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2018 Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show kicked off November 1 at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City

Exhibitors at the 2018 Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show saddled up and brought their A-game to the show pen for the first day of stiff competition at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City on November 1. Classes began at 2 p.m. in the Jim Norick Arena with barrel racing.

Nearly 4,500 entries from the United States, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are competing for 99 world championships and 90 Adequan® Level 2 Championships champion titles, with more than $2.4 million in prize money up for grabs at this year's event, November 1-17.

The Lucas Oil World has a variety of events and activities for competitors, friends, family and spectators, including free Nutrena Ride the Pattern clinics taught by AQHA Professional Horsemen. See the Lucas Oil World Show schedule for the tentative list of clinics and times.

New this year, join AQHA for an exciting evening at 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 3, for the first Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show Match Roping. Watch young guns vs. legends as elite ropers Cory Solomon, Timber Moore, Blair Burk and Cody Ohl battle it out for top honors and the chance at $18,500 in prize money. Tickets are just $10 and include entertainment by rodeo performer J.J. Harrison. This will be a fun, action-packed event for the whole family that you won't want to miss.

Attendees can also look forward to receptions and parties during the show. For more information on special events at this year's show, visit http://www.aqha.com/worldshow.

Take a break from the action in the arenas to enjoy the free Trade Show in the Bennett Event Center. The Trade Show features more than 100 vendors from across the United States, offering home décor, jewelry, tack, western attire, trailers and more. The Trade Show features live coverage of the Lucas Oil World, two cocktail bars and four concessions areas. It is also the home of the ARC Champions Circle, presented by Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que, Stehney Quarter Horses and Smith Show Horses, and hosts a dailly happy hour each afternoon from 3 to 7 p.m. Visit AQHA's booth to handle your AQHA paperwork onsite and purchase your Lucas Oil World commemorative merchandise at the American Quarter Horse Store.


Back Numbers Released for 60th NFR

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.- The highly anticipated release of the back numbers for the 2018 Wrangler Nationals Finals Rodeo has finally come to fruition.

The Top 15 competitors in each event will pin the following numbers to the back of their shirts or vests at the 60th annual Wrangler NFR at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Dec. 6-15.


The 2018 Wrangler NFR back numbers are as follows:

* Injury replacement for J.R. Vezain.


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Rodeo cowgirl: Kristi Birkeland to be honored at Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center Tribute Dinner

Kristi Birkeland didn't expect to be awarded this year's rodeo cowgirl honor at the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center Tribute Dinner. Although she still ties goats, her focus has shifted a bit from competing with ladies around the region to feeding her 16-year-old's passion for rodeo and her 10-year-old triplets' love for wrestling, football, rodeo.

The Dupree, South Dakota, rancher found her passion for goat tying in college and was successful around the state and region for many years.

In high school and 4-H rodeoing, she wasn't a one-event wonder as she was later in life. In addition to goat tying, Kristi ran barrels and poles in high school, and barrel raced in college at Dickinson State University before transferring to the then National College, now National American University, in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Kristi won her first of more than 15 saddles in 1988 in goat tying as a senior at South Dakota High School Rodeo Finals.

"I think that first one's pretty sweet," she said. She has also gotten to witness her daughter, Sidni, win a saddle or two, and repeat the feelings of her own successes. Sidni was instrumental in solidifying the honor for her mom.

"She made the National High School Finals in pole bending and also won state senior girls gaot tying at 4-H finals in Fort Pierre this year. She had a good summer," Kristi said of her prodigy. "She also won state High School pole bending allowing her to go to finals. She got two saddles at two different events. I'm proud of her."

Once out of college, Kristi narrowed her focus to only goat tying within South Dakota Rodeo Association,.

"I was a very fierce competitor, and being in the goat tying and just a one-event person, I knew that I needed to do good everywhere I went to pay my way," Kristi said. "There weren't as many girls entered in goat tying so our paychecks weren't as big as other events, and I knew if I didn't win enough to pay my way, then I wouldn't keep going."

Kristi rodeoed in the days in which brand new, state-of-the-art pickups pulling $100,000 living quarter trailers weren't as common. Instead, she had a ranch horse turned performance horse, and she split the bill with one, two, or five traveling partners.

"I had the absolute best traveling partners. We would pack six of us in a four-door pickup with six to seven horses in a stock trailer with the nose full of saddles," Kristi said. "If you didn't have it organized just right, we couldn't even fit all our tack in there. It didn't cost a lot to rodeo then when you split the gas six ways!"

A friend who often watched Kristi compete at rodeos he entered says her work ethic and natural athletic ability are "amazing."

"She is athletic, sure, but she's also got no quit. 'Give it your all and worry about the pain later,' that's her mentality and what makes Kristi so good,'" said former Northwest Ranch Cowboys Association President Casey Olson of Prairie City, South Dakota.

"She's the perfect example of what you get when you are tenacious and you religiously practice," said Olson. He says Birkeland's dedication to practice was good not only for herself, but her horses, as well. "She practiced all the time. Practice isn't just for you, its for your horse, too. She would make the horse learn how she wanted it done."

Birkeland holds back nothing when competing, but gives it her all, every single run, he said. "Kristi proves what a person can do when you go with complete abandon, you don't worry about the wreck, you just go for it. She just goes by the skin of her teeth and that's why she's fun to watch," said Olson.

"I'm just glad she wasn't a bulldogger – she would have cut in on our winnings a little bit," he joked. Birkeland is very deserving of the award, Olson said, and said he's surprised she wasn't honored earlier.

Birkeland lost her most valuable rodeo partner this year, just last month. She won at least six SDRA goat tying championships on Walsh, a blaze-face sorrel Quarter Horse gelding.

"I had a lot of good horses when I was rodeoing, and one of the things I am proud of is, I believe, just about every one of them was horse of the year at one time, but my favorite has to be Walsh," Kristi said. "I got him from my good friend Alisa Nelson McGrath. She had an injury, so she couldn't rodeo one summer, so she offered him to me, and by the end of summer, I'd won enough to pay for him."

