Equine entertainment | TSLN.com

Equine entertainment

For the Nov. 14, 2009 edition of Tri-State Livestock News.

The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World Show is ongoing right now in Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City, OK. Action featuring the world’s best American Quarter Horses competing for World Champion titles and more than $2.7 million in cash and awards started Nov. 5th and runs through Nov. 14th. Amateur events sponsored by Bank of America and Open events sponsored by FedEx range from halter to reining, jumping to trail, showcasing the athletic ability and beauty of the American Quarter Horse. All kinds of coverage, including live video and show results, is available online at http://www.aqha.com/showing/shows/worldshow/.

At the same time the 12th Annual Northeast EQUINE AFFAIRE – known as the nation’s premiere equestrian gathering and premiere equestrian exposition – is taking place in West Springfield, MA, Nov. 12th through 15th. The event is expected to attract tens of thousands of horsepeople to enjoy a world-class educational program and extensive trade show as well as clinics, seminars, competition and entertainment featuring horses of all kinds. You can learn more about that event by checking out http://www.equineaffaire.com/massachusetts/index.html.

Much closer to home, you can be royally entertained through the Northwest Ranch Cowboy’s Association (NRCA) 2009 Championship Finals Rodeo, Trade Fair and Convention. This exciting event offers something for fans of all ages as the NRCA Board and Finals Committee team up with many sponsor/partners to bring rip roaring rodeo action to the CamPlex in Gillette, WY, Nov. 27th through 29th. The Trade fair kicks off at noon on the 27th, and at 7 p.m. the first round of the sudden Death Finals will pit the top dozen cowboys and cowgirls in 10 events against the best rodeo stock from a dozen of the Midwest’s best rodeo producers. This is Family Night, and all elementary school children who attend dressed as a rodeo clown will be able to compete for prizes, chosen by fan response. Other fun competitions include Fan of the Night, UpGrade Your Seat and drawings for Best Seats In the House.

Saturday the 28th an Open Handicap Team Roping starts at 9 a.m.; then rodeo fans arriving early for the second go-’round of competition can meet and greet their favorite cowboys, cowgirls, rodeo queens and personalities and collect autographs starting at 5 p.m., pre-rodeo. The 7 p.m. performance will again be enhanced by Best Seats, Fan of the Night and Upgrade Your Seat competitions, and will be followed by the free Cowboy Ball where you can dance to the music of the Little Phil band, which has opened for musical greats such as Sawyer Brown, Hal Ketchum and the Kentucky Head Hunters.

The last day of the NRCA Finals is Sunday the 29th, which kicks off at 9 a.m. with the Turn Barrel Horse Magazine Barrel Race, featuring kids and 3D competition. The final round starts at 1 p.m., including all the special fun features plus the exciting Match of Champions – lining up the top four Saddle Bronc riders in a winner-take-all match against four of the rankest horses from the Max Burch Rodeo Company of Rozet, WY. A Cowboy Calcutta will precede the Match; and the NRCA Year-End and Finals Champions will be crowned at the conclusion of the performance.

For information on the Trade Fair, you can contact 605-855-2277 or cmolson@sdplains.com. To enter the team roping you can call 307-290-0743; or for the barrel race contact 307-689-4009. To learn more about the rodeo, get in touch with Mike McFarland by emailing mikemcfarland@wildblue.net.

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As we go to press this week, the annual Tribute Dinner honoring selected people at the Casey Tibbs Center in Fort Pierre, SD is underway. You may recall our TSLN feature on the Grand Opening of that facility, in conjunction with the Mattie Goff Newcombe Conference Center, last summer. Selected to be honored Nov. 14th with the Class of 2009 are Past Rodeo Greats Benny and Billie Bender; Cowboy Frank Thompson; Cowgirl Jill Moody; Rodeo Producer Hollenbeck Rodeos; Rodeo Family the late Paul Painter, Marilyn Painter and the Friemark family; and Rodeo Athletes Unc and Snort.

