All good news this week
There’s a lot of news to tell you, and most of it is even positive and uplifting! First off, I want to remind you of the Black Hills Stock Show Cowboy Heritage XVI, Old West Collectors Auction coming up on Jan. 30, the first weekend of the Stock Show. It will feature over 400 high quality collectibles for auction, including saddles, spurs, bits, cowboy gear, chaps, headstalls, guns and gun leather, U.S. Cavalry, Casey Tibbs items, rodeo memorabilia, kids corral, brand books, western books, western art, western Americana, and Native American. Reading over the consignment list, it sure will be a fabulous array of fine collectibles that have been juried in order to be included. If you want more info, you need to call another fine, western collectible, Win Bauer, at 605-456-2971.
Also happening during the BHSS is a Rodeo Queen Clinic with McKenzie Haley, 2010 Miss Rodeo South Dakota as the coach. Held on Feb. 6, from 9 a.m. to noon, is will coincide with the Rodeo Queen Clothing Swap. There is limited enrollment and the fee is only $75, so call McKenzie at 605-840-0091, or Erin Retzer at 605-343-9885.
By the way, since my own high school rodeo kid graduated last year, I wasn’t aware that they had upped the number of calendars the kids have to sell in order to rodeo. It is now five instead of the three and I hope you will buy one soon to help the state team get to the nationals in July.
Last summer there was quite an uproar over the Three Strikes Mustang Ranch disaster near Alliance, NE. There were 211 horses seized from the ranch and 70 were found dead on the premises. The owner, Jason Meduna, claimed they had been poisoned, but that was clearly refuted by the veterinarians who tested the emaciated live horses and ran necropsies on the dead ones. They had died of malnutrition and internal parasites, and if not for the seizure of the others, many more would have suffered the same fate. The case went to court and concluded last Friday with Meduna being found guilty of 145 of 149 counts of Class Four Felony Animal Cruelty. Sentencing is set for Feb. 23 and he could be facing up to five years in jail and $10,000 fine per count, plus the judge could limit future ownership and/or contact with animals.
This next item involves people that really do know what they are doing with their horses, and that is the Mantle Ranch of Montana. Their Annual Horse Roundup and Drive will be April 23, 24, 25, and there are still some riding positions available. It’s reportedly a pretty wild time and involves the gathering off winter pasture of hundreds of their good riding and pack horses that they lease each season. Sounds like a great time to me! Also, they have a new feature, a Horse Drive Photography Expedition, which would let you not only ride along, but photograph the whole deal. Check out their event schedule and other news on their website, firstname.lastname@example.org.
My friend Janie Norlin sent me info on a couple of items. First off, the Belle Jackpot Association is gearing up for another great summer season. Held at the Roundup grounds in Belle Fourche, it has timed events for anyone that is old or young enough to sit up on a horse and compete. Many top contestants have honed their skills or put the finish on their horses at this event, with about 100 contestants meeting two times a month for the past 15 years. BJA is possible due to the help of Ellis and Mary Lou Tripp of E.T. Sports, Belle Fourche, as they pay the fees to use the facility every season, and that is not just pocket change. For more info, call Janie at 605-210-3179.
Janie also told me about a new cowgirl trail ride organization that is starting, called the Hootenanny Cowgirls. It’s a non-profit (kind of like ranching), and will be based in the northern Hills out of Belle Fourche. It is open to any gals who want to ride some great ranch country and in the beautiful Black Hills. They will also be doing some Dutch Oven cooking on the trail. There’s a signup sheet at Belle Fourche Vet Clinic, (on Summit Street), to get on the mailing, phoning, or emailing list. I’m sure you could also call Janie at the number in the previous news item. Sounds like a great idea and the opportunity for some great riding and comradery.
The Thoroughbred industry has just announced their Eclipse Awards and the 2009 Horse of the Year is the lovely and talented Rachel Alexander. This fine mare also won the Three Year Old Filly award. She will continue racing in 2010 so it will be fun to watch what she does as she matures. The rest of the Award winners can be found on the website http://www.bloodhorse.com.
Some of us have gotten our SD brand renewal notices in the mail already. If you haven’t, call the state brand office at Pierre at 605-773-3324. Some of the notices have not reached the brand owner for whatever reason, so you need to be checking on yours. Make sure they have your correct address too. Some addresses have changed to the 911 addresses and might not be delivered at the old one. The deadline for renewal is May 1st, so don’t let it sneak up on you.
Folks are asking me how Rhonda is doing, so here’s an update. The larger bones in her wrist are starting to heal, but the little ones that are on the mushy order are not showing much progress yet. It’s hoped that they will start healing now that the inflammation is diminishing. She has a gadget on her arm that is a rigid plastic and there are pins and bolts, and suchlike that go into her arm to hold everything stationary. Sounds lovely. It’s cumbersome and sensitive, as you might imagine. The good news is that if she stands by the TV and holds it up in the air, their local channels come in much better.
There’s a southeast breeze this morning, about which our old neighbor Leo always said, “A southeast wind is cold no matter what direction it blows out of.” I think I’ll get down off this ridge and give my horse a breather and hope the weather improves in time for the Stock Show. I look forward to seeing you there and visiting with you in person.
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