Both her nieces rodeoed on Walsh, as did Sidni, before the Birkelands retired him. He passed away at the age of thirty last month.

Kristi's sons, Cruz, Fletcher, and Tee, also rodeo and participate in local play days. Just this summer, they tried their hands at mini bareback riding and breakaway, and they have also done goat tying, the flag race, and calf or steer riding among other events.

"Once it's in your blood, it's pretty hard to get rid of. Now I can enjoy my kids, and I push them," Kristi said. "I wouldn't push them if they didn't want to do it, but, at my age, I do know how important it is. If I had pushed myself a little harder, I know what I could have accomplished."

Much like her kids, Kristi grew up on the family ranch, where the rodeo gene runs strong. Kristi's brother Ken Lensegrav is a former NFR bareback rider. Their parents Dave and Rhonda still ranch near Meadow, South Dakota, and though she and her crew live on her husband Jace's family ranch, they help her folks on the days more hands are needed.

"I'm still part of that; even though I live in Dupree, I try to get there when we're branding and shipping, and I still have my cattle there," Kristi said of her parent's operation. She helps with their production sale as well.

Her parents, Dave and Rhonda Lensegrav, were one of the first families to raise Gelbvieh cattle in South Dakota, and that breed of cattle led them to meet Jim and Barb Beastrom. After three or four years of considering Kristi a fitting honoree for the Casey Tibbs Foundation Tribute Dinner, Barb finally filled out the nomination forms earlier this year.

"She was about 16 when I first met her. She was traveling by herself to go to these rodeos; she's quite a hand," Barb said. "She is a mother of four, works with her husband, and is involved with her kids. She's just one tough gal. I thought she was very, very deserving of this."

Kristi was the SDRA goat tying champion nine times, and reserve champion six times, National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Great Plains Region champion three times, and a year-end champion in other regional associations multiple times. She simultaneously won the Northwest Ranch Cowboy Association year-end award and finals several times, as well as the Mid-States Rodeo Association championship.

"I'm very humbled by the honor," Kristi said. "To be honored the same time as Frenchman's Guy, just to be grouped together with those other people is amazing. I've known Glen and Yvonne Hollenbeck for years and rodeoed with Jake."

Click here to see the full list of honorees.

Over 10M strong for commonsense management of wild horses

WASHINGTON (October 4, 2018) – This week, the National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition (NHBRMC) submitted public testimony to the Bureau of Land Management on the current state of our nation's rangelands.

Representing over 10 million Americans and 18 national organizations, the Coalition includes sportsmen, livestock growers, state and local governments, resource management specialists, professional land managers, and others concerned with the management of horses and burros in a commonsense and ecologically-sound way.

In the testimony, NHBRMC Chair Ethan Lane and Vice Chair Lia Biondo state:

"We understand that the recent recommendations were not easy ones to make, but are critical and were undertaken only after careful review of the dire situation facing the wild horse and burro herds, native wildlife, and our public rangelands. Because it reflects original Congressional intent and will help resolve the current wild horse and burro overpopulation crisis, our Coalition supports the Advisory Board's recommendations.

"Unfortunately, since that recommendation in 2016, the on-range population of horses and burros grew from 67,027 to 81,951 (as of March 1, 2018). The lack of actionable steps taken to reduce on-range population only exacerbates the current crisis. The Board should continue making bold recommendations to encourage the Administration to act."

–Public Lands Council

Meyer: USRSB a 21ST Century Trojan Horse

Just when cattle producers were becoming accustomed to those new millennium buzz words," Sound Science," the self-righteous, save the world authorities, have come to our rescue and thrust the term "sustainability" into our everyday vocabularies. For those of us remaining in farming and ranching, sustainability has been a multi-generational daily event propagated through common sense, hard work and seasoned with a dash of good luck. However, recently our sustainable roots have acquired a new perspective with the 2013 incorporation of the United States Round Table for Sustainable Beef (USRSB). USRSB proclaims the mission, "To advance, support and communicate continuous improvement in the sustainability of U.S. beef production by educating and engaging the beef value-chain through a collaborative multi-stakeholder effort."

Webster defines "sustainability" as to uphold and support. The USRSB mission statement appears to be the arrival of the cavalry as working producers, pre-occupied with daily ranch management decisions, have little time for off-farm issues. With this positive frontal assault to sustain our industry, only one question remains, "Who are the collaborative multi-stakeholders?"

Upon closer examination of the multi-stakeholders it becomes apparent that beef producers are facing the enemy disguised as a giant Trojan horse. A giant wooden horse, waiting to be towed inside the castle where under the cover of darkness, the final blow of beef industry vertical integration will be delivered; a collaborative effort to insert the final piece of the vertical integration puzzle for all of U.S. agriculture.

To better understand the odds producers are up against let's examine the missions by which these multi- stakeholders plan to educate and engage producers and our industry.

The USRSB boasts 43 founding members with the majority being members and affiliate organizations of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA). However NCBA has a history of anti – producer support for marketing issues. Under their fake producer disguise NCBA and affiliates were successful in persuading Congress to repeal Country of Origen Labeling (COOL). Their "kill COOL" packer-orchestrated charge resulted in a $20 billion loss to cattle producers within the first 9 months. At the same time, packer profits increased from $17 per animal to $194. Since February this year, packers have collaborated to increase their per head margins by 60 percent with a peak profits over $400 per head. Since May 25th packers initiated 3 weeks of reduced supplies of negotiated cash cattle, relying heavily upon their domestic and foreign captive supplies. Their 50 percent decline of purchased cash inventory successfully tanked the cash market at $106.87, culminating an 8 year low costing feeders and producers billions. During this same period retail sales were strong with a .38 percent Activity Index gain and a 1 percent featured rate increase, disputing claims of weak consumer demands.

