Fundraisers, suncatcher, BLM mess and Billy Etbauer’s $3 million mark |

Fundraisers, suncatcher, BLM mess and Billy Etbauer’s $3 million mark

It must be almost fall if I can’t decide what to wear to start my day. This week I went from leaving a trail of sweaty footprints to needing a coat in less than 12 hours.

I mentioned a benefit roping being held for Danny Wicks from Red Owl, SD, a while back. There is going to be another fundraiser for Danny on Sept. 11 at the Union Center Community Center starting at 5 p.m. There will be a supper, auction and other events. It’s a good cause and I hope that lots of items get donated and many people go to donate, enjoy the meal and buy at the auction. He is fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) and needs help with travel expenses for treatment. Danny is a rancher in that community. Call Kaye Andrews at 605-985-5287 for info or to donate.

If you can’t make it to that one, maybe you can make it to the benefit team roping being held for Danny’s cause at H & M Arena at Marcus, SD, on Sept. 19. Call Glen King at 605-985-5014 about that.

There is also going to be a benefit for Blaine and Linda Nordvold, Eagle Butte, SD, on Sept. 12. They lost their home in a fire recently and the community is going to hold a benefit in Eagle Butte to help these ranchers get back on their feet. I don’t have any contact info at this time but will try to have it next week.

Sandy Sanford Hunter, Eaton, CO, died Aug. 9 after a short go-around with bone cancer. Sandy, 66, was raised on the Pathfinder Ranch west of Casper, WY. She was involved in rodeo and worked with horses much of her life. Her ashes were scattered on that magnificent ranch on Aug. 21. She is survived by her husband Jim Hunter and her sons Cody, Troy and Lance Peterson.

The Suncatcher Therapeutic Riding Academy, Rapid City, SD, will be having a “Sunshine and Freedom” benefit ride and silent auction on Sept. 11, at 1 p.m. at the Hay Creek Ranch, Nemo, SD. There will be participant rides all day Friday and at 10 a.m. Saturday. Suncatcher is a great organization that helps handicapped people, primarily children, regain their freedom by having them ride or drive horses. More info can be found about the host ranch at or call Suncatcher at 605-673-2935. They do this benefit to buy winter hay for the wonderful horses in their program.

Well, the anti-everything groups can now take responsibility for the deaths of many of the very animals they claim to “protect.” They pressured the court to delay the gather of BLM horses near Tuscarora, NV, though the horses were starving and out of water in an area with about 1,200 more horses than the environment can support. The BLM was finally allowed to resume the gather, then the group filed an injunction to stop the gather again. Meanwhile, the horses are still starving and thirsting to death. Ranchers on the adjoining land worked with the BLM to open fences to let the horses onto their own land to reach water and feed, but existing law prevented them from assisting the horses in finding the way to the fresh ground. A judge finally ruled on the side of common sense and compassion and BLM resumed the gathers. It was already too late for many horses.

The sad and unnecessary deaths of the horses, whether you support the BLM’s “management” or not, is terrible. Another terrible aspect of this is that these “anti” organizations are often fully funded by the Equal Access to Justice Act Funds (EAJA), which are provided by our very own tax dollars. (Gee, I feel a lot better now, don’t you?) There is no accountability of these funds, so no way to determine how much the enviro and animal rights groups have burned up from the EAJA.

We all need to speak up and talk to our Washington, DC delegation (employees) about this travesty. Wyoming’s folks are all on board already, are yours? For more information about this and other issues of this type, call the United Organizations of the Horse at 307-680-8515 or go to

On a much brighter note, there’s a great horse sale coming up on Sept. 19. The Sugar Bars Legacy Sale, Buffalo, WY, will be featuring 96 head of top-quality horses, from weanlings to finished riding horses. There will be a BBQ on Saturday evening, too. I’ve seen a sampling of the weanlings being offered at this sale and they are phenomenal. If you want a catalog, call Shirley Wetz at 605-347-8120.

I always like to talk about some young person who is doing something well, and this time I want to brag on Coy Thompson from Whitewood, SD. I’ve known him since he was a little feller (he wasn’t quite 6’4″ when he was born). He’s a really good roper and wins team ropings all over the country, and he’s taken up steer roping in the last few years and is doing well at that, too. Matter of fact, he was in the steer roping at Douglas, WY State Fair PRCA Rodeo, and placed in all three rounds and finished third in the average against the top ropers in the world. Way to go, Coy!

Ree Heights, SD native, Billy Etbauer, (Stillwell, OK now) has surpassed the $3 million mark in career earnings with a win at the Burley, ID PRCA show. He had never entered that rodeo before, but this year was there with his wife Hollie, who was running barrels. He’s only the second PRCA cowboy to pass that mark (Trevor Brazile is the other one). He won $1,580 at Burley, and only needs another $478 to have won the $3 mil in just saddle broncs, as he won $1,334 of the total in team roping. Ironically, it’s unlikely he will make the WNFR, as he is $27,000 out of the top 15. He has been to 21 consecutive NFRs though, so that’s nothing to sneeze at. He’s the unrivalled king of the saddle broncs and a man to look up to for the young contestants coming on.

Steer wrestler Dean Gorsuch, Gering, NE, has moved from 7th to 4th place in the standings. He won a round and the average at Caldwell, ID. Also at Caldwell, Shaun Stroh, Dickinson, ND, won a round and the average in the saddle broncs. He also broke an arena record with an incredible 91-point ride on Calgary Stampede’s Lynx Mountain!

JR Vezain, Cowley, WY, is having a great summer as he has won $18,590 on his PRCA permit in barebacks and bull riding. He’s fresh out of high school and finished third in the all-around at the National High School Finals in July and won the barebacks at the NHSRF in 2009. I think this young rough stock hand will be seen at the Finals in the very near future.

Todd Suhn, Hermosa, SD, won the steer wrestling at Moses Lake, WA with a 3.9, and Kelly Timberman won the all-around with a win in barebacks and a placing in steer wrestling at Douglas, WY.

Well, I’ve about ridden this circle out, so will pull up for now. See ya next week!

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