Finn McCool laid to rest, rodeos at Interior, Will James Roundup, ranch rodeo and roughstock at Murdo |

Finn McCool laid to rest, rodeos at Interior, Will James Roundup, ranch rodeo and roughstock at Murdo

Our branding plans fell through due to the rain and the calves being sore from the hail. No use stressing them worse than necessary, so opted to wait a couple of weeks and let it dry out and then our crew will come back and we’ll make another try at it. Not being able to brand is a minor inconvenience compared to the problems that so many have had in the region due to the nasty storms. I feel for all who have lost livestock and property to the storms.

Closer to home and rather personal for us is the loss our good friends Dale Simanton and Dorothy Snowden experienced when they had to put their grand Thoroughbred stud down due to an injury from the storm. Finn McCool had been retired from breeding duties, but was still used on the ranch and a beloved member of their crew. What appeared to be a minor cut when the horses were checked after the hail storm turned out to be a major injury to Finn’s foot. A trip to the vet showed that the cut had gone clear in to separate the navicular and coffin bone in the foot. The odds of it healing up were slim and with months and months of being cast and then a grim prognosis at the end, it was decided to put him down rather than prolong his suffering. The heartbreak they are suffering is felt by many who knew the horse. Finn was a winner on the track as a young horse, a winning sire, but moreover, he was a tremendous saddle horse. Dale did everything from irrigating to ranch rodeos on Finn and even used Finn to pony snorty colts that Dale was getting on. Finn would do that job solo with Dale riding the colt along next to him. Finn was a kindly, gentle giant of a horse with a great sense of humor and fun about him. Those great horses like him don’t come along every day or maybe even more than once in a lifetime. I’m sure sorry, Dale and Dorothy.

The Interior Frontier Days celebration is coming up at Interior, South Dakota, on July 3-5. One July 3 there will be a ranch rodeo with check-in at 4, calcutta at 5 and the ranch rodeo at 5:30. There’s a 12 team limit and you can enter by calling Shannon Gartner at 605-433-5390 or 605-441-2603. On July 4-5 will be the NRCA, Mid-States and open sanctioned rodeo. Saturday will have slack at 9 a.m. with evening performances at 6 p.m. There’s $1000 added for roughstock and $500 in the times events. To enter the rodeo call 605-374-7754 or go to Entries open June 26 and close June 29 at 8 p.m.

The Will James Roundup at Hardin, Mont. on July 10-12 has some entries open in the ranch broncs. There’s $3500 added! Call 406-666-9169 to enter. They are also looking for a few more teams for the Indian Relay Races on Sunday July 12. The event is sanctioned with the Professional Indian Relay Race organization. You can enter it at the above number too, and check out the whole weekend of events at

The 6th Annual Murdo (S.D.) Ranch Rodeo will be Saturday, July 18, 5 p.m. CST. The calcutta will be at 4;30 and they are taking 12 four person teams. Call Sharon Connot at 605-516-0090 or Kelly Green at 605-530-5266 or 605-669-3310 to enter the ranch rodeo. The night before that will be the roughstock event at 7 p.m., calcutta at 6 p.m. There will also be mini bronc riding (kids on ponies). You can enter by calling Joe Waln by July 7 at 605-515-0257.

I don’t have a ton of info on this, but I was told about a Colt Starting Challenge USA event being held at the Weston County Fairgrounds, Newcastle, Wyo. on July 18. They are looking for more colts to use in the event too. Call Christy at 808-269-3408 for further information.

That’s my circle for this week. By the way, I went to see my shoulder doctor and he’s released me (with great reservations he says) to do most of my normal activities. I can even saddle my own horse now, though he visibly broke out in a sweat when he said it. He says I need to work smarter to preserve what’s left of my body. Yes. He said that with a straight face. I told him I was sure glad he released me so I could get on to the fencing projects that have been on the back burner since getting hurt a year ago. That’s when he left the room shaking his head. I like the guy a lot, but have no plans to see him again soon, so I guess I’ll have to really concentrate on that working smarter thing.

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