Since the Jan. 1, 2016 repeal of COOL, it is estimated that producers have lost over $60 billion in revenue due to depressed markets and competition with imported beef being falsely mislabeled as USA beef. These $60 billion producer losses translate into losses of over $420 billion of U.S. true renewable wealth. Armed with their thieving tactics, USRSB's largest fake producer constituent is a pro packer Trojan horse stakeholders, collaborating and conspiring to engage the beef value chain to sustain monopolistic power.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a civil society USRSB stakeholder, is an international fund raising organization with focus on species-related conservation projects and the establishment of nature reserves. WWF, an anti – domesticated animal organization, encourages high income countries, like the United States, to eat less beef.

WWF in conjunction with other conservation groups has its eye on the Northern Great Plains which spans more than 180 million acres and crosses five U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. To conquer the Northern Great Plains, WWF assisted the American Prairie Foundation's acquisition of 31,320 domestic livestock grazing acres in Montana for wildlife restoration. Grants from our U.S. Government along with partnerships from Coca Cola and Walmart enable this Trojan horse participant to remove domestic livestock from beef producing grasslands. Worldwide, WWF is acquiring land at astonishing rates through their "debt-for-nature" swaps. Funding for these swaps is generated through an unprecedented partnership between WWF, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. government.

The Nature Conservancy, another USRSB member, works in cooperation with the National Wildlife Federation and the World Animal Foundation to eliminate domestic livestock grazing on federal, state and private grasslands. The Nature Conservancy coordinates efforts to advance the Dakota Grasslands Conservation Area (DGCA), through the purchasing of perpetual conservation easements from private landowners thereby limiting future landowner activities.

Nature Conservancy is transitioning staff to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service offices in South Dakota to help purchase perpetual conservation easements. Nature Conservancy also works with legislators and other decision-makers to ensure that funding from federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and other federal and state sources flows to the DGCA to fund their anti-domestic livestock programs.

Both the Nature Conservancy and WWF are stealth Trojan horse participants with underlying motives to remove domestic livestock from the grasslands and aiding to the demise of family agriculture. Both organizations have succeeded in removing domestic livestock from 1.1 million acres of grasslands in northeast Montana.

Other USRSB Trojan horse stakeholders include Arby's Restaurant Group, Costco Wholesale Corporation, Mc Donald's Corporation, Target, Taco Bell, Wendy and Walmart. All retail members seeking to improve their financial bottom line through the exploitation of producers burdened with expensive source and age documentation.

The first requirement USRSB stakeholders are seeking, is the establishment of a national animal identification system to monitor producer premise and livestock (personal property) numbers. The USRSB web site proudly proclaims, "USRSB recognizes the necessity of animal identification for the U.S. beef cattle herd to measure success and improvements in sustainability and embraces a nationwide goal of animal identification for purposes of disease traceability, herd security, consumer confidence, quality improvement, international market access, and a means to participate in supply chain programs that can offer value-added benefits." Two of the most alarming points of this statement are "quality improvement and market access" which were the (2) main driving principles for vertical integration in the hog and poultry industries. When processors and retailers dictate quality and market access the ultimate battle of price fixation has been won and beef producers will join the ranks with their swine and poultry colleagues as serfs on their own land.

USRSB and their global predecessor, the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) are two of the largest threats to family agriculture and if left unchecked will result in the extinction of family beef production at the hands of large multi-corporate conglomerates seeking to exploit the industry for their monopolistic control. The stakeholders of these organizations are establishing total industry control through producer intimidation and proclamation of their superior "sustainable" knowledge.

Looking back at past beef industry cycles, this new "sustainable" charge is nothing more than a continuance of past corporate market manipulation which congress attempted to fix with the 1921 Packers and Stockyard Act. The only change this time around is the collusion of stakeholders who not only want to steal your markets but also wish to remove your cattle off state and federal grasslands.

As cattlemen, why would we want to sustain a broken market system in which 35 producers are forced out of business each day and the producer share of the beef dollar is 14.8 cents versus a retail- wholesale share of 85.2 cents? Are we willing to obediently allow USRSB to instill their monopolistic rhetoric and policies upon our industry?

In the past 75 years, cattle producers have received near parity prices for their livestock only 3 years, 2013-2015, resulting from the enforcement of COOL. Are we willing to let the USRSB stakeholders vertically integrate our beef industry and casting us into serfdom without a fight? Will we continue to ignore the packer carnage of our industry or will we take charge of our destiny and replace the USRSB Trojan horse coup with a regenerative producer charge to restore family agriculture?

Vaughn Meyer

Reva, SD

Mont. trainer to ride young mare in $1M barrel futurity

In 2015, June Tibbetts of Terry, Montana was sitting at a 1st Annual Copper Spring Ranch Horse Sale, watching the safer, more broke 2-year-old prospects sell for well above her budget, when a spirited acting two-year-old mare came through the ring.

"I thought, 'My golly this is a pretty nice horse,'" the 69-year-old woman says. "I just bid on her and bought her."

Never in a million years would Tibbetts have thought that mare would carry her to the Pink Buckle Barrel Race in Guthrie, Oklahoma where she will be running for $1 million, October 5-7.

Tibbetts says she has been riding horses from a very young age, thanks to her father, Warner Johnson, who raised a lot of horses near Circle, Montana. She rode their home-raised horses in a small number of Little Britches and High School Rodeos, but says it wasn't until 1983 that she was became serious about barrel racing.

"I have had several nice horses in the past," she says. "I dabbled in barrel horses, did it as a hobby. We have a ranch and we ride all our horses on the ranch, so we might as well ride performance horses that we can train."

Tibbetts says she has been fortunate enough to ride several talented barrel horses over the years. Mr. Tibbs, a home raised gelding that she paid a 50-dollar stud fee for earned June her WPRA card in 1984. Later her husband, Ron traded 2 large bales of straw for First Lark who carried her to 10 Montana Circuit Finals, 2 WPRA Divisional Tour Finals, and numerous Northern Rodeo Association Finals. In the late '80s and early '90s, Tibbetts brought her own barrel racing career to a halt so she could provide her daughters with the best horses. Both daughters received college rodeo scholarships to Montana State University.