I wish we could be there to hear our friend Dr. Barry Bender talk about his uncle Bennie Bender, one of the best bullfighters and rodeo clowns to ever grace an arena; and his cousin, Bennie’s daughter Billie Bender, who thrilled crowds with her daring trick riding escapades and helped her dad with animal acts from the time she was five years old. She’s now a tough cancer survivor for whom the home ground of South Dakota has proven the best medicine; a return there having brought her back from near death years ago.

I remember nearly splitting my sides in laughter at the antics of Bennie Bender in the National Western Stock Show arena from the late 1940’s through the 50’s. His true gift was humor, and he was an amazing animal trainer as well as a tough all-around cowboy. His ‘Old Gray Mare’ that bucked was one of the alltime best rodeo clown acts – and you had to be the best to hold a contract with such rodeos as Cheyenne Frontier Days for more than two decades. Bennie, originally from Mobridge, SD, pursued his rodeo clown profession for 30 years. Rodeo was a family business with the Benders as Billie became an ever more accomplished trick rider and her mother Lucille designed and tailored costumes for both Bennie and Billie.

We tip our ol’ Tri-State Stetson to Billie and the late Bennie Bender… to Doc Barry Bender who’ll prove that great Bender humor is still around as he introduces them at the Tribute Dinner… and to all the others who’ll be honored in Fort Pierre the 14th.

We gave you a head’s up here recently on the tick-transmitted blood disease equine piroplasmosis found in Texas. Movement restrictions have been placed upon equines across North America as a result. The Texas Animal Health Commission has recently posted new information, including the fact that the malady can be carried and transmitted by as many as 15 species of ticks.

“Before moving horses from Texas, we urge you and your veterinarian to check with animal health officials for any state of destination, to ensure the animals have met all entry requirements,” said Dr. Bob Hillman, Texas’ state veterinarian and head of the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC). “Regulatory requirements can be fluid as disease situations evolve, so it is essential to call each state each time you haul.”

Dr. Hillman urged equine owners and veterinarians to call state animal health officials directly before hauling, as many states have not yet distributed entry requirement information. Contact information for state veterinarians may be obtained from the TAHC at 800-550-8242, ext. 710. With many large equine events going on in Texas at this time of year, owners and others transporting horses need to be fully aware of this information.

Here comes the end of our ol’ lariat rope once more…

The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World Show is ongoing right now in Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City, OK. Action featuring the world’s best American Quarter Horses competing for World Champion titles and more than $2.7 million in cash and awards started Nov. 5th and runs through Nov. 14th. Amateur events sponsored by Bank of America and Open events sponsored by FedEx range from halter to reining, jumping to trail, showcasing the athletic ability and beauty of the American Quarter Horse. All kinds of coverage, including live video and show results, is available online at http://www.aqha.com/showing/shows/worldshow/.

At the same time the 12th Annual Northeast EQUINE AFFAIRE – known as the nation’s premiere equestrian gathering and premiere equestrian exposition – is taking place in West Springfield, MA, Nov. 12th through 15th. The event is expected to attract tens of thousands of horsepeople to enjoy a world-class educational program and extensive trade show as well as clinics, seminars, competition and entertainment featuring horses of all kinds. You can learn more about that event by checking out http://www.equineaffaire.com/massachusetts/index.html.

Much closer to home, you can be royally entertained through the Northwest Ranch Cowboy’s Association (NRCA) 2009 Championship Finals Rodeo, Trade Fair and Convention. This exciting event offers something for fans of all ages as the NRCA Board and Finals Committee team up with many sponsor/partners to bring rip roaring rodeo action to the CamPlex in Gillette, WY, Nov. 27th through 29th. The Trade fair kicks off at noon on the 27th, and at 7 p.m. the first round of the sudden Death Finals will pit the top dozen cowboys and cowgirls in 10 events against the best rodeo stock from a dozen of the Midwest’s best rodeo producers. This is Family Night, and all elementary school children who attend dressed as a rodeo clown will be able to compete for prizes, chosen by fan response. Other fun competitions include Fan of the Night, UpGrade Your Seat and drawings for Best Seats In the House.

