Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Playdays at Newell, good news from congress, Dan Bruce Memorial Ranch Roping, Ranch Rodeo at Niobrara, Nebraska | TSLN.com

Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Playdays at Newell, good news from congress, Dan Bruce Memorial Ranch Roping, Ranch Rodeo at Niobrara, Nebraska

The summer is sure flying by in a hurry. I took the grandboys and their pony to the playday in town the other night. Their pony was being a stinker, so Grandma had to lead them around the barrels on Shank's Mare. I don't think Tim the pony had ever been to town and heard a sound system before, so every time it came on, he'd jump. He expressed his opinion about the whole thing by giving my hand a gentle bite between barrels too. Next time I will be horseback to lead them, enough of that walking stuff. It would probably also be beneficial if I rode Tim to town instead of hauling him too. Tired, sweaty ponies are always nicer ponies.

The little boys inherited a new little horse from another family so we'll be trying Stardust out at the next playday. I think she's been through all this before, so it shouldn't be too traumatic for her.

The Newell Playday Series will run all through July, every Monday. Signup is in the crow's nest from 3-4 p.m. with the playday starting around 4:30. There's stickhorse age group through grownups, so something for everyone. Call Shannon Dirk ahead of time if it looks rainy or for more information. Her number is 605-380-6023.

On July 8, the House of Representatives narrowly passed the approval of funding for USDA inspectors in horse processing plants. There are currently no plants operating in the U.S. but at least this ensures funding for inspectors if one should happen to finally get through all the bogus red tape to start righting the wrong done to the horse business and horses in general.

Montana State University, Bozeman, has a "new" rodeo coach. Andy Bolich will begin his head coach duties July 27. He has 15 years experience with MSU as both a competitor on the team and as assistant coach for 12 years. He looks like a good choice.

There will be a Dan Bruce Memorial Ranch Roping on July 25 at the Silver Buckle Arena, Elizabeth, Colorado. There will be both Open and Novice divisions with novice in the morning and open in the afternoon. If there is a huge crowd of novice, the open will roll on to the next day. The evening of the 25th there will be a BBQ and good music and time to reminisce and tell "Dan" stories. Contestants can camp at the arena but there are no hookups for trailers. For more information or to enter, call Mikah at 303-916-2797.

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The Desperado Days Ranch Rodeo will be at Niobrara, Nebraska, Saturday, July 25. Calcutta starts at 5 with the ranch rodeo after. The events are stray gathering, ribbon roping, mugging, trailer loading and a mystery event. There will be $1,000 added. Call Kelly Holz at 402-394-1766 or Jake Coburn at 402-394-1605 for more information or to enter.

I told you I'd get some more information on the Colt Starting Challenge at Newcastle, Wyo., so here it is. It will be Friday July 17, 6-9 p.m. and July 18 6-10 p.m. There will be six colts, six round pens, and six trainers competing. You can learn more about it at http://www.coltstartingchallengeUSA.com. For more information, call Cristy at 808-269-3408 or Russel at 808-250-9949.

The KC Longbrake Saddle Bronc Challenge will be Sept. 3, 6 p.m. at Eagle Butte, South Dakota. There will be 25 top bronc riders invited from PRCA, SDRA, INFR, and NRCA ranks. With $3,500 added, it ought to entice the good ones for sure.

Here's a little tidbit of information I found pretty amazing: there are 7.2 million tons of chocolate consumed each year. Wow. That's 14,400,000,000 pounds of chocolate. I try to contribute to that amount myself. Good for the heart, you know.

Be sure and send me any upcoming events, fundraisers and so forth so I can share them here. I always like to help promote regional events and good causes. If you don't email, you can get my number from the phone book at Newell. I need them at least two weeks in advance of the event to be able to get them into the paper in time.

Have a great week and happy haying!