Good friends lost, Smart Little Lena, Bell Ranch and fast barrel horses
It’s been a bit somber around our place this week. On Sunday morning, my husband went out to do the chores and found our stud dead in the corral. No sign of struggle, so we presume his heart just failed. He was only 13 years old, so it was quite a shock.
Teakwood Ike, aka “Spider,” was a nice stud to have around and to handle. Bill rode him a lot when he was younger and would still grab him when he needed to go do something around the place. He had some breathing problems, due in part, we believe, to having had West Nile when it hit the country that first year. With his lungs impaired, he wasn’t up to the big rides, but was still darned handy to have around if there were some calves to tag or a cow to get in during calving.
He was super smart, had a comical attitude and had quite the routine around the barn. He was a really gifted gate opener and could pick locks and untie knots to rival Houdini. A gate wasn’t really closed unless there were at least three impossible latches rigged up and two of them out of reach of his lips.
As a sire, his offspring are smart, quick, cowy, easy moving and predominately sorrel with a double sworl on the forehead. The horses by him also have his hustle and generally have a fast running-walk as a result. They are fun to ride, as he was. We raised him, Bill raised his mother, and we’ll keep riding that line of horses for many years to come with all the good daughters we have of his.
It’s pretty quiet around the corrals now, since he always had to holler when he saw the horses coming in, no matter what time of year it was. The gates are sure easy to go through, too, with the one simple latch. But, he’ll sure be missed. He was a gentleman and a friend.
I promised to tell you more about the benefit for Blaine and Linda Nordvold. It will be on Sunday, Sept. 12 at the Landmark Hall in Eagle Butte, SD. Nordvolds lost their ranch home in a fire and this is a fundraiser to help them get on their feet. I can’t even imagine what they’re going through, and any help sent their way will be greatly appreciated I’m sure. For more information, contact Jerry Vines at 605-964-7744.
Heard today that one of the greatest sires of cutting/cowhorses in the world was put down after suffering a stroke. Smart Little Lena was 31 years old and is known for being a performer, and then a phenom in the siring categories. He had earnings of over $743,000 himself and offspring earnings in excess of $35 million. His offspring include Smart Chic Olena, Color Me Smart (APHA), Lean With Me, Smart Little Dulce, Smart Little Pistol, etc…, plus he was the grandsire of many of the top horses in the industry today. He was by Doc O’Lena and out of Smart Peppy by Peppy San.
On a brighter note, one of the biggest, contiguous, deeded ranches in the world, the Bell Ranch in New Mexico, just sold in the past week or so. The historic ranch was originally a Spanish Land Grant (in 1824) and was over 656,000 acres. In 1875 the historic Bell brand was registered. The ranch was broke up in 1947, then in the 1970s, Bill Lane (Chicago business man) started putting it back together. He reassembled over 44 percent of the original grant and the ranch comprises nearly 300,000 acres today. In 2007, manager Jeff Lane, son of Bill Lane, was killed in an accident and the ranch was then put up for sale. At the time of the sale, it was ably managed by Bert Ancell, who had been on the Bell for 41 years and hopefully will remain in that capacity. Buying the ranch was the Silver Spur Ranches, with ranches in Wyoming, Colorado, Texas and the T.O. in New Mexico. The reason I’m telling you this is that it is going to remain a RANCH, not get torn up, developed and lost forever. I find that satisfying and encouraging.
Billy Etbauer won another $2,636 the last weekend in August and zipped past the $3 million mark in Saddle Broncs. Go Billy!
Jill Moody, Letcher, SD won the Kennewick, WA Horse Heaven Roundup on the great mare TR Dashing Badger, or Dolly as she is known, with a 17.24. She and this mare have been pards for a long time, though the mare is owned by Harry Thomas, Harrold, SD, who raised her. She’s by Mr Illuminator and out of a Texas High Dasher mare.
Also at Kennewick, Jesse Kruse, Great Falls, MT, won the Saddle Broncs on Big Bend’s Feature Attraction with an 86-point ride.
Back to barrels, Gillette, WY’s Lynn Kohr and Dashing Misty Isle won the Breeders Futurity at the Bold Heart Barrel Futurity in Lincoln, NE. She won both go-arounds, then placed second in the Open Futurity. Her horse, a five-year-old brown mare by Dashing With Cash and out of Cashin Mito, was bred by Warren N. Golliher of Spearfish, SD, and is owned by Kim Sanfords.
The Bold Heart had other well respected sires represented such as Frenchmans Guy, A Streak Of Fling, Hot Dasher, Nonstop Bubblin and Hot Colours.
Still on the barrel line, I just have to mention Shanna Anderson, Eagle Butte, SD, and her great mare Bonnie. She and Baby Blue Bonnie won the 1D at the Central States Fair Open 4D Jackpot. Bonnie is sired by a horse we raised, Mr Blue Jay Hancock, so I feel we’ve got some braggin’ rights. Bred by Jerry Golliher, Bonnie is out of one of their great old Range Duster mares. She’s built like a tank, but can she ever turn and run. Shanna’s such a good hand and she also won second in the 1D on her VF Burr Its Cold horse. Way to go Shanna!
Just got word that respected rancher, rodeo hand, and horseman, Jack Smeenk, Newell, SD, passed away Sept. 1, after a battle with cancer. He and his family have been friends of my family since the late ’40s, and he was a fine person and a tremendous horseman. His obituary will be in next week’s paper I’m sure. My thoughts and prayers are with Betty, Elaine, Jim and Jody and their families. I hope Chieflika was saddled and waiting on the other side for him.
This circle’s about finished and my horse is sad and tired, so will talk to you next time.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the June 19, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News