Vesicular stomatitis update, Thoroughbred industry loss, injury, rough stock events |

Vesicular stomatitis update, Thoroughbred industry loss, injury, rough stock events

Jan Swan Wood
for Tri-State Livestock News

That cool spell and rain sure revived the spirits of everyone on Dry Creek. I hope the rain rinsed the salt of my sweat away from irrigating during the week of triple digit temps so none of the grass was damaged. The northern plains always like to keep us guessing and that must be just the way I like it.

I’ve had a lot of folks asking me about the vesicular stomatitis outbreak in South Dakota horses. On this Tuesday as I write this, there are 14 confirmed cases of VSV in a four county area. Pennington county has five, Meade county has seven, and Lawrence and Custer counties one each. There is no apparent connection between any of the horses, so apparently it is a fly born situation. When I asked someone in the state vet’s office just how far a fly can fly, he in turn asked me how far one can be blown by the wind. So there you go. So, with that in mind, I personally will be thinking very hard about whether something is important enough to take my horse and thereby possibly expose him to a fly or gnat that blew in from somewhere in the Black Hills. I realize that VSV isn’t fatal, but what a miserable time for a horse and other livestock if they get it, plus being an extreme pain in the neck for the owner of the premises the disease breaks on. A quarantine of even a few weeks can really put a kink in one’s plans.

For up-to-date information on VSV, you can go on the state website at:, where you can go to the South Dakota Animal Industry home page and then find Current Weekly Situation Report and/or Map of Affected Counties. That information is updated daily. The phone number for the South Dakota State Veterinarian, Dr. Dustin Oedekoven, is 605-773-3321.

Also, if you are traveling in or out of a state with VSV, be sure and check with each state’s requirements for entry and return. A new and specific health paper may be required to even get back home.

The Thoroughbred industry lost a legend last week when John Nerud died in New York at the age of 102. Nerud was a native of Nebraska and grew up on a cattle ranch there. He traveled the country and Cuba as a rodeo cowboy, jockey’s agent, groom and eventually, trainer. He was a Hall of Fame trainer and his contributions to the Thoroughbred horse business are beyond measure. He was not only a trainer of great horses, but also of great trainers, a founder of the Breeders Cup, legendary breeder, ally of track workers and husband to his beloved Charlotte for 69 years.

Ardie Maier, Timber Lake, South Dakota bull rider, suffered a dislocated shoulder on his riding arm and an abrasion to his spine at the Hermiston, Oregon rodeo when he was stepped on by his bull. He plans to tough it out and keep riding to try to make it to the WNFR. He was in 24th place at the time of his injury but only $6,278 behind the guy in 15th place. I’ll bet his mother worries about him.

Speaking of bulls, the MBBA Finals will be Friday, Sept. 4 at the covered arena at the Cherry County fairgrounds, Valentine, Nebraska. There will be 100 of the top bucking bulls competing for over $80,000 and 18 buckles. There will be four age divisions on bulls with a yearling futurity, a two year old futurity, a three and four year old Classic and a Maturity. The futurity is at 10:30 a.m. (CDT) and has free admission. The Classic and Maturity will start at 7 p.m. Riders for the Classic can enter through Monday Aug. 31 by calling 605-842-5089. There are no fees and there’s $5000 added for the riders. The bull Calcutta will be Thursday evening at 6 p.m. at the Peppermill Steakhouse in downtown Valentine. For more information call 605-842-0915 or go to

There will be a Rough Stock Challenge at Winner, South Dakota Sept. 5, 7 p.m. (central) for the calcutta and 7:30 p.m. for the performance. There’s $3000 added ($1000/event) and the stock is from Moore Rodeo from Kennebec. There are still some spots to enter, so call 605-842-1533 or 605-730-0847.

Well, that’s my circle for this week. Send me your news items and upcoming events. I’m always glad to share them!