Glad to be home, sad news, good rodeo news and BLM’s fugly horses |

Glad to be home, sad news, good rodeo news and BLM’s fugly horses

I got home last night from a trip to Pennsylvania, and I’ve got to say, it’s pretty there and all the way in between, but, when we drove up out of the Missouri River onto the prairie on Hwy. 212 and I could see forever across that beautiful country, I was home where I belonged. I’m a prairie critter, like the antelope, mule deer and jackrabbits, I guess. Too many trees, fences, people and roads make me long for the quiet and long views.

The news of Cathy Errington-Coleman’s passing just arrived this morning. She died July 31 after a tough fight with cancer. Cathy, Gillette, WY, was president of the Wyoming Reined Cow Horse Association and a long time member of the NRCHA as well. A respected trainer of cow horses, Cathy had fulfilled her dream more than once of qualifying for the World’s Greatest Horseman event. Cathy, 46, is survived by her husband Tom Coleman, her Mom, Frances Errington, and several siblings. I will have more info as it becomes available, but I do know there will be a memorial for Cathy on Aug. 11. My deepest condolences to her family.

I missed the Deadwood, SD Days of ’76 rodeo, but understand they went ahead and had it anyway. Howard Hunter was honored during the rodeo on July 31, and will be memorialized with a Tony Chytka statue at the Days of ’76 Museum. Howard qualified for the NFR three times riding Saddle Broncs. Congrats to a great bronc rider!

Speaking of the Days of ’76 rodeo, the All-Around was won by Jeff Johnston of Seneca, NE; Steer Wrestling by John Franzen (Sidney, MT, I think) and Saddle Broncs by Cole Elshere, Faith, SD, with an amazing 87-point ride on Burch’s Lunitic Fringe. Those rough stock guys really had it made with the pickup men working that rodeo, too. Brent Sutton, Tyler Robertson and the venerable poster boy, Jim Wilson, were there. Good pickup men are fun to watch work.

Cheyenne is in the history books, and the Northern Plains hands did more than all right. Britt Williams, Hammond, MT, and Bobby Harris, Highmore, SD (formerly of Gillette), teamed up to split first in the team roping and left Cheyenne with $10,279 in their pockets. Britt gave his trophy buckle to his Dad for all the help he’d been to him over the years. I’ll bet that jerked some tears out of some eyes – did mine.

Also at Cheyenne, rookie Cody Moore won the Steer Wrestling. He did it on a horse borrowed from Jace Melvin, Ft. Pierre, SD, and trained by Allen Good, Long Valley, SD. I couldn’t dig up an address for Cody, but I’m sure he’s from our area. Anyway, what an accomplishment for a young man just getting started in the PRCA. I’m guessing his card is filled now!

Steve Dent, Mullen, NE won the Barebacks at Cheyenne, so that should keep him going down the road for quite a while. Cheyenne is on the Gold Tour, too.

Strathmore, Alberta had Cort Scheer, Elsmere, NE as the Saddle Bronc champ, and Lisa Lockhart won the barrels. She also ran second in the first round at Cheyenne and finished 10th in the average. She’s holding tough on the fourth spot in the standings.

Paul David Tierney, Oral, SD, won the All-Around at Burlington, CO, while Kelly Timberman, Mills, WY, won the Barebacks and Cole Elshere, Faith, SD, won the Saddle Broncs.

At Libby, MT’s Kootenai River Rodeo, Cody Buller, Glendive, MT, had a smoking 89-point ride on JS Rodeo’s Jr. Bonner to win the Bull Riding.

Preston Billadeau, Parshall, ND, won the All-Around at the Plentywood, MT PRCA show.

Don’t forget the Five-State Barrel Futurity is Sept. 10-12 at the Event Center in Rapid City. Pre-entries are due Sept. 2. More information is available at

Got word that Janie Norlin has a great new Web site available. It has all of her tack items and will soon have her salon items, too. She’s also adding a site where you can sell about anything used in the farm/ranch/rodeo line, plus horses. She also currently offers award-type items at volume discounts for rodeo and horse associations and can have them customized too. Check it out at

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) adopted a new policy resolution on July 28, calling for USDA inspection of horsemeat. It was first reviewed and passed by the Agriculture and Energy Committee, and then passed the business meeting of the 45 states in attendance.This majority vote of over 75 percent of the states attending gives the NCSL staff in Washington, DC the authority to lobby Congress on behalf of the position of the states.

USDA inspection is mandatory if an animal is to be sold as meat and it must be in a USDA inspected facility. Federal appropriations law prevents federal money being spent on salaries for inspection of horses, making it impossible for plants to process horses for meat. It also keeps inspectors from working on a fee-based, voluntary inspection of horse meat.

NCSL wants Congress to remove these restrictions and not replace them with more of the same, thereby opening the door a crack for the resumption of horse processing in the U.S. plants. We can surely hope…

Documented reports indicate that starved, abandoned and neglected horses increased 400 percent in 2008-09 alone. The loss of horse processing for export has eliminated more than $42 million of direct income for an already struggling sector of the livestock industry. Hasn’t done much for the horses either.

In the mean time, the BLM estimates that over 38,000 wild horses and burros roam the west with about half of them in Nevada. Another 35,000 horses are cared for in government (citizen taxpayer) funded corrals (feedlots) and pastures. This cost $29 million in fiscal year 2009, which was 70 percent of the BLM’s horse/burro budget of $40.6 million (egads!). The comment period for Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s proposal to put some more of those unwanted horses on welfare in the Midwest and eastern states has been extended to Sept. 3. We need to let them know our feelings, in a polite way (the way your Mother taught you), about this continuing insanity. You can e-mail your comments to, and be sure and put “WHB Public Comment” in the subject line. You can snail mail your comments to:

BLM Washington Office, 1849 C St. NW, Rm 5665, Washington, DC 20240. I think they sure need to hear from us out west.

Well, I’m going to finish my circle for this week. Those of us who live out here in the wide open spaces are really blessed and shouldn’t forget it. This is as good as it gets for me. As Dorothy said in the movie, “…there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…”

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User