Jan Swan Wood: National Western and BHSS coming up, pole bending clinic, year of the horse | TSLN.com

Jan Swan Wood: National Western and BHSS coming up, pole bending clinic, year of the horse

It’s a new year already. We have the same snow as we had last year. I’m sure ready for a January thaw to bare off some more grass. More than one consecutive day of sunshine would be a nice upgrade too, but it is winter on the northern plains. It seems to last a little longer than it used to though, but maybe it’s because of the number of winters I’ve had now. Each year seems to go by faster, but does slow dramatically during winter.

The National Western Stock Show and Rodeo is coming up in Denver Jan. 11-26. I’ve never been to it, though I’ve wanted to, but hear it’s quite a shindig. I’d sure like to see some of those horse shows that have all the events we don’t see around here. Seeing all the cattle breeds would be very interesting too. Maybe someday.

Of course, right on the heels of that is the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo, which I do get to go to every year. It’s always a lot of fun to see so many familiar faces and to meet new people while there. The never ending lineup of fun and interesting events always makes me make some hard choices as to what to see and which days to go. I’m sure many of you have the same problem! I’m afraid if I went to everything that I’d be so pooped out that I would have to hibernate until calving starts.

There will be a Stray Gathering event on January 30, 7 p.m., at the BHSS. Held at the Event Center, it is a ranch rodeo event that involves four team members that split into two teams, then they rope and tie down two cattle in under two minutes. It’s a lot of fun to do and to watch, so if you want to get in it you need to get your entry in right away. You can go to http://www.blackhillsstockshow.com and find the entry blank or you can call 605-355-3861 for the info you need.

Also at the Event Center will be the ever popular Ranch Horse Competition on February 2 – 3. Entries for the seven division event have to be in by Jan. 17. On Feb. 2, will be: Ladies Rancher, Youth, 3 Year Old Open, Ladies Open, and Novice. On Monday, Feb. 3, will be: Rancher and Open. You can go to http://www.blackhillsstockshow.com and go to the list of events, click on Horse and it will show you the way from there. You can get the 2014 rules, regulations and entry blanks from that site. You can also call the same number as for the Stray Gathering.

There will be a Pole Bending Clinic with Ken Smith on April 25-27 at Huron, S.D. There will be video, lecture, horsemanship and every facet of the pole pattern covered. Call April Zilberberg at 605-871-9056 for info. It fills fast, so don’t tarry. You can check out Ken’s website at http://www.sunrisewest.com to learn more about their methods.

The WRCA (Working Ranch Cowboys Association) will be adding a Wild Card event at the finals. Only the board of directors will know what it is beforehand, so that should add some interesting watching and fun to an already great event.

Also, the WRCA announced that they will be adding three new events that can be held at the sanctioned rodeos. They are still working out the details, but promise that they will be genuine ranch cowboy stuff and good to watch and participate in. I’ll let you know as soon as I know.

According to the Chinese calendar 2014 is the year of the horse. I don’t know what that actually signifies in their circle, but I kind of feel that in ranch, rodeo, and show country, every year is. Those of us who use horses as part of our living, whether on the ranch, in the arena or on the track, already have a lot of respect and affection for our working partners. We all have our favorites and high hopes for our young prospects coming up. I can’t imagine our lives without our horses.

That’s my circle for this week. Be sure and send me your items of interest and upcoming events and I’ll get them in my column. I enjoy helping promote events and fundraisers, so am always glad to help when I can.