"When the girls got through college, I started training horses for myself," she says. "I needed a job along with being a ranch wife."

Through the years, Tibbetts says there have been many good horses that her father, herself, and her husband have raised. The first and only horse she purchased for herself was Laced With Talent, or Lacey as she calls her, the mare she bought on a whim that day at Copper Spring Ranch. Lacey is by Prime Talent and out of Just Suede by Feature Mr. Jess, she was bred to run.

Tibbetts' daughter, Lana, who is on the ranch and very involved in barrel racing put the first few rides on the mare, then Tibbetts took over her training.

"I could see she was coming on pretty good. Lacey has been the easiest horse I have ever trained," Tibbetts says. "Most sensible and all she wants to be is nice. She's honest and focused. My horse shoer loves to shoe her because she's so cooperative."

In the spring of this year, Tibbetts began to enter some jackpots with her five year old mare. She kept progressing, so Tibbetts entered her in the Barrel of Gold Futurity at Silesia, Montana. Lacey's twelfth competitive run won the 1st round and a tipped barrel cost her the average title. At the Fizz Bomb Classic Futurity in Gillette, Wyoming, Lacey held her own against a tough field of competitors. On September 22, Lacey made her 20th competitive run and placed fourth out of 368 at the Blitz in Bowman, North Dakota. This weekend the duo will be running for big money in Guthrie, Oklahoma at the Pink Buckle Barrel Race.

According to the Pink Buckle's website, the barrel race includes an Open 4D & Futurity. The race is designed to increase the number and quality of barrel racing performance horses by promoting the Pink Buckle stallions and their offspring. Lacey's sire, Prime Talent, is one of 40 American Quarter Horse Association stallions which qualifies Lacey to be nominated for and entered in the race. It is considered the richest barrel race in history with $550,000 guaranteed payout in the Futurity, $400,000 guaranteed payout in the Open 4D, $50,000 guaranteed payout in the Amateur Futurity and $20,000 guaranteed payout in the Youth Incentive.

Tibbetts considers herself incredibly fortunate to be able to ride a horse with such talent and speed. She is grateful to Lisa Anderson of Copper Spring Ranch, Jana Bean, Lana and Ron, who have supported her and shared their knowledge of training barrel horses.

"I have been fortunate enough to ride with some really good trainers," she says. "I have picked up a lot of knowledge from people like how we periodically do round pen work on our horses to keep them soft, supple, and quicken their feet."

As a grandma, Tibbetts exercises caution in the races she enters. Although she considers herself physically fit, she tries to avoid wrecks at all costs and wonders when her retirement from barrel racing will be. But for now, Tibbetts says she is focused on making the most of her time with this incredibly talented mare, Laced With Talent.

"I'm enjoying this adventure with Lacey and I have to give God all the glory, I really do," Tibbetts says. "Who would have thought that I could be going to the Pink Buckle and running at one million dollars. Who would have thought."

Trick riding dreams: Two South Dakota cowgirls perform at Black Hills Horse Expo

Two young girls will blaze around the perimeter of the arena at Black Hills Horse Expo Oct. 6 and 7, one standing atop her horse with a flag streaming out behind her, the other hanging off the side of her buckskin gelding, her fingers gripping her horse's black mane. At 10 years old, Jemiah Belitz and Candice Aamot are two of three trick riders in South Dakota. Both have been at the sport for only a short time, however, they are sought after for professional performances and have excelled in competitions.

Candice has been trick riding for three years, getting her start out of a desire to try her hand, having seen the movie Cowgirls and Angels. Her mother Anne conceded, though hesitantly, due to the danger of the sport.

"We rodeo, my older daughter does, and trick riding is a little different thing," Anne said. "I questioned the safety, but I didn't want her to be 20 or 30 years old, and have her say that she had really wanted to trick ride, but her mom wouldn't let her."

Candice has grown and expanded her trick repertoire under the tutelage of Madison McDonald-Thomas, a trick rider who travels the United States and Canada performing and teaching. She has enrolled in her clinics several times and can always reach out to her with questions, common in the tightly-knit, small trick-riding community.

"Once you go to a clinic, that clinician will help you however they can," said Jemiah's mother, Jen. "They realize that clinic is just the start. Most of them, their first concern is always safety."

Jemiah followed in Jen's footsteps with her interest in trick riding. Her mom first saw trick riding at the Black Hills Horse Expo eleven years ago, when she was pregnant with Jemiah.

"I had grown up around horses, and we rodeoed in North Dakota, but these three Canadian girls just wowed me and and the crowd," Jen said. "They opened for Tommy Turvey, and later did a trick riding 101 clinic. After seeing them, if just kind of fizzled, and I didn't think about it as something I would do."

Jen did eventually trick ride, starting when Jemiah was two years old, and Jemiah picked it up when she was nine years old getting a start with her mom and seeking professional clinics as well. Her first competition was at the Black Hills Stock Show in Rapid City this February, where she won the youth age group. Candice competed at the same competition and qualified for national finals in the peewee age group.

"The competition was probably one of our biggest learning experiences," Jen said "Jemiah was able to work with Tad Griffith, who is probably, I would say, one of the most respected trick riders in this time period. To have him be the judge and also be a mentor to all the kids was just the best experience and best guidance she could have."

Her favorite trick is the hippodrome or liberty stand, in which she stands on straps by the pommel of the saddle. "She says it's her favorite because she feels like she's flying," Jen said. "We made a few t-shirts and one said, 'Riding a horse is like flying without wings.'"

For starting trick riders, finding an affordable horse already started or finished in trick riding can be unattainable. Finding or training good-minded, trusty horses just for trick riding, however, can be done.

Both the Belitz family, from Hot Springs, South Dakota, and the Aamot family, from DeSmet, South Dakota, adapted horses that they already owned to be a safe fit to carry their daughters around unfamiliar arenas throughout the region.

Jemiah's horse, a 14-year-old Spanish Barb Mustang cross, was raised by her dad's dad, and had been her mom's since he was a two year old. Shadow had been used for ranching, brandings, guided Yellowstone trail rides, and a few small trail rides before being exposed to trick riding by Jen.

