Fire at Valley meats, Navajo Nation joins up, AQHA loses fight, Cheyenne |

Fire at Valley meats, Navajo Nation joins up, AQHA loses fight, Cheyenne

We’ve had a little rain in our country so the grass has slowed down on its journey from green to gold. Some areas got some nasty hail and winds so the moisture came at a price for them. Thankfully, we didn’t get any of that stuff and sure hope we don’t.

Our horses act like there’s a fresh round of nose flies hitting them this week. I’ve never seen them come on a second time, though this year’s month or so of torture did start weeks later than usual. I hope it’s just a freak deal that only lasts a few days for them. Between the flies and now the nose flies, they just aren’t getting much peace. We haven’t found any fly spray that works very well, plus it’s so pricey that you can’t just casually spray it around on a dozen head or so of horses every day.

The level of violence is increasing in the animal rights segment. On Saturday, July 27, someone crawled over a security fence and poured an accelerant on a refrigeration unit at Valley Meats in Roswell, N.M. It was lit on fire but a passerby saw the smoke and called it in, thus saving the plant. Valley Meats was supposed to be able to start processing horses in early August, but without refrigeration they can’t. This latest round of radical domestic terrorism follows repeated threats by the anti-slaughter front to burn them down. Rick De Los Santos, owner of Valley Meats, has also received death threats toward him and his family, so with this escalation has become more frightening for them. An investigation into the fire is underway.

On the subject of horse processing, the Navajo Nation has stepped forward in support of horse processing and are backing Valley Meats. The Navajo Nation encompasses 27,425 square miles in the corners of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. The very arid, desert like country is home to an estimated 20,000-30,000 feral horses, according to Erny Zah, spokesman for Tribal president Ben Shelley. This is on top of the other livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats and domestic horses that are pastured on the reservation. Zah also started that they are absolutely destroying the land and using all of the available water and many are dying of starvation and thirst. The Navajo people hold the horse in high regard, but they also respect the land and know that a balance has to be kept to sustain all life.

The AQHA lost the court fight that was brought to them by Abraham & Veneklasen over the registration of cloned horses. The jury of 10 found in favor of the plaintiff, though no damages were awarded at the Amarillo, Texas, trial.

The AQHA has had the Rule REG 106.1 on the books since 2004 and clones and their offspring have never been eligible for registration. The plaintiffs claimed that the rule violates federal and state anti-trust laws. The plaintiffs also have about 20 head of cloned horses they want to register and knew that the AQHA held this rule against registration before they ever cloned a horse.

Whether you think cloning is okay or not, I believe an association is entitled to have rules and to enforce them as the majority of the members feel is right. The membership overwhelmingly supported AQHA’s decision on cloned registration; therefore the decision should be honored by all. If those who disagree don’t like it, then they are entitled to start their own association.

On Aug. 8-9 (that’s a Thursday and Friday), there will be a Pole Bending Clinic with Ken Smith instructing at Wylie and Vicki Bice arena, Killdeer, N.D. Cost per student is $300 with a $150 deposit. They are accepting only 12 students. For more info call Vicki at 701-260-0469. You can check out Ken Smith’s website at

Well, the Daddy of ’Em All is over and the big winners at Cheyenne have pocketed their checks. In the saddle broncs, first in the average was split between Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa, and Chad Ferley, Oelrichs, S.D. Third was Chuck Schmidt of Keldron, S.D., and fourth was Cort Scheer of Elsmere, Neb. Trevor Thiel, Belle Fourche, S.D., placed third in the tie down roping while Bobby Welsh, Gillette, Wyo., was second in the bulls. Barrels had Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., placing fifth in the average. Lisa had a pretty good week with $10,510 won at rodeos in Cheyenne, Deadwood and Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Well, I’d better call this circle done. Be sure and send me you upcoming events, results, items of interest and suchlike. I’m always glad to spread the news.

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