ve successfully wintered horses this way myself. However, if you get to feeling sorry for old Buddy and Baldy and start throwing them some hay, you had better make sure they have access to water every day. If not, they can and will get impacted, colic, and possibly die. There are probably more painful ways to die, but I can’t think of one at the moment. You’re looking at about $4,000-$5,000 for colic surgery, and not all of those are successful. Better to just chop some ice or open a gate to the corral and watertank.

The Government Accounting Office (GAO) is doing a study on how the closure of the horse processing plants in the U.S. have affected the horse industry and equine welfare in general. The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations ordered the study during its consideration of H.R. 2997, the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010. The measure provides funding for the USDA, Dept. of Health and Human Services, and other related agencies, and was signed into law Oct. 21, 2009.

The study would investigate how the closure of the processing plants have affected the number of horses sold, exported, abandoned, or adopted; farm income and trade; the extent to which horses are slaughtered in the U.S. for any purpose; state and local governments and animal protection organizations; how the USDA oversees the transport of horses to Mexico and Canada for slaughter; and how the Depts. of Agriculture and the Interior work with state governments to identify, hold and transport horses for foreign transport. It is hoped that this independent study by the GAO will help answer some of the questions for the industry and government.

Federal legislation is currently pending that would ban the transport of horses from the U.S. to processing plants in Mexico and Canada. If that happens, you can bet that any other animal agriculture transport will come under fire as well, not to mention just transporting horses for the use of their owners. If you think that can’t happen, I’ve got a mound of snow out here that I’ll sell you, and I’ll even throw in a bridge.

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On a less ominous note, I’m excited about the Black Hills Stock Show horse sale. The First Interstate Bank Horse Sale, Jan. 29-30, is once again in the capable hands of acclaimed auctioneer Lynn Weishaar and his compadre’, pedigree announcer John E. Johnson. The sale committee has worked to improve the overall quality of the horses being offered, therefore making buyers more confident in making a purchase. Better get your catalog and start drooling and wishing as soon as possible.

There’s an equine industry survey that might be worth the time and effort to fill out, and it’s open to anyone 18 and older, who currently owns, leases or manages at least one horse (hard to do that with less) in the U.S. It’s completely anonymous, and not even the members of the research team can track you down.

It’s being done by American Horse Publications (AHP), and along with trends, they seek to gather info on the industry’s more important issues. The AHP’s member publications, Web sites, and newsletters reach nearly three million people in the industry, and it’s thought that this survey will help the industry get answers to many important questions involving the horse world. The survey can be reached through this link: http://www.TheHorse/15145 and ends Jan. 15, 2010.

I found this next item interesting, especially in view of the current economy. According to the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA), cattle cutting competition is the world’s richest equine arena sport. The 2009 NCHA purses exceeded $43 million and that money was earned by members from all 50 states and 21 foreign countries in over 2,200 approved shows worldwide.

For some perspective on the size of the dollars in major events, the NCHA “Triple Crown” of cutting (NCHA Futurity, Super Stakes, and Summer Spectacular) handed out over $10 million in prize money in 2009! The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred racing (Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes) only doled out a paltry $4 million in purses in 2009.

The South Dakota High School Rodeo contestants sell calendars every year to raise funds to help the Nationals qualifiers with travel expenses. The calendars show excellant photos of the SD contestants competing in the arena, and are nicely done. The name of the calender buyer is put in a drawing and that person has a chance to win money back from the SDHSRA over the course of the year. The contestants have to sell a minimum of three calendars to be able to compete in any High School rodeos, so if some nice kid tries to sell you a calendar, pony up the $20 and help out a good cause.

One last quick suggestion: if you haven’t pulled the shoes off your horse for the winter, you ought to get it done. The snow that balls up in their feet can really hurt their tendons, ligaments, and joints. Imagine yourself trying to walk with softballs fastened to the bottom of your feet, on ice.

I’ve made a pretty good circle so I’d better pull up for now and give my horse a breather. Contact me at this email: theoutsidecircle@yahoo.com or call 605-456-2559.

Some of you know me from my Outtagrass Cattle Company cartoons and various articles I’ve written for TSLN, so I’m not a new “face” to you. This column is a whole new endeavor for me, however, and I am deeply honored to have been asked by Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns to take over for her and carry the premise of the column on under my own brand. I will strive to do the best job I can for the paper and the readers, and hope that I can fill these very big boots that have been given to me. I’m not going to try to step in her tracks, so to speak, but make my own tracks, so this column will be a little different, as it should be.

