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Everything from the Derby to deaf horses

For the April 24, 2010 edition of Tri-State Livestock News.

It’s sure greening up out here on the gumbo. There’s rain forecasted and I’m hoping they’re right. Let’s hit a lope and go see some country.

The Kentucky Derby is coming up the first Saturday in May. It’s interesting to read what all the “experts” have to say about the three year olds that are prepping for it. They can say what they want to, tout stats and times, but it all comes down to horse against horse, and that all comes down to heart. It will be quite a race I’m sure. I love watching them, partly because they are incredible athletes, and partly because they’re just so beautiful. No dead winter hair and gumbo on them!

On the subject of fast horses, Jill Moody and the great Dolly smoked them at Red Bluff Roundup PRCA rodeo April 16-18. They ran 2nd in the first round, 1st in the second round and won the average. Jill hails from Letcher, SD and the great mare she rides is owned by Harry Thomas. She is by their stallion Mr Illuminator, a line bred Grey Badger II horse. That old blood still runs pretty fast!



There is a Ranch Roping Clinic being planned, tentatively, for Sept. 24-25, at the Grubbing Hoe Ranch south of Buffalo, SD. Ty Fowler and Melissa Hill are hosting it and Frank Dominguez is the man giving instruction. Dominguez competes regularly at the Californios competition and is a top hand. It’s $250/person and they will take 10-15 riders. I would recommend you be able to rope a little and have your horse used to a rope.

Besides learning the various loops, it will also involve the importance of quiet cattle handling, being in the right place for your partners, and horsemanship. Whether you plan on going to a ranch roping or not, it will add to your cowboy skills to learn what he is offering. Contact Melissa for more info at 605-645-7444.



Montana and rodeo folks will remember a great hand, Jack Bloxham of Great Falls, MT. He was a long time cattle broker, horseman, auctioneer, stock contractor, race horse man, and owner of Bloxham Cattle Co. He always kept practice horses for young bronc riders and helped many a good hand get their start. Jack was honored in January at the Montana Cowboy Hall and Wall of Fame Banquet, and rightly so. He passed away April 16 in Palm Desert, CA, of pneumonia. He leaves behind his wife Billie Jean, two daughters, four step children, two sisters, 20 grandkids, four great-grandkids, and one great-great-grandson.

I want to remind you about the Ranch Rodeo at Edgemont June 5 and 6. On Saturday it will be at 5 p.m. and on Sunday, noon. It’s a WRCA sanctioned event so will have the same events as the big Ranch Rodeo finals in Amarillo, plus there’s vendor space available for free under a big tent there on the ground. Contact Wyatt Van Eaton for more information at 605-890-2369.

Also happening that weekend at Edgemont’s Fall River County fairgrounds will be a Ranch Horse Competition. It will begin Saturday, June 5 at 10 a.m. The feller to call about that is Tim Schaack at 605-484-9714.

Congratulations are in order for some regional ranches that were included in Western Horseman’s Top 20 Ranch Horse programs feature. Haythorn Land and Cattle of Arthur, NE, Bartlett Ranches of LaGrange, WY, S Ranch of Pryor, MT, Crago Ranches (Chuck and Mary) of Belle Fourche, SD, and Open Box Rafter Ranch (Jim and Joni Hunt) of Faith, SD, were listed and a short description of their program included. In the honorable mention category, listed were the Cowan Brothers, SD, Froelich Quarter Horse, ND, Henderson Dry Box, NE, Krogman Ranch, SD, Meyer Ranch, SD, Open Box Hart, SD, Pete Becker Ranch, NE, and Weller Ranch, SD. We’ve known for years that the best horses in the world come from right up here in the northern plains. It’s nice that someone else noticed it too.

This is absotively posilutely the last time I am going to remind you about the South Dakota brand renewals. May 1st is the deadline.

The horse slaughter issue is still quite the hot topic in the various legislatures around the country. Bills pending in these states are: HB 4812 in Illinois which repeals a state prohibition of horse processing for human consumption; Florida’s SB 1708/HB 765 prohibits the mutiliation or killing of any horse and the sale of horsemeat for human consumption; Colorado SB 139 wants to create a fund to support unwanted horses; Missouri’s HB 1747 establishes horse processing plant regulations. Bills opposing federal horse transport legislation include Georgia and Oklahoma. Of course California supports federal horse transport legislation (gee, I’m shocked), as it would prohibit the transport of horses anywhere (i.e. Mexico and Canada) for slaughter. Bills that have actually passed include South Dakota’s SCR 4, which urges the reinstatement of federal horse processing plant inspections and the defeat of federal horse transport bills; and Wyoming’s HB 122 which allows authorities to process abandoned horses and sell their meat. I encourage you to voice your support to the states trying to legislate some common sense back into the mix. I shocked some nice people in the Missouri legislative offices by calling to give them a big attaboy! I believe they got thousands of calls from the anti-s. You can find all the contact info for every state on the state websites.

I recently read an article by Dr. Lorelei Prichard, DVM, about a discovery of a genetic link between color coat and deafness in horses. We’ve all known of blue eyed, white headed dogs that were deaf, as well as white cats with blue eyes, but it turns out that some horses have the same problem. In this study, it was found that the splashed white overo coat pattern or the frame/splashed white overo blend was associated with hearing loss, and that all confirmed or suspected deaf participants had at least one blue or partially blue eye. In genetic testing, 91 percent of those horses carried the same gene as the overo lethal white syndrome. The remaining horses in the test group were homozygous for lethal white.

I’ve heard about some less than successful bronc rides by not-so-young ranchers (that’s YOU Donny Simmons) lately, so be careful out there. There’s no shame in having one sweating BEFORE you step on! I figure that one that won’t try to assassinate me doesn’t eat a bite more than one that will.

It’s time to pull up for the week. I’m eager to see any news you can send me and always happy to spread the word about an event or someone’s success story, but I don’t read minds, so please email anything of interest and I’ll sort it out here.


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