Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Funding killed in committee, Hulett Rodeo, SDHSRA Finals, ranch broncs at Slope Circuit Rodeos, barrels galore

I went to a branding this week up in the Slim Buttes. Had a wonderful time in some of the most beautiful country on earth. Branding soggy calves on the green grass with a great crew of nice folks is a superb way to spend the day. Thanks for the invite, my friends.

On May 22, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 18-12 to amend the ag appropriations bill and prevent the USDA from funding inspections in horse processing plants through the fiscal year 2015. Isn’t that just dandy! It still has to go through the House, so call your reps there and keep on it.

Meanwhile, the USDA census has released its statistics on horse numbers and values. Not surprisingly, the 2007-2012 time frame shows a dramatic decrease in values and numbers of horses. The total value of sales of equines in 2012 was $1.391 billion, down about $691 million from 2007. Horse processing ended in the U.S. in 2006 when inspectors were pulled from the plants. What the census doesn’t show is the millions and perhaps billions of dollars lost in horse related industries.

The 67th Annual Hulett Rodeo will be June 14-15, 1:30 each day, with the slack at 10 a.m. on Sunday, the 15th. There will be a parade on Saturday, June 14 at 5 pm, plus lots of other activities going on. I believe there is also a dance and I know there’s a great steak fry that takes place. Hulett would be a lovely place to spend the weekend too.

The Kimball (Nebraska) Ranch Rodeo will be June 14. I hear there’s still a slot or two left for teams to enter. If you’re interested, call Alex Engstrom at 308-241-1760.

The 65th Annual South Dakota State High School Rodeo Finals will be June 18-22 at the Roundup Grounds in Belle Fourche, S.D. The boys and girls cutting will be June 18 at 3 pm, boys then girls; second round will be June 19, 8 a.m., girls then boys. The cutting short go will be June 19 at 7 pm. The rodeo perfs are June 20 and 21, 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., short go on Sunday, the 22nd at 10 a.m.

This is big news for the ranch cowboys! Three of the Summer Slope Circuit rodeos are going to offer Ranch Bronc Riding. They are Marmarth, N.D., Ekalaka, Mont., and Camp Crook, S.D., in conjunction with the NRCA rodeos. All three will have the same rules and points will be kept with awards at the end of the year. Ranch Bronc won’t count toward the all around though.

The Betty Karen Memorial Open 4D Barrel Race will be July 13 at the Logan County Fairgrounds, Stapleton, Neb. There will be Youth and Peewee divisions and is NWBRA, NE4D, and MILE HI sanctioned. There will be $500 minimum added and lots of really great prizes. For more info call Mary McQuade at 308-530-8676.

The Buffalo (S.D.) Youth Rodeo Series has kicked off for the summer. One is already over, but the other dates are: June 25, 5:30 p.m.; July 9, 5:30 p.m.; July 23, 5:30 p.m.; and the finals July 30, 4 p.m. Pre-entries are required for the rodeos and can be dropped off at Robyn Floyd’s house ahead of time. You can also call her for more info at 605-375-3904.

The 3rd Annual Evelyn Hohn Memorial Barrel Race will be August 1, at the Central States Fairgrounds, Rapid City, SD. Exhibitions will be 3-6:30 p.m., with Youth 0-14 at 6:45 with full second splits; 5D at 7 with half second splits to 4D, 4D-5D full second splits. NWBRA approved. Enter at 3:30-6:30 p.m. There’s $1000 added and prizes. there will be a drawing for a star quilt, plus a silent auction with proceeds going to Women Against Violence. Call Robyn Miller at 605-209-0503, Donna March at 605-890-1100, or Gale Beebe at 605-673-4028.

The RQHBA horse sale is accepting a few select riding horses for their sale on August 24 at Belle Fourche, SD. This is a reputation catalog sale that is well advertised and attended, so if you have a good horse to sell, call Brad Wood at 307-467-5401 or Gary Mailloux at 605-347-3294.

I saw some pictures of horses that had died a gruesome death because the halter they were wearing had caught on something. There isn’t any good reason to leave a halter on your horse, either in the corral or pasture. Take it off. Horses can find enough ways to hurt themselves without the aid of a halter that will catch on something. Believe me, those photos were awful. You don’t want to see your horse like that.

Well, that’s my circle for this week. Keep sending me your events and items of interest so I can share them here.