Saturday the 28th an Open Handicap Team Roping starts at 9 a.m.; then rodeo fans arriving early for the second go-’round of competition can meet and greet their favorite cowboys, cowgirls, rodeo queens and personalities and collect autographs starting at 5 p.m., pre-rodeo. The 7 p.m. performance will again be enhanced by Best Seats, Fan of the Night and Upgrade Your Seat competitions, and will be followed by the free Cowboy Ball where you can dance to the music of the Little Phil band, which has opened for musical greats such as Sawyer Brown, Hal Ketchum and the Kentucky Head Hunters.

The last day of the NRCA Finals is Sunday the 29th, which kicks off at 9 a.m. with the Turn Barrel Horse Magazine Barrel Race, featuring kids and 3D competition. The final round starts at 1 p.m., including all the special fun features plus the exciting Match of Champions – lining up the top four Saddle Bronc riders in a winner-take-all match against four of the rankest horses from the Max Burch Rodeo Company of Rozet, WY. A Cowboy Calcutta will precede the Match; and the NRCA Year-End and Finals Champions will be crowned at the conclusion of the performance.

For information on the Trade Fair, you can contact 605-855-2277 or cmolson@sdplains.com. To enter the team roping you can call 307-290-0743; or for the barrel race contact 307-689-4009. To learn more about the rodeo, get in touch with Mike McFarland by emailing mikemcfarland@wildblue.net.

As we go to press this week, the annual Tribute Dinner honoring selected people at the Casey Tibbs Center in Fort Pierre, SD is underway. You may recall our TSLN feature on the Grand Opening of that facility, in conjunction with the Mattie Goff Newcombe Conference Center, last summer. Selected to be honored Nov. 14th with the Class of 2009 are Past Rodeo Greats Benny and Billie Bender; Cowboy Frank Thompson; Cowgirl Jill Moody; Rodeo Producer Hollenbeck Rodeos; Rodeo Family the late Paul Painter, Marilyn Painter and the Friemark family; and Rodeo Athletes Unc and Snort.

I wish we could be there to hear our friend Dr. Barry Bender talk about his uncle Bennie Bender, one of the best bullfighters and rodeo clowns to ever grace an arena; and his cousin, Bennie’s daughter Billie Bender, who thrilled crowds with her daring trick riding escapades and helped her dad with animal acts from the time she was five years old. She’s now a tough cancer survivor for whom the home ground of South Dakota has proven the best medicine; a return there having brought her back from near death years ago.

I remember nearly splitting my sides in laughter at the antics of Bennie Bender in the National Western Stock Show arena from the late 1940’s through the 50’s. His true gift was humor, and he was an amazing animal trainer as well as a tough all-around cowboy. His ‘Old Gray Mare’ that bucked was one of the alltime best rodeo clown acts – and you had to be the best to hold a contract with such rodeos as Cheyenne Frontier Days for more than two decades. Bennie, originally from Mobridge, SD, pursued his rodeo clown profession for 30 years. Rodeo was a family business with the Benders as Billie became an ever more accomplished trick rider and her mother Lucille designed and tailored costumes for both Bennie and Billie.

We tip our ol’ Tri-State Stetson to Billie and the late Bennie Bender… to Doc Barry Bender who’ll prove that great Bender humor is still around as he introduces them at the Tribute Dinner… and to all the others who’ll be honored in Fort Pierre the 14th.

We gave you a head’s up here recently on the tick-transmitted blood disease equine piroplasmosis found in Texas. Movement restrictions have been placed upon equines across North America as a result. The Texas Animal Health Commission has recently posted new information, including the fact that the malady can be carried and transmitted by as many as 15 species of ticks.

“Before moving horses from Texas, we urge you and your veterinarian to check with animal health officials for any state of destination, to ensure the animals have met all entry requirements,” said Dr. Bob Hillman, Texas’ state veterinarian and head of the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC). “Regulatory requirements can be fluid as disease situations evolve, so it is essential to call each state each time you haul.”

Dr. Hillman urged equine owners and veterinarians to call state animal health officials directly before hauling, as many states have not yet distributed entry requirement information. Contact information for state veterinarians may be obtained from the TAHC at 800-550-8242, ext. 710. With many large equine events going on in Texas at this time of year, owners and others transporting horses need to be fully aware of this information.

Here comes the end of our ol’ lariat rope once more…