Jan Swan Wood: WNFR barrel results, top bucking stock awards, Leachman sentencing, Merry Christmas | TSLN.com

Jan Swan Wood: WNFR barrel results, top bucking stock awards, Leachman sentencing, Merry Christmas

It will be Christmas Eve day or maybe even after Christmas when you read this. I hope you got everything done that you felt you just HAD to do for Christmas, and if you didn't, I hope you were happy enough with the way things turned out. I know, personally, that I always bite off more than I can possibly chew, so to speak, before Christmas. When I don't get something done, I stress about it for a while, but in the long run, it seldom matters too much. Christmas things aren't what's important after all.

If you have a big family like I do, the get-togethers are big gatherings with lots of laughing, loud talking to be heard over the kids, and too much good food. I know that I am richly blessed to be a part of such a clan and know also that there are many who have no family and no place special to go. I feel for them at this time of year.

I do hope that we all understand why we have Christmas. It's not so retailers can make enough money to stay in business, not so that college kids get a big break between semesters, not so that we can eat ourselves fat and have to make resolutions to lose weight in the coming year. It's to celebrate the birth of Christ, our Savior. December 25th is the day that we remember that and pay homage to our Lord and Creator for that gift of all gifts. As long as we stay focused on that truth, everything else is just background noise that we create ourselves.

I suppose I need to share some news and notes with you, since that's what I'm here for. The AQHA's reduced fees for older horse registration is going to end December 31, so if you haven't done that, you'd better get off the dime and get to it. It's $300/horse instead of $500-1000. Even my less-than-incredible math skills tell me that that's a bargain.

I haven't been able to get the whole year-end picture of the WNFR as of yet, but I did get a nice rundown on the barrels. At the end of the finals, "our girls," Lisa, Nikki and Trula had pocketed some nice change. In those standings it's Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, SD, in fifth with a split for fourth in round 3, fourth in round 4, third in round 6, third in round 7, fourth in the round 8, first in the round 9, and second in the round ten for a total WNFR earnings placing of 2nd with $107,874.59. Nikki Steffes, Vale, SD, place ninth in the finals with a fifth place run in round 10 and 12th in the total earnings with $23,557.69. Trula Churchill, Valentine, NE, was 13th in the standings with a second in round 5, fifth in round 7 and fifth in round 8 and 11th in the earnings placings with $23,852.17. I'll have more on the WNFR when the full results are available.

Also at the WNFR, the PRCA Top Bucking Stock Award went to Sutton Rodeo's Chuckulator, which marks the first time in eight years that a saddle bronc won the award. He's an eight year old stallion sired by the great Justin Boots and out of Midnight Star. He bucked off both of his riders that drew him during the finals. Powder River Rodeo's great bull Shepherd Hills Tested won the award for bulls. Powder River is from Riverton, WY.

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There will be a Dena Kirkpatrick Barrel Clinic June 7-8 at Riverton, WY. It's limited to 15 students and costs $600 to get in. It's $75 per day to watch for the fence- sitters. For students, there's a $275 deposit due by Jan. 1. Call 307-851-9854 for more information.

Jim Leachman was sentenced Dec. 12, on animal abuse charges in Yellowstone County court, Billings, MT. He was sentenced to five years with all but 120 days suspended, fined $5,000, and prohibited from owning cattle or horses for the duration of his sentence. He received the maximum sentence allowed. According to court records, he never did take responsibility for the suffering and death of the horses he was charged with abusing (actual charges on five out of 800 or more horses). The abuse charges were over the leg bands that had been left on the horses until the legs were ruined and the horses died or had to be put down. It doesn't take into account the horses that he didn't feed the winter of 2010/11 that ran all over that country and caused lots of problems for other ranchers. Moreover, Yellowstone County and many volunteers provided feed for the horses which were eventually turned over to another entity and sold. Chief Deputy Attorney Rod Souza, said that Leachman displayed "extreme arrogance" throughout the proceedings.

If you are wanting to donate some money to help animals anywhere, whether large or small, be sure you give that money to legitimate, local organizations. Your local shelters not only provide for dogs and cats, but other small animals as well. Some are also having to undertake the huge task of providing for horses and other large animals due to animals being turned over to them or being taken away from owners by county officials. It costs a lot to run one of those organizations, so, please do donate whatever you can. Don't bother donating to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) though, as less than 1% of that money actually goes to help animals and/or shelters. Keep it local and you'll be all right.

Well, it's a cold, windy day, so I think I'll get down off this old ridge and call this circle ridden. Do send me any news items, fundraiser information, and other tidbits if you have them. Always glad to help you get the word out. Have a blessed Christmas.

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