"He was a really easy horse for both of us. I did a few amateur performances off of him, so he was ready for Jemiah to start with him," Jen said. "He had never done a large performance before the Rapid City competition."

The Belitzes hauled Shadow to any arena around them in order to expose the gelding to all that they could before the competition. Factors that may spook a horse but aren't always considered include lighting, bleachers, and dirt kicking up on banners.

"We called every arena we could and hauled to ride," Jen said. "Private arenas have liability worries when I say, 'My daughter is a trick rider; can she come hang upside down on her horse and ride around?'"

Candice also inherited a horse from her mother. After hearing that Anne's two-year-old had to be put down due to an injury, a friend of Anne's graciously offered her a weanling that someone had paid the downpayment but never collected their horse. Anne paid the other half for the buckskin five years ago, and Dusty has since developed into a reliable mount for Candice.

"He is bred to run and has quite a long stride for as small of a horse as he is. She started trick riding on him at two-and-a-half-years," Anne said. "I would never, ever, ever say that's a good idea to trick ride on one that young. I broke him to ride, and Candice has done all the patterning on him. That's how Dusty came into our lives."

Candice also trick rides on a pony, Jewel, that came into their lives by accident. A pony the Aamots bought in the fall of the year grew gradually pudgier as the winter went on, or so Anne chose to believe. On Mother's Day four years ago, Pony had a baby, Jewel, who has since become another of Candice's trick-riding mounts.

"We don't buy anything ready trained," Anne said. "We had to do all the work on them ourselves. I don't have a lot of money, but I have a lot of time."

Candice, in particular, is quite shy, her mom said, but she busts out of her shell when she is performing.

"She is as shy as can be, but she will get out there on that horse and just smile. As for the crowd, the more they cheer, the harder those horses of hers run," Anne said. "Both girls are very good. They have a presence about them that is really great; I think the crowd will see it too."

The two girls met at the competition earlier this year and haven't seen one another since then. Candice and Jemiah will perform at the Black Hills Horse Expo at noon Saturday, Oct. 6, and at 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 7. The following sponsors have made it possible for the 10-year-olds to perform at the event: Y Bar L Saddlery, Boot Barn, and Dirt Road Leather.

Under scrutiny: Wild horse sterilization plan for Oregon goes forward, with opposition

The Bureau of Land management will move forward with a mare sterilization plan for horses in Oregon.

The comment period for BLM's plan was extended to Sept. 2, in the hopes that more original comments would come in.

"As we predicted, extremist groups flooded the BLM with comments in opposition of the study and 10-year management plan, mostly in the form of auto-generated comments. There were over 8,000 identical comments submitted from activists," Protect the Harvest writes on its website. "These groups have a long track record of stopping the BLM from being able to make practical and logical steps to properly manage the horse populations and rangelands."

On Aug. 8, CSU's Vice President for Research, Dr. Alan Rudolph, released an email statement saying, "After careful consideration of multiple factors during the 30-day public comment period for the Warm Springs, OR, mare spay project, Colorado State University is withdrawing our partnership on the surgical spaying of mares."

He added that the decision to withdraw was made with the support of the involved researchers.

"As a state university, we have investigated alternative population and birth control measures for wild animals for more than 25 years and remain committed to continuing to explore solutions to an unmet need," he said.

According to the group, BLM plans are slightly revised but will take a step forward.

The study will evaluate safety, complication rate, feasibility, and impacts. In conjunction with the study, the Burns District – BLM proposes a 10-year population management plan for the Warm Springs HMA. http://protecttheharvest.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/CoverLetter_SpayEA_AdditionalComment_signed.pdf

Activists groups have dubbed the plan barbaric and praised CSU for backing out.

"CSU is a highly respected university with a top-notch veterinary program. The BLM somehow got the University to agree to participate in this ill-advised plan to study the efficacy, applicability and complication rate of spaying wild mares. The decision makers at the university must not have done their due diligence. If they had, they would have seen the horror behind the procedure, known as ovariectomy via colpotomy. This blind procedure, with the veterinarian's arm up the mare's vaginal cavity, rips out the ovaries by twisting, severing and pulling with a metal rod and chain called an ecraseur. It is considered so risky and dangerous to the animals involved, that it is not recommended for even tame domestic mares," In Defense of Animals wrote in a press release.

But veterinarians and horse enthusiasts argue differently.

Twelve selected spayed fillies were offered for sale at the 2017 Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity. By the time of the sale, all of the fillies were spayed, vaccinated and handled for 30 days. These fillies were also invited back to the 2018 Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity to compete in their own division for a $25 K purse.

"The goal of the Wild Spayed Filly Futurity is to showcase the significance and abilities of these resilient, tough and beautiful horses," Protect the Harvest writes. "It will also demonstrate their trainability and hopefully encourage more people to consider a horse from our American rangelands. A second and very important goal of the program is to help find economical, safe solutions in controlling the numbers of horses on American rangelands which will allow people to appreciate them in a healthy, balanced environment in the wild."

Protect the Harvest, an advocate of multiple use on Federal Lands, believes this method to not only be the safest, but also the most cost effective. According to researchers, the cost of each 15-minute surgery is about $300, less than one dose of injectable birth control vaccine involved in previous management studies.

As the management battle continues, congressmen continue to put in their two-cents.

Last year, the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board raised the ire of Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-Florida), with discussion of euthanizing or selling, without conditions, up to 45,000 wild horses.

"It is disgraceful that the Board, whose purpose is to provide sound advice on the management of wild horses, would even consider euthanizing these horses as a plausible management technique," Buchanan's wrote in a letter to BLM officials.

His stand on the topic has gained the attention of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), who recently honored him as a "legislative leader" for his "support for outlawing horse slaughter, banning cosmetics testing on animals and protecting endangered species."

