Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Several benefits, fast horses, tough bulls | TSLN.com

Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Several benefits, fast horses, tough bulls

I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm about ready for a week of sunshine and warm weather. This weather is so dreary that it has to be making things harder that are already hard enough.

There will be a benefit for Gilbert Wood, Newell, S.D., on Nov. 17, at Pepper's 401 in Nisland, SD. There will be a noon lamb meal and an auction at 4 p.m. They could sure use more items for the auction. Gilbert is a lifelong resident of the Newell/Vale area and has cowboyed, ranched, farmed, worked at the sheep yards and been an all around good feller always. He's been diagnosed with cancer and they sure need some financial help with the cost of treatments and travel. For more information on the fundraiser or to donate items, call Justin Tupper at 605-680-0259 or Barney Barnes at 605-641-2333.

A Rancher Relief Benefit and South Dakota Power Linemen Appreciation soup dinner will be Saturday Nov. 23, at the NVN Senior Center in Newell, S.D., 4-8 p.m. If you want to volunteer to help, make food or donate items, call Natalie Johnson at 605-390-2229. Silent auction items are needed to go with the great items that have already been donated. One hundred percent of the funds raised will go to the Rancher Relief Fund.

The 24th Casey Tibbs Foundation Tribute Dinner will be held Nov. 2, at the Casey Tibbs SD Rodeo Center, Ft. Pierre, S.D. For info, go to http://www.caseytibbs.com or call 605-494-1094.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., we're still up to our armpits in alligators, so to speak. HSUS is pushing from several fronts to end any and all events horse related, and end the transport of horses to slaughter. Of course, they are the ones who are responsible for keeping the processing plants from opening with their endless court suits and injunctions. Naturally, they haven't volunteered any of their mega millions of dollars to care for any of the unwanted horses in the country, so the problem remains. Anyway, a very good group called the United Horsemen is working constantly on our behalf in D.C., fighting for our private property rights (horses are private property) and fighting to keep rodeo and other horse events from being shut down. This work takes money though, and they are always on a tight budget trying to keep the fight going. You can become a member for $25 or if you are already a member of United Horsemen, you can renew your membership for $20. They also accept donations of larger amounts and they are tax deductible. You can go to the website at http://www.unitedhorsemen.org., call Dave Duquette at 541-571-7588, or send a check to United Horsemen, Box 454, Hermiston, OR 97833. You can find them on Facebook too.

Congrats to Mike Maher, Pierre, S.D., and his cohorts on their horse running the fourth fastest time in the G1 Texas Classic Futurity trials at Lonestar Park, Grand Prairie, Texas, on Oct. 19. His horse Hes Restless, s.i.100, is by One Famous Eagle and out of This Dreams Flying. Hes Restless also made the finals in the All American Futurity. The finals of the Texas Classic will be run in early November.

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Also, congrats to our college rodeo kids from this region. The Gillette College Rodeo team's men's and women's teams are leading their region, as are SDSU's teams.

June Holeman, Arcadia, Neb., won the average in the barrels at the WPRA Prairie Circuit finals. June is only 70 years old and has won at every level of competition. She was riding her homebred gelding Hopes Money Boy, "Tall Boy" who is six years old. The 16.2 hand gelding is so powerful that he is hard to ride and is also hard on June on those runs. She's a gritty lady though, and just keeps riding him.

At the California Circuit Finals, Trula Churchill, Valentine, Neb., placed second overall with her own homebred gelding A Streak Of Rita or "Worm." Trula led the California circuit all season so chose to run there instead of at the Prairie circuit finals, which she also qualified for.

Both ladies will be running in the RAM Circuit Finals in Oklahoma in the spring.

Powder River Rodeo's bull Shepherd Hills Tested won the 2013 Bucking Bull of the Year award. The bull was also voted best bull at the 2012 WNFR. He bucked off all the cowboys who drew him in the 2013 season and only one ride went past 2.2 seconds and it was a whopping 4.0 seconds. If the bulls get any tougher they're going to have to make bull riding a timed event.

There have been seven horses diagnosed with EHV-1 (equine herpes virus) in Teton and Park counties in northwestern Wyoming. One of the horses had to be put down. The others are under quarantine and the two locations are unrelated. EHV-1 symptoms include fever, loss of control of extremities, and can be fatal. Prevention is the key and making sure your horses have no nose to nose contact is critical. It's also important to not share buckets, feed tubs or public water tanks.

Well, that's my circle for this week. I am heartened by the encouragement and helping hands being offered to and amongst our ranching family. It takes tough people to live on the northern plains and the ranchers have good hearts to go with it.