Jan Swan Wood: Death tax alert, benefit, WNFR ladies and their horses | TSLN.com

Jan Swan Wood: Death tax alert, benefit, WNFR ladies and their horses

Doggone it, I didn't win that big Powerball jackpot. I suppose my chances of winning would increase significantly if I bought a lottery ticket. Oh well, if I won it, I'd just ranch until it was gone anyway.

All joking aside, there's a high stakes gamble in the ranching/farming world right now and it's the upcoming increase in the estate tax. Called the death tax, it will increase the taxable estate value dramatically when it goes from a basis of $5 million in assets to $1 million in assets in January. It doesn't take much land, equipment or livestock to reach a million in assets, so don't think that it can't affect you or your family. Call, write or email your congressional reps NOW, and tell them that the estate tax cannot go back to that amount. They can stop this nightmare if they only will. Also, if you haven't already done so, you'd better get some plan in place to keep your ranch or farm in your family upon your demise. There's an excellent story in this very paper about the estate tax, so find it and read it, please.

There's a benefit to help defray medical expenses coming up for Camp Crook, SD, area rancher Julia Davis. The fundraiser will be held Fri., Dec. 28, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Camp Crook Community Center. They'll need potluck side dishes and desserts, plus silent auction items. For more info, call Deb Johnson at 605-797-4648, Kay Latham at 605-797-4451, or Denise Zolnoski at 605-375-3707. Auction items can be sent to Deb Johnson, PO Box 100, Camp Crook, SD, 57724. There's also a Julia Davis fund set up at the Pioneer Bank, Box 307, Buffalo, SD 57720. These folks have always been the first to lend a hand to others in the community, so, let's pitch in and return the kindness to Julia and Doug.

The Jim Leachman saga continues in Billings, MT. The animal cruelty trial against Leachman has begun, There are five misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty for horses that died or had to be euthanized on his former ranch in 2011. That's only five out of about 800 horses he had that were found to be without feed or water during the winter of 2010/2011. The five stem from leg identification bands that had been placed on the horses as weanlings and had never been adjusted or removed, thereby amputating or nearly amputating the leg. Heck of a way for a horse to die.

I can't believe the WNFR is already here! What happened to the year? There are lots of regional cowboys going to the finals, plus three wonderful ladies from our area.

Going to her first finals in sixth place is Nikki Steffes, Vale, SD. She'll be riding two outstanding mares, Dash Ta Vanila and Tell Em Belle, that belong to Alan Woodbury, North Dakota. Nila was bred by Carissa Shearer, Wall, SD, and is by Dash Ta Fame and out of the great mare, SX Frenchmans Vanila by Frenchmans Guy. Belle is by Tres Seis and out of Teller Corona by Corona Cartel.

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Veteran Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, SD, will be going to her sixth finals on her great duo of A Okie With Cash (Louie) and Fast An Gold (Chisum). Louie, who was a money-earning working cow horse for Montanans Tim and Kelly Bagnell, is by Biebers Okie and out of Lady Kaweah Cash by Judge Cash. Chisum is by El Roco and out of Romanna Glass by Raise Your Glass (TB).

Trula Churchill, Valentine, NE, is also headed to her first finals and is taking her great horse A Streak Of Rita, aka Worm, as her one and only. He's the one who "took her to the dance," so to speak, and she'll be relying on his consistency and love of the run to carry her through all 10 rounds of the finals. Trula raised Worm out of a former WNFR steer wrestling mare named Jetta Rita. Worm's sire is Fulton's A Streak Of Fling.

I'm still amazed that Trevor Brazile won't be in the tie down roping at the WNFR. He qualified in team roping but not the other. He'll still win the all around due to the money he won in the steer roping. It will be his seventh all around title.

I really appreciate it when folks let me know about upcoming events or accomplishment of regional people in any horse related event. I try hard to get information about everything I can think of, but can always use some help. Have a great week!