Jan Swan Wood: Oklahoma scores, HSUS ears get boxes, more Leachman horses, Lisa Clinic, 5-State Futurity | TSLN.com

Jan Swan Wood: Oklahoma scores, HSUS ears get boxes, more Leachman horses, Lisa Clinic, 5-State Futurity

We've had some beautiful weather the past week. The meadowlarks are back and singing loudly, so that means it's officially spring for me. Our grass is trying to green up, but it's still pretty thirsty work for it. I was fencing yesterday and kneeled where a snow bank had been last winter and my knee didn't get wet. Darn it!

My hat's off to Oklahoma! Governor Mary Fallin signed into law legislation that will allow horse processing in the state after a 50 year ban. The bill received bi-partisan support and was approved by a wide margin in both the house and senate. The law will take effect November 1. I'm sure that a plant will be ready to swing the doors open on that day in Oklahoma.

The coffers of HSUS took a hit when a court awarded Feld Entertainment/Barnum & Bailey circuses a settlement of $20 million for false charges and harassment. Of course, $20 million isn't that big of a hit for that organization that has more money in it's moldy wallet than many nations. My hope is that this will set a precedence for future cases, like the one filed by International Equine Business Association over the damages done to the equine industry with the closure of horse processing plants. It's long past time that they were held accountable.

More than 70 members of the U.S. House of Representatives (congress) have written to the Obama administration urging the delisting of the gray wolf as an endangered species in the lower 48 states. They're about as endangered as prairie dogs and are decimating wildlife populations, beside the damage done to livestock, in many states. They're the exact same species of wolf that inhabits Canada and Alaska and those populations are doing fine with no endangered designation. As a matter of fact, they are hunted and the population is controlled and the balance is kept in the predator/prey equation. Why they were ever designated as endangered is beyond me. More of those animal rights nuts did that to us. Of course, none of them ever have to deal with wolves or have to witness a pack of wolves feeding on a living animal. I'd say, unless you have a "dog in the hunt," mind your own business.

The last of the Leachman horses in Montana were sold last week at Poplar, MT. These were the ones that Richard Holen had had since February 2012. Leachman never paid for the horses' upkeep and wouldn't remove them, so Holen sued in tribal court to get compensation and won a $544,510 judgment against Leachman in November, then in March 2013, the right to sell them. Some of these horses were part of the 800 plus head that the Crow Tribe sold in 2011 and had been bought by Seth Leachman at that auction. Seth may have had the bid, but Jim Leachman wrote the check for them, then put them on the Ft. Peck Reservation ranch of the Holens. The 131 horses consisted of mares, stallions, and youngsters. The older horses carried the Hairpin brand, but I kind of doubt there were papers to go with them. The papers on the Hairpin horses weren't always quite right even when the ranch was in full operation. It's such a shame too, as they are really good horses.

On a more positive note, there will be a Lisa Lockhart Barrel Clinic April 27-28, at Worthing, SD. Lisa is one of the top barrel racers in the nation with many WNFR appearances. She's currently at #4 in the standings, too. Call Chris Vinson at 605-310-3032 for information.

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Speaking of barrels, futurity payments for the 5 State Breeders Futurity begin May 1. The 5 State will be held Sept. 6-8 at the Central States Fairgrounds Event Center in Rapid City, SD. Go to http://www.5statebreedersfuturity.com for more information and forms.

Cowboy Poetry Week is coming up April 21-27 with a big shindig in Deadwood, SD at the Days of '76 Museum. I'll get more info about that by next week. In the mean time, to commemorate that week, feel free to take your local cowboy poet out for pie and coffee, hint hint… A bale of hay makes a nice gift too.

I just realized I hadn't nagged you lately to get those stud colts cut right away. This nice weather before flies is just right. It'll make him a way better citizen.

Well, that's my circle. I hope we all have to fix water gaps this year. I've sure missed it. Having to build new hay corrals for excess hay would be dandy too. Pray for rain.

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