Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Rain, Derby smiles, steer roping, Lane Scott fundraiser, feral horse follies

It’s been another rainy week here on the gumbo. It makes a mess of things, but the mud is what we need to make grass. Just a year ago we were still praying for rain, so I think I’ll just be thankful for the inconvenience of the mud and enjoy it. There are lots worse things than mud.

Wasn’t that a great Kentucky Derby? What a fine race. I couldn’t have been happier for the winners, including California Chrome, the trainer and the owners. Neat back story about this home bred, relative unknown pedigreed colt and the working people who raised him and the man who trained him. His dam was an $8,000 purchase as a baby and the stud’s fee was only $2,500 when they bred the mare. In contrast was the horse that placed second, Commanding Curve who was a $60,000 yearling/$75,000 two year old and the third place horse Danza who was a $105,000 yearling.

The National Circuit Finals Steer Roping will be May 16-17 at the Goshen County Fairgrounds, Torrington, Wyo. I wish it was closer as I would go. Steer roping is fun to watch and a great family deal.

There will be a fundraiser for Lane Scott, Kennebec, S.D., on June 14. Lane, a 19 year old bull rider was in a car wreck on Sept. 3, 2013, in Texas. After eight months, he’s still in a coma. He was in an ICU in Texas for about two months before being moved to a rehab hospital in Lincoln, Neb., He’s recently been moved to a facility in Chamberlain, S.D., which is blessedly closer to family and friends. His family has had extreme hardship and expenses during Lane’s time in the hospitals and rehab. The travel alone would break anyone. So, the fundraiser will be in Ft. Pierre, S.D., 11 a.m. to whenever. There will be a picnic style lunch all day, a silent/live auction 2-8 p.m., raffle winners will be announce 8-9 p.m. and a dance with a live band will be 9-1:30. The proceeds will all go to the family and Lane. Please call Sherry Shepley 605-220-3488 or Caysee Hall 605-220-1097 for more info or how to send items for the auction. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Also, prayers for Lane’s complete recovery are important.

There’s been one horse diagnosed with EHV-1 in South Dakota. The horse was recently moved from Minnesota to a boarding facility in the Aberdeen area. All measures are being taken to keep it from spreading from this horse. Some events are being postponed, so call ahead to make sure whatever you are planning is still going to be held.

There will be a Better Basics Goat Tying Clinic with Lynn Smith and Lacey Tech teaching on June 4 at Faith, S.D., and June 5 at Platte, S.D. There’s a $100 deposit required to hold your spot in the clinic. Go to for sign up forms.

Meanwhile, in Utah, a group of 13 ranchers in the southern and south central part of the state have filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that the BLM isn’t doing enough to protect wildlife and cattle on the desert grazing permits. The drought has hung on for years in that country and the feral horses are just destroying the land. Governor Gary Herbert has declared that local entities should be allowed to manage the horse herds because the BLM has not. Utah has about 3,245 feral horses and burros on land the the BLM says can only support 1956. Some of the horses are also trespassing on private land and tearing it up too. Iron County alone has over 2,000 head, well over the 300 the BLM says there should be. A new Utah state law says that the state can intervene when public health and safety is concerned, so that is also being taken into account. Of course, as expected, the anti’s are squalling like mashed cats over a possible gather by anyone and say that it’s the cattle that are destroying the habitat and overgrazing. Personally, I’ve never seen any grazing animal that can damage grazing ground as thoroughly as a horse (not counting hogs). They can starve out a goat anywhere you put them due to their double row of incisors and how they graze. The BLM is riding the fence on the deal and actually want to gather after the foals are born but are facing stiff opposition. Ranchers managed the feral horses better back in the day, than the BLM ever will. I say let ‘em do it.