As of print date, BLM's plans are to continue. In a statement, BLM announced they intend to:

… use the same surgical protocol originally approved by the CSU IACUC. BLM-contracted veterinarians would be required to have experience performing ovariectomy via colpotomy and standing sedation on at least 100 ungentled, wild horse mares. The BLM and contracted veterinarians would monitor the mares during and after surgery to provide data for the three specific aims related to the surgical portion of the project (described above). Because the procedure would still be carried out by experienced contract veterinarians, and the surgical protocol is unchanged, the departure of CSU's team does not affect the procedure's anticipated outcomes.

Despite much-needed management, plans for a mare sterilization study in the Warm Springs Herd Management Area near Burns, Oregon has struggled to make it off paper and into the fields. In 2016, 21 research projects planned to manage populations levels were shut down by activists.

Recent plans to revive similar studies included Colorado State University and mare sterilization; however, in spite of the study being supported by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (representing 9,300 equine veterinarians), CSU decided to withdraw from the program due in large part to pressure exerted by Wild Horse activist groups. In the 2016 planned study, Oregon State University took the same path, backing down to activist pressure.

"The Bureau of Land Management – Burns District, in conjunction the United States Geological Survey have updated the proposed research project regarding the feasibility of the spay procedure (standing surgical spay – ovariectomy via culpotomy) with horses from the Warm Springs HMA in Oregon. This is the same spay procedure that was performed on the fillies in our Wild Spayed Filly Futurity program," the group shared.

"…The BLM must continue to pursue management actions to move toward achieving and maintaining the established appropriate management level (AML) on Warm Springs HMA and reduce the wild horse population growth rate in order to restore and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship on public lands. USGS has updated their proposal to include only the behavioral research portion of the original proposal. Their study would take place on mares spayed by BLM as a management action," BLM shared in a statement.

Wild horses and burros have no natural predators, and current adoption rates are decreasing steadily each year, according to BLM statistics. With the dropping rates and minimal to no interventions, the herd population continues to grow. As of May 22, 2018, the BLM estimated public rangelands were home to nearly 82,000 wild horses and burros in 10 Western states – the largest population estimate since the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed – and more than three times the number the 26.9 million acres of public rangeland the habitat can sustainably support in conjunction with other authorized land uses. At the same time, the BLM continues to care for approximately 45,000 unadopted and unsold excess animals in its off-range corrals and pastures, costing taxpayers $50 million annually – nearly two-thirds of the Wild Horse and Burro Program annual budget. BLM adopted out only 4,099 animals in 2017. According to BLM, the rate of adoptions has stayed around that number since 1996, but the number of wild horses and burros on ranges has doubled since 2012.

Officials trying to locate 100 horses in 20 states to test

An incident of Equine Infectious Anemia in Weld County, Colo., has made the job of area large animal practitioners more challenging, as the state veterinarian's office reaches out to owners whose horses may have been in contact with the one initially infected that entered the state without a negative EIA test on July 18, 2018.

As of Sept. 7, the Colorado Department of Agriculture reported that 240 animals had been on the quarantined premises during the same time as the index positive animal.

"Approximately 100 of these horses were sent to 20 other states across the country and steps are being taken to locate, quarantine, and re-test those horses," according to a CDA press release. "At this time, no other horses have tested positive for EIA."

The infected horse has since been euthanized, however, the index premises is under a quarantine order, as well as two associated premises that are under hold orders.

Fifteen additional premises are under hold orders in nine Colorado counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Crowley, Delta, Douglas, El Paso, Mesa, Montrose and Weld.

According to Keith Roehr, DVM, Colorado state veterinarian, the names and locations of the premises and owners are protected by the Livestock Security Act. This protects livestock information related to ownership and movement used in investigations and other official use.

Roehr said his office has been in contact with brand inspectors and state veterinarians in 20 states in an attempt to gather information, share test results and track exposed horses. Quarantine and hold orders are being actively monitored to ensure compliance for premises with exposed horses. The Department of Agriculture has legal authority to pursue civil fines against those who violate a quarantine, hold orders or animal health requirement rules.

"Part of the difficulty is that initially, the brand inspection shows a change of ownership that goes to a person but many of the horses in the rescue network move locations and subsequently are cared for by different people so our information changes rapidly so it's not a simple process in finding those horses," Roehr said.


Lora Bledsoe, DVM, said EIA, a virus, is transmitted horse to horse by biting insects or misuse of a needle and syringe. It is more prevalent in southern and eastern states than Colorado. Unfortunately, she said, the initial infected horse had crossed several state lines and been in contact with a number of other horses.

In an infected horse, all of the body fluid can potentially be a source of contamination, but most documented cases show contamination as a result of biting insects. One of the factors making the job of controlling an outbreak difficult, is the virus' 60-day incubation period. An infected horse, Bledsoe said, can be infected without demonstrating symptoms during this period, making the job of determining a horse's travel history during that time all the more important.

"Another point of concern in this particular situation is finding this horse in the height of the biting insect season as we try to prevent it from spreading," she said.

According to Bledsoe, the infected horse entered Colorado without a negative Coggins test and was housed in Weld County. A negative Coggins test, a requirement for health papers to enter the state, is simple and rush results can be obtained the next day.

"Although laws are on the books requiring health papers to cross state lines and a negative Coggins test, in this case, individuals chose not to follow the laws," she said. "It's difficult for the state veterinarian to chase down how many animals may be affected."

With no vaccination protocol and no treatment, Bledsoe said practitioners and horse owners have been managing the virus through negative Coggins testing. Infected animals must be permanently quarantined or euthanized. Symptoms, which may or may not be demonstrated, may include lethargy, anemia, petechia, or red spots on the mucous membranes, and fever.

"If the animal has been exposed, they're going to have to be quarantined for 60 days or stop movement, or stay on their premises for 60 days, then be retested," she said. "It's always a good idea to have a Coggins test run on your horses once per year, especially if they travel on and off your premises or interact with other people's horses."

As part of the ongoing investigation and tracing of horses from the quarantined facility, the CDA is requesting assistance in supplementing contact information. If you purchased horses from that facility between July 18 and Aug. 20, 2018, you are asked to contact the State Veterinarian's office at the CDA at (303) 869-9130.

