Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Tragic news, fundraiser for injured horsewoman, congrats to Puckett and Johnson | TSLN.com

Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Tragic news, fundraiser for injured horsewoman, congrats to Puckett and Johnson

Well, the calves are shipped and the cows are worked. It was sure fun having the grandboys here to help with all of that. Time flies by fast and they'll be grown up before I know it. I relish every day they can be here and be a part of the ranch life.

I don't even know where to start with this news. Rhett Fox, Redig, S.D. cowboy, rancher, horseman, saddle bronc rider, and friend, died in a single vehicle accident last week. The news, when it came, absolutely robbed me of breath. I just couldn't fathom that this could have happened. He was so full of life and dreams. I've known Rhett since his Mom was pregnant with him. As a little boy he was always grinning and that never changed. When I think of him I see him smiling and if we were visiting, we were teasing each other and having a big laugh. Always. I watched him grow to young manhood and saw him blossom into the good guy that everyone loved. I also watched him become a saddle bronc rider with so much talent and style that I just knew he was going to win the world one day soon. I've taken lots of pictures of bronc riders over the years, always of Rhett if he was there, and I never took a bad picture of him. Sometimes the horse was off, but Rhett was always right where he should be. He had class and style and I was thrilled when he told me that he was going to go for it this year as a rookie in the PRCA. But, now he won't. I just don't have the words to tell Rob and Kelly and Rhett's sisters, how very sorry I am. I wish I could take this ache away, but I can't. Time can only dull the ache. Just know, dear ones, that we ache with you. Rhett, thank you for being the one and only you and being my friend. God speed. Please lift the Fox family up in prayer in the weeks and months to come. There's a memorial fund set up in memory of Rhett to help an aspiring young bronc rider move toward his dreams. You can send it to Rhett Fox Memorial, c/o Pioneer Bank, Box 307, Buffalo, SD 57720.

On a brighter note, congratulations to Cole Puckett, Kyle, S.D. bareback rider, on being awarded the Ironman Cowboy of the Year in the World Futurity Association. He got on some really rank bareback horses to win this and kept getting on when others might have quit. He's also a very fine young man who I'm proud to know.

There's been a medical benefit fund set up for Carroll Comes, Camp Crook, S.D. who was injured in a horse wreck last month. Her T8 vertabrae was shattered and bone shards punctured her spinal cord. She had surgery to stabilize the injury and is now at Craig Institute in Colorado doing therapy. Of course, this all costs money beyond what insurance pays. You can contribute to the fund at Pioneer Bank, Box 307, Buffalo, SD 57720.

For the second consecutive year, Robert "Bob" Johnson, Lemmon, S.D., has been named Wrangler Champion Trainer in the Bank of America Racing Challenge. Congratulations to Bob and his family who have been raising and training running Quarter Horses for decades.

The Big Sky Ranch Rodeo Finals annual meeting will be Sunday, December 2, at Forsyth, Mont. There will be lunch, dessert and refreshments provided so you'll need to RSVP by November 29 via Facebook or call/text 406-351-1270.

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There will be a Pro Jackpots Barrels, Pole Bending and Breakaway on December 2 at the Cam-Plex East Pavillion, Gillette, Wyo. It will start at 8 a.m.

There's lots going on in Wright, Wyo at the Agri Plex Indoor arena. The next team roping for the Winter Buckle Series will be December 9, enter by noon and rope at 1 p.m. There will be Pick One, Draw One, Drawpot, Open Drawpot, Steer Breakaway and kids dummy roping. Call 307-391-0555 for info.

Also at Wright, there will be a barrel racing clinic with WPRA Champion Britney Jacobson on January 26, 9 a.m., with an open 4D that evening. The clinic is filling fast so call Amy Strickland at 575-707-3231 to learn more.

Well, that's my circle for this week. I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with thankfulness for all that we have and enjoy in this wonderful country we call home. Have a wonderful week.