Jan Swan Wood: Flood and cold snaps, we lost Sue Wallis, WNFR at vegas | TSLN.com

Jan Swan Wood: Flood and cold snaps, we lost Sue Wallis, WNFR at vegas

It’s sure been an up and down week with temperature and wind velocity. The creeks in our area flooded, so are now treacherous, dangerous livestock traps. I was watching the news the other night and on the national news part of it the reporter breathlessly stated that New Orleans was bracing for up to a quarter inch of snow. I laughed and laughed.

The news hasn’t all been laughable though. I got word that my long time friend Sue Wallis had died suddenly from a heart attack this past week. Sue, 56, was from the beautiful country north of Recluse, Wyo., and had also lived in southern Wyoming and for several years Nevada. Her heart was always right there on the ranch though. She was a cowboy woman. Sue and I both shrunk away from the term “cowgirl” and had conversations about that several times. (A cowboy is what you are, not a gender thing). Sue was foremost a daughter, sister, wife, Mom, and Grandmother. I can’t even imagine the void that will be left in the lives of her family with her loss. A four term state legislator, Sue was known for being an advocate and warrior for horse slaughter, private property rights, livestock property rights, and any issue that affected her state and our industry. We didn’t always agree on some political points, but we always agreed to disagree and be friends. Just over a year ago Sue lost the love of her life and husband Rod McQueary. I was glad to see her healing and going on with her life, but knew that she missed him desperately. At the time of this writing, services were still being planned and her daughter Megan said that there would be a memorial at the ranch at Recluse, Wyo., and also one in Nevada this summer. When I know more about that, I’ll share that here. My heart goes out to her folks Dick and Myrt Wallis, her kids Isaac, Megan and Rhys, and all the rest of her big family. I like to think of her and Rod together again. Of course they’re horseback.

The PRCA and LVE kissed and made up and came to an agreement that the WNFR will be held in Vegas for another 10 years. I know there were some other venues eyeing that juicy fruit, so who knows after that. I haven’t heard anything more about the group that was going to splinter off and have their own thing. Maybe they quit talking about it when the agreement was made about Vegas.

The PRCA also renewed their agreement with the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) to continue to co-sanction rodeo. There hadn’t been any controversy over that, just a normal renewal. It sure benefits the rodeo hands from both sides of the border.

At Denver’s National Western, our region’s pro hands did us proud. Cort Scheer, Elsmere, Neb., placed first in the average in the saddle broncs; Dean Gorsuch, Gering, Neb., won the average in steer wrestling; Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., was fourth and Nikki Steffes, Vale, S.D., was fifth in the average in barrels; and Bobby Welsh, Gillette, Wyo., won the average in the bulls.

At Lincoln, Neb., saddle broncs had Cole Elshere, Faith, S.D., first, and a three way tie for second with Troy Crowser, Whitewood, S.D., Louis Brunson, Interior, S.D., and Samuel Kelts.

Hammel Ranch Arena at Hot Springs, S.D., will be starting their spring barrel series. Dates are: Feb. 16 and 23; March 9 and 23; April 13; Finals April 27; makeup date April 26. Exhibitions will start at 10 a.m. with the youth 3D starting at noon. Open 4D will follow.

Gillette College Rodeo will be holding a Breakaway and Muley Team Roping Jackpot on March 15 at Gillette, Wyo. The breakaway will start right after the 8 a.m. rodeo slack with muley roping to follow. Sounds like a good time for all!

This is quite a ways off, but preparation is going to be the key to winning this deal, so I’m telling you about it now. The 1st Annual Routier Ranch Super Horse Challenge will be held Aug. 29 and 30 at Buffalo, S.D. Contestants will be competing in five different events with the goal of having their horse named Champion Superhorse. The catch is that the same person has to ride the same horse in all five events. Events include heading, heeling, breakaway, goat tying and barrels. All are timed events and the horse with the shortest time total will be the Superhorse and win a saddle. I think this event will be great to watch as well as compete in and I have to believe that the guys are going to find out there’s a lot higher level of difficulty in goat tying and barrels than they realized for more information e-mail or call jessicaroutier@gmail.com or 608-553-0976!

I hope to see you at the stock show. Let’s have a visit if I do.