Jan Swan Wood: EHV-1 too close for comfort, Rodeo Houston wins, upcoming playdays and events | TSLN.com

Jan Swan Wood: EHV-1 too close for comfort, Rodeo Houston wins, upcoming playdays and events

It's looking like winter is petering out, though the regular snow showers wouldn't suggest that. When I see and hear the first meadowlark, I finally believe that spring is here. The meadowlark's song revitalizes me like nothing else after a long winter.

Heads up to people who haul horses all over. There is an EHV-1 (equine herpes virus) outbreak in the midwest and in Oregon. Midwestern states with EHV-1 include Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. Easily transmitted from horse to horse, it can also be transmitted by the people who handle them and equipment shared amongst them, from brushes and halters to gates and trailers. Folks who handle horses, such as transporters, farriers, and suchlike can transmit it without even knowing. The incubation period on the disease is 7-14 days and begins with a fever and respiratory infection. They generally progress to being uncoordinated, lethargic, and leaning on fences and walls. Some go down. It's not necessarily fatal, but a horse that develops the neurological type will be affected more adversely and may die or have to be put down. If a horse is just "off" and you find that it has a fever, early support treatment can be started. It takes a horse that survives the non-neurological type several months to get back to normal after the disease has passed. So, in light of this, if you are hauling your horses to shows, rodeos, or other events, be very cautious and pro-active on prevention.

Rodeo Houston was a big payoff for some of our northern rodeo hands. Saddle broncs had Cort Scheer of Elsmere, Neb., pocketing a sweet $29,610 for second. Steer wrestling had Dean Gorsuch, Gering, Neb., third with $12,900 and Jake Rinehart, Highmore, S.D., fourth with $10,650 to put in his pocket. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., ended up pocketing $29,200 in barrels, which moved her to the number one spot in the world standings. Money won at Houston also helped Trula Churchill, Valentine, Neb., Shelly Anzick, Livingston, Mont., and Britany Diaz, Mandan, N.D., to a more comfortable place in the standings.

There will be a horse receiving station at Faith, S.D., on April 9, 9-5. Horses will be paid for that day and is a good avenue for any unusable horses you have been having to feed all winter. Call Joe or Sharon at 612-839-9568 or Faith Livestock at 605-967-2200 for more information.

The Bits and Spurs Horse Club playdays at the Custer County fairgrounds, Hermosa, S.D., will run May 17-Sept. 20. There will be events for all ages with a leadline class, barrels, poles, keyhole, and two novelty events that will change every month. Registration starts on the grounds at 8 a.m. with leadline to start at 9. You can find them on Facebook under Bits and Spurs Horse Club.

Hart Ranch Arena near Rapid City, S.D., will be having two open rodeos this year. Dates are set for May 23-25 and Aug. 14-16. For more information call or text Leland McMillan at 406-498-9249.

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Belle Jackpot Association, Belle Fourche, S.D., has announced the season schedule. Dates are: May 28, June 4 and 11, July 9, 16, and 30, August 6 and 13. Rain makeup date is Aug. 20. This is a fun deal for all ages too. There's goat tail untying, goat tying, barrels, poles, calf roping, breakaway and team roping offered.

Keep your eye open for the movie "50-1" in theatres soon. It debuted on March 21. Based on the Thoroughbred gelding Mine That Bird's breathtaking Kentucky Derby upset in 2009, it's a great example of the underdog finishing on top. In the Derby, after passing 18 horses in the field in the last quarter, the gutsy gelding won by 6 and three-quarter lengths on a sloppy track. To show that he had real class and wasn't a fluke, he went on to run 2nd in the Preakness and 3rd in the Belmont. I know I'll be going if it gets to a theatre near here!

I have some pet peeves, as you all know, and one of them is horses turned loose with a halter on. I see them out in pastures with sturdy halters buckled firmly to their heads and it just makes my blood run cold. A horse will usually panic and ruin itself if it gets it head caught as it would with a halter. Folks, there's absolutely no good enough reason to turn them out with a halter on. If he's that hard to catch, there's a bigger issue that needs worked on. Take that halter off when you turn your horse loose. You won't have to find the grisly remains that way.

Have a great week and enjoy some bird song.