I will welcome all the information that readers want to send me about upcoming events, concerns, news items and suchlike, so I can let others know what’s going on.

First off, I want to draw attention to a problem that the snow and cold present for horses and their owners. Horses can and will do just fine over the winter eating snow for moisture along with the grass they are grazing. It’s not ideal, but in some circumstances, perfectly acceptable, and I’ve successfully wintered horses this way myself. However, if you get to feeling sorry for old Buddy and Baldy and start throwing them some hay, you had better make sure they have access to water every day. If not, they can and will get impacted, colic, and possibly die. There are probably more painful ways to die, but I can’t think of one at the moment. You’re looking at about $4,000-$5,000 for colic surgery, and not all of those are successful. Better to just chop some ice or open a gate to the corral and watertank.

The Government Accounting Office (GAO) is doing a study on how the closure of the horse processing plants in the U.S. have affected the horse industry and equine welfare in general. The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations ordered the study during its consideration of H.R. 2997, the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010. The measure provides funding for the USDA, Dept. of Health and Human Services, and other related agencies, and was signed into law Oct. 21, 2009.

The study would investigate how the closure of the processing plants have affected the number of horses sold, exported, abandoned, or adopted; farm income and trade; the extent to which horses are slaughtered in the U.S. for any purpose; state and local governments and animal protection organizations; how the USDA oversees the transport of horses to Mexico and Canada for slaughter; and how the Depts. of Agriculture and the Interior work with state governments to identify, hold and transport horses for foreign transport. It is hoped that this independent study by the GAO will help answer some of the questions for the industry and government.

Federal legislation is currently pending that would ban the transport of horses from the U.S. to processing plants in Mexico and Canada. If that happens, you can bet that any other animal agriculture transport will come under fire as well, not to mention just transporting horses for the use of their owners. If you think that can’t happen, I’ve got a mound of snow out here that I’ll sell you, and I’ll even throw in a bridge.

On a less ominous note, I’m excited about the Black Hills Stock Show horse sale. The First Interstate Bank Horse Sale, Jan. 29-30, is once again in the capable hands of acclaimed auctioneer Lynn Weishaar and his compadre’, pedigree announcer John E. Johnson. The sale committee has worked to improve the overall quality of the horses being offered, therefore making buyers more confident in making a purchase. Better get your catalog and start drooling and wishing as soon as possible.

There’s an equine industry survey that might be worth the time and effort to fill out, and it’s open to anyone 18 and older, who currently owns, leases or manages at least one horse (hard to do that with less) in the U.S. It’s completely anonymous, and not even the members of the research team can track you down.

It’s being done by American Horse Publications (AHP), and along with trends, they seek to gather info on the industry’s more important issues. The AHP’s member publications, Web sites, and newsletters reach nearly three million people in the industry, and it’s thought that this survey will help the industry get answers to many important questions involving the horse world. The survey can be reached through this link: http://www.TheHorse/15145 and ends Jan. 15, 2010.

I found this next item interesting, especially in view of the current economy. According to the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA), cattle cutting competition is the world’s richest equine arena sport. The 2009 NCHA purses exceeded $43 million and that money was earned by members from all 50 states and 21 foreign countries in over 2,200 approved shows worldwide.

For some perspective on the size of the dollars in major events, the NCHA “Triple Crown” of cutting (NCHA Futurity, Super Stakes, and Summer Spectacular) handed out over $10 million in prize money in 2009! The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred racing (Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes) only doled out a paltry $4 million in purses in 2009.

The South Dakota High School Rodeo contestants sell calendars every year to raise funds to help the Nationals qualifiers with travel expenses. The calendars show excellant photos of the SD contestants competing in the arena, and are nicely done. The name of the calender buyer is put in a drawing and that person has a chance to win money back from the SDHSRA over the course of the year. The contestants have to sell a minimum of three calendars to be able to compete in any High School rodeos, so if some nice kid tries to sell you a calendar, pony up the $20 and help out a good cause.

One last quick suggestion: if you haven’t pulled the shoes off your horse for the winter, you ought to get it done. The snow that balls up in their feet can really hurt their tendons, ligaments, and joints. Imagine yourself trying to walk with softballs fastened to the bottom of your feet, on ice.

I’ve made a pretty good circle so I’d better pull up for now and give my horse a breather. Contact me at this email: theoutsidecircle@yahoo.com or call 605-456-2559.

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