PRCA standings as of Sept. 4, 2018


1 Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas $187,020

2 Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas 165,827

3 Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah 133,804

4 Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb. 107,966

5 Ryle Smith, Oakdale, Calif. 107,715

6 Curtis Cassidy, Donalda, Alberta 93,237

7 Paul David Tierney, Oklahoma City, Okla. 75,824

8 Jordan Ketscher, Squaw Valley, Calif. 65,071

9 Marcus Theriot, Poplarville, Miss. 61,823

10 Dakota Eldridge, Elko, Nev. 60,005

11 Clayton Hass, Weatherford, Texas 59,712

12 Seth Hall, Albuquerque, N.M. 55,324

13 Russell Cardoza, Terrebonne, Ore. 50,564

14 Cody Doescher, Oklahoma City, Okla. 47,205

15 Chance Oftedahl, Pemberton, Minn. 47,159

16 Tanner Green, Cotulla, Texas 45,329

17 Eli Lord, Sturgis, S.D. 37,889

18 Trell Etbauer, Goodwell, Okla. 37,554

19 Chant DeForest, Wheatland, Calif. 37,006

20 Wesley Brunson, Terry, Miss. 33,921

Bareback Riding

1 Tim O'Connell, Zwingle, Iowa $177,570

2 Caleb Bennett, Tremonton, Utah 159,912

3 Clayton Biglow, Clements, Calif. 115,159

4 Bill Tutor, Huntsville, Texas 111,712

5 Orin Larsen, Inglis, Manitoba 101,533

6 Mason Clements, Springville, Utah 98,220

7 Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb. 97,371

8 Jake Brown, Cleveland, Texas 96,153

9 Kaycee Feild, Spanish Fork, Utah 95,180

10 Richmond Champion, The Woodlands, Texas 94,923

11 Tilden Hooper, Carthage, Texas 84,921

12 Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D. 81,892

13 Shane O'Connell, Rapid City, S.D. 77,450

14 J.R. Vezain, Cowley, Wyo. 74,755

15 Wyatt Denny, Minden, Nev. 66,386

16 Clint Laye, Cadogan, Alberta 62,854

17 Seth Hardwick, Ranchester, Wyo. 61,473

18 Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas 57,685

19 Ty Taypotat, Regina, Saskatchewan 56,236

20 Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn. 50,468

Steer Wrestling

1 Tyler Pearson, Louisville, Miss. $97,520

2 Scott Guenthner, Provost, Alberta 87,402

3 Will Lummus, West Point, Miss. 86,320

4 Curtis Cassidy, Donalda, Alberta 83,132

5 Bridger Chambers, Stevensville, Mont. 81,178

6 Tyler Waguespack, Gonzales, La. 78,155

7 Jacob Talley, Keatchie, La. 77,426

8 Tanner Brunner, Ramona, Kan. 76,882

9 Ty Erickson, Helena, Mont. 75,776

10 Blake Mindemann, Blanchard, Okla. 72,239

11 Blake Knowles, Heppner, Ore. 72,007

12 Hunter Cure, Holliday, Texas 69,073

13 Cole Edge, Durant, Okla. 67,885

14 Tanner Milan, Cochrane, Alberta 66,631

15 Kyle Irwin, Robertsdale, Ala. 65,877

16 Riley Duvall, Checotah, Okla. 63,269

17 Chason Floyd, Buffalo, S.D. 58,745

18 Nick Guy, Sparta, Wis. 57,942

19 Billy Bugenig, Ferndale, Calif. 57,904

20 Cameron Morman, Glen Ullin, N.D. 57,780

Team Roping (Header)

1 Kaleb Driggers, Hoboken, Ga. $106,386

2 Dustin Egusquiza, Mariana, Fla. 100,805

3 Clay Smith, Broken Bow, Okla. 99,612

4 Bubba Buckaloo, Kingston, Okla. 82,046

5 Cody Snow, Los Olivos, Calif. 81,669

6 Riley Minor, Ellensburg, Wash. 81,004

7 Luke Brown, Rock Hill, S.C. 80,678

8 Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont. 80,390

9 Aaron Tsinigine, Tuba City, Ariz. 78,793

10 Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz. 65,745

11 Derrick Begay, Seba Dalkai, Ariz. 64,470

12 Tyler Wade, Terrell, Texas 63,069

13 Chad Masters, Cedar Hill, Tenn. 63,041

14 Spencer Mitchell, Orange Cove, Calif. 60,125

15 Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah 58,676

16 Logan Olson, Flandreau, S.D. 56,108

17 Joshua Torres, Ocala, Fla. 54,588

18 Jeff Flenniken, Caldwell, Idaho 54,570

19 Jr. Dees, Aurora, S.D. 54,527

20 Andrew Ward, Edmond, Okla. 53,897

Team Roping (Heeler)

