Jan Swan Wood: Free horse vet care clinic on rez, Casey Tibbs dedication, horse processing info and updates, praying for rain
It sure got hot here last week. Hot and windy weren’t exactly what we were hoping for either. Sioux City, IA, had a 106 degree reading so I guess we didn’t have it quite so bad. I don’t think they’re in the midst of a drought though. Might be now.
Calving is winding down for about everyone, unless they calve even later than us. The question for many is whether to brand the calves or just work them, in case they end up selling. My heart aches every time I see the word complete dispersion in the advertisement. That may be someone’s life’s work going to the sale because of no grass and water. I’m going to keep praying for rain.
The annual Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Equine Vet Clinics will be doing their free castrations, umbilical cord hernia repairs, dental work, evaluations and treatment of wound and hoof evaluations in several locations on the reservation. This is such a great deal and sure helps the horses in that area. What an opportunity to get those colts gelded and keep the population down a little too. The dates are: May 28 at LaPlante, May 29 at Eagle Butte Cultural Center, May 30 at White Horse Community Center, and May 31 at the Dupree rodeo grounds. June 2 is a followup. For more information go to http://www.r-vets.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or call 831-2622-3471 or 831-809-8248.
The Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center, Ft. Pierre, SD, will dedicate it’s Johnny Smith Memorial Garden on June 1 at 1:30 p.m. (central time). The lifesize bronze of five time world champion saddle bronc rider, Billy Etbauer, will be the centerpiece. The bronze is by renowned Spearfish, SD, artist, Tony Chytka, and he and Billy will both be there for the dedication. There will also be museum tours, a steak feed, and the Twentieth Annual Casey Tibbs Match of Champions Bronc Ride. For details, go to http://www.caseytibbs.com.
Speaking of Ft. Pierre, the bucking chutes at the Casey Tibbs Arena are being replaced after only 40 years of use. The $100,000 renovation will also include a new crow’s nest and new holding pens for the roughstock. It should all be done in time for the big fourth of July PRCA rodeo that’s held there. I’ll bet the ground crew will love having those new pens to work with!
The Sandhills Summer Series Barrels and Breakaway at Arthur, NE, will be June 19 and 26, July 10, 17, and 31. Breakaway starts at 5:30 p.m., barrel exhibitions at 7 p.m., and barrels (peewee, youth and open) at 7:30. Contact Jamie Gorwill at 308-458-2621 or 308-764-9810 if you need to know more.
The endlessly persecuted Valley Meats, Roswell, NM, is being targeted again. Now Front Range Equine Rescue, Larkspur, CO, has contacted Valley Meats, Environmental Protection Agency, and USDA of its intent to sue for violations of the Clean Water Act. They claim that it goes back at least five years when Valley Meats was processing cattle. Of course, there’s no actual evidence that they have ever polluted water in the area, but it’s just another stumbling block thrown out to hold up horse processing. Blair Dunn, attorney for Valley Meats, says they will not be out of compliance by the end of the 60 days time period on the notice to sue. Good gravy, anyone that has a lick of sense knows it hasn’t rained in Roswell, NM, in years, so there’s been no runoff. Seriously though, it’s just another ridiculous and money consuming attempt to derail legal horse processing.
Meanwhile, the horse welfare issue is going to get worse and worse as the drought lingers, worsens and even spreads further across the west. National hay inventory is at the lowest in history and no one can afford to keep feeding horses with feed prices that are continually climbing. The rescues are full to overflowing and more and more horses are being seized for abuse and neglect, even from some of the so-called rescues. What’s a person to do? I guess dig a trench, shoot them and roll them into the hole and bury them. Sounds awful, but starving to death isn’t a better alternative.
In light of that, there are groups in Washington, DC, that are fighting for us to get the USDA inspectors into the plants so that horse processing can resume as the law says it should. One of those groups is United Horsemen, and they are headed back to DC to continue to put pressure on as the Farm Bill (USDA money is in it) is argued and rassled over. If you can spare some money to help them with the expenses of travel and being in DC, please send whatever you can. Membership in the organization is $25 with membership renewals at $20. You can do it by Paypal on their website which is united-horsemen.org, or mail it to United Horsemen, P.O. Box 454, Hermiston, OR, 97838.
Well, I hope the creeks are flooded and all the water gaps are wiped out by the time you read this. I’ll still be praying for rain even then.
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