1 Junior Nogueira, Presidente Prudente, Brazil $106,386

2 Kory Koontz, Stephenville, Texas 100,805

3 Paul Eaves, Lonedell, Mo. 99,612

4 Trey Yates, Pueblo, Colo. 93,765

5 Joseph Harrison, Overbrook, Okla. 90,585

6 Jake Long, Coffeyville, Kan. 80,678

7 Brady Minor, Ellensburg, Wash. 79,812

8 Clint Summers, Lake City, Fla. 79,483

9 Wesley Thorp, Throckmorton, Texas 77,980

10 Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz. 77,151

11 Travis Graves, Jay, Okla. 76,533

12 Chase Tryan, Helena, Mont. 64,789

13 Cole Davison, Stephenville, Texas 60,123

14 Matt Kasner, Cody, Neb. 57,038

15 Trace Porter, Leesville, La. 56,138

16 Quinn Kesler, Holden, Utah 54,846

17 Jonathan Torres, Ocala, Fla. 54,588

18 Jake Minor, Ellensburg, Wash. 54,570

19 Reagan Ward, Edmond, Okla. 53,897

20 Blaine Vick, Dublin, Texas 52,558

Saddle Bronc Riding

1 Jacobs Crawley, Boerne, Texas $140,103

2 Ryder Wright, Milford, Utah 130,457

3 Brody Cress, Hillsdale, Wyo. 111,588

4 Isaac Diaz, Desdemona, Texas 111,278

5 Rusty Wright, Milford, Utah 111,036

6 Zeke Thurston, Big Valley, Alberta 104,705

7 Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa 100,140

8 Clay Elliott, Nanton, Alberta 99,136

9 Sterling Crawley, Stephenville, Texas 97,674

10 Cort Scheer, Elsmere, Neb. 86,983

11 CoBurn Bradshaw, Beaver, Utah 83,405

12 Jake Wright, Milford, Utah 77,091

13 Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M. 70,851

14 Chase Brooks, Deer Lodge, Mont. 70,660

15 Joey Sonnier III, New Iberia, La. 66,522

16 J.J. Elshere, Hereford, S.D. 66,273

17 Allen Boore, Axtell, Utah 64,478

18 Spencer Wright, Milford, Utah 62,981

19 Bradley Harter, Loranger, La. 58,149

20 Wyatt Casper, Pampa, Texas 49,292

Tie-Down Roping

1 Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas $112,342

2 Tyson Durfey, Weatherford, Texas 109,904

3 Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, La. 107,570

4 Ryle Smith, Oakdale, Calif. 91,209

5 Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas 88,210

6 Jake Pratt, Ellensburg, Wash. 86,169

7 Caleb Smidt, Bellville, Texas 85,282

8 Cory Solomon, Prairie View, Texas 83,691

9 Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, Idaho 81,859

10 Reese Riemer, Stinnett, Texas 80,552

11 Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah 78,279

12 Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas 76,708

13 Sterling Smith, Stephenville, Texas 73,261

14 Cooper Martin, Alma, Kan. 72,600

15 Ryan Jarrett, Comanche, Okla. 68,038

16 Blane Cox, Cameron, Texas 67,449

17 Scott Kormos, Teague, Texas 64,700

18 Tyler Milligan, Pawhuska, Okla. 62,254

19 Randall Carlisle, Athens, La. 60,710

20 Taylor Santos, Creston, Calif. 58,303

Steer Roping

1 Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas $82,746

2 Scott Snedecor, Fredericksburg, Texas 66,887

3 Rocky Patterson, Pratt, Kan. 62,225

4 Vin Fisher Jr., Andrews, Texas 49,586

5 Chris Glover, Keenesburg, Colo. 47,723

6 Tony Reina, Wharton, Texas 44,717

7 Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas 43,768

8 Brodie Poppino, Big Cabin, Okla. 42,978

9 Garrett Hale, Snyder, Texas 42,012

10 J. Tom Fisher, Andrews, Texas 41,965

11 Bryce Davis, Ovalo, Texas 38,888

12 Jarrett Blessing, Paradise, Texas 38,432

13 Chet Herren, Pawhuska, Okla. 38,186

14 Will Gasperson, Decatur, Texas 37,464

15 Cody Lee, Gatesville, Texas 36,078

16 Roger Branch, Wellston, Okla. 33,549

17 Jim Locke, Miami, Texas 32,912

18 Corey Ross, Liberty Hill, Texas 30,909

19 Shay Good, Midland, Texas 27,439

20 Jason Evans, Glen Rose, Texas 25,102

Bull Riding

1 Sage Kimzey, Strong City, Okla. $274,099

2 Parker Breding, Edgar, Mont. 169,029

3 Dustin Boquet, Bourg, La. 107,432

4 Boudreaux Campbell, Crockett, Texas 106,431

5 Jeff Askey, Athens, Texas 98,902

6 Cole Melancon, Batson, Texas 92,140

7 Eli Vastbinder, Athens, Texas 91,698

8 Chase Dougherty, Canby, Ore. 90,979

9 Trey Benton III, Rock Island, Texas 90,441

10 Elliot Jacoby, Fredericksburg, Texas 89,200

11 Joe Frost, Randlett, Utah 88,260

12 Trevor Kastner, Roff, Okla. 87,641

13 Garrett Tribble, Bristow, Okla. 85,473

14 Clayton Sellars, Fruitland Park, Fla. 84,706

15 Roscoe Jarboe, New Plymouth, Idaho 84,265

16 Tyler Bingham, Honeyville, Utah 82,539

17 Riker Carter, Stone, Idaho 81,738

18 Koby Radley, Montpelier, La. 80,998

19 Garrett Smith, Rexburg, Idaho 78,072

20 J.W. Harris, Goldthwaite, Texas 73,336

Barrel Racing

Barrel racing standings, provided by the Women's Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA), are unofficial, subject to audit and may change. Unofficial WPRA Standings are published by the PRCA as a courtesy. The PRCA is not responsible for the verification or updating of WPRA standings.

1 Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, Texas $191,438

2 Nellie Miller, Cottonwood, Calif. 146,826

3 Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D. 120,103

4 Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Victoria, Texas 114,938

5 Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, Texas 109,231

6 Taci Bettis, Round Top, Texas 102,975

7 Kylie Weast, Comanche, Okla. 97,391

8 Jessica Routier, Buffalo, S.D. 93,843

9 Ivy Conrado, Hudson, Colo. 91,218

10 Carman Pozzobon, Aldergrove, British Columbia 86,947

11 Kelly Bruner, Millsap, Texas 85,355

12 Carley Richardson, Pampa, Texas 82,631

13 Tracy Nowlin, Nowata, Okla. 82,621

14 Amberleigh Moore, Salem, Ore. 82,084

15 Tammy Fischer, Ledbetter, Texas 79,148

16 Jessica Telford, Caldwell, Idaho 78,045

17 Kellie Collier, Hereford, Texas 76,109

18 Jessi Fish, Franklin, Tenn. 69,050

19 Tiany Schuster, Krum, Texas 67,941

20 Teri Bangart, Olympia, Wash. 67,794