Rodeo races on |

Rodeo races on

Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns

Rodeo season races on across the West. My cowboy and I, who rarely get off the place to attend a rodeo since neither of us is competing, were privileged to be guests of TSLN in the VIP seats at the final performance of Days of ’76 in Deadwood last Sunday. We hardly know how to act, taking in two prominent rodeos in a week’s time!

Deadwood has been chosen the best Mid-Sized Outdoor Rodeo in the PRCA more than once, and holds the title for 2007. The venue is picturesque and the committee works hard to produce a quality rodeo. The contract acts were outstanding, but for true rodeo fans the turnout situation sure put a damper on that final performance, with so many names on the program being just that – names on the program… but not at the rodeo.

That – coupled with multiple re-rides in both the bareback and saddle bronc riding – cast the show in a very amateurish light. Surely there are better broncs available in this end of the country… re-rides should rarely be necessary except for such reasons as flanks coming off or fouls at the gate.

Speaking of broncs that really do buck, we tip our ol’ Tri-State Stetson to the Johnny and Sharon Holloway family of Eagle Butte, South Dakota, on the great article “Bred to Buck” profiling them in the latest Western Horseman. We were able to congratulate Johnny and daughter Johnilynn in person at Deadwood, and before our conversation was over, he gave us the lowdown on their Second Annual Cowboy Reunion to be held at First Gold Hotel & Gaming in Deadwood on October 25th, 2008. Sharon and Johnny put together the premiere event last year and it was a dandy… no doubt this one will exceed even that. Make your plans early; call Holloway’s at (605) 964-3088 or write for more information. I’ll probably bring you a reminder here the week before reservations are due, October 18th.

Another tip of the hat goes to Wyoming writer/photographer Guy De Galard for the great job he did in capturing the Holloway family, their horses, and their connections to the sport they love, rodeo. I met Guy at the National Cowboy Poetry Gatherin’ in Elko, Nevada in 2006, where he was serving as interpreter for the Guardian contingency visiting there from the Camargue in France. He’s a “transplant” this state can be truly proud of.

Speaking of pride in Tri-State country, we take a big dose of that in the Quarter-Horse-breeding Krogman family of South Dakota. Blaine and his family sent us their beautiful catalog for the annual production sale at Winner Livestock, coming up Saturday, August 23rd. The family was tough enough to settle the White River area when times were really, really hard, and have stuck it out for several generations now. The gene pool they’ve put together has improved the Quarter Horse and Paint population for many years.

Blaine says, “This year’s sale offering highlight is 40 blue roans… We also have an outstanding group of grullos, buckskins and duns! In addition to the superb foal crop, this sale features several well broke saddle horses that will stand your inspection.”

The horses will be at Winner Livestock by noon on Friday, August 22nd. To learn more, go to or call (605) 685-3700. You can even bid via phone on sale day by calling (800) 201-0451.

If you can get past politics on radio or TV, the biggest buzz these days is about the 2008 Olympic Games in China. NBC Universal will be airing 3,600 hours of coverage of the Games, including the equestrian events, which will be taking place in Hong Kong. This total amount of coverage will be more than the hours of coverage for all the Olympic Games since 1960 Rome combined. All broadcasts will also be in high definition. You good readers might be interested, as I am, in this equestrian coverage and – thanks to the United States Equestrian Federation – I have information on how you can do just that.

The first coverage is August 9th on USA, with Dressage being show from 2 a.m. to 2 p.m. (all times Eastern); on August 11th OXYGEN will broadcast 3-Day and Cross Country from 6 p.m to 8 p.m. August 12th, again on OXYGEN, watch from 6 to 8 p.m. for the 3-Day Stadium Team Gold Medal Final. That same channel will offer Dressage from 6 to 8 p.m. on August 13th; Dressage Team Gold Medal Final from 6 to 8 p.m. on August 14th; and Show Jumping from 6 to 8 p.m. on August 15th. MSNBC will present Individual Dressage from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. on August 16th. August 17th action will move to NBC for Show Jumping Team Gold Medal Final, 1st Round from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

OXYGEN will present the Show Jumping Team Gold Medal Final Round from 6 to 8 p.m. on August 18th; Dressage Individual Gold Medal Final from 6 to 8 p.m. on August 19th; and Show Jumping Individual Gold Medal Finals from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on August 21st.

The Olympics are one of the highest and most honored venues for horses and their riders, but the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, which will take place at the Kentucky Horse Park in 2010, are right up there in stature. Horses and riders in that event will compete on a new state-of-the-art surface that is being installed by the German company that developed it.

Otto Sport- und Reitplatz GmbH has already supplied the mats for facilities that have hosted the World Equestrian Games in Rome (1998) and Aachen (2006) and the Asian Games in Qatar (2006). Company founder Werner Otto developed this riding surface which provides the best possible drainage – non-slip properties and the ability to absorb shock in order to optimize the safety of horse and rider. The surface is designed to ensure that water can drain off quickly so the riding arena can be used even after persistent precipitation. It has been tested at the highest levels of equestrian sport and proven itself for several years.

The family-owned company, located in Altdorf, near Nuremberg, Germany, has been constructing riding arenas for more than 20 years. The new surface will get its first test at the Kentucky Horse Park during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show (July 30-Aug 3) and in the Kentucky Summer Classic (August 6-10) when many of the best horses and riders from across the nation will compete on it.

“In the end there is nothing more important in equestrian competition than the footing or ground on which the horses compete,” noted Kate Jackson, Competition Director for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. “In selecting Otto Sport to provide the surface for the field of play and warm-up arenas, we are confident that the Kentucky Horse Park will provide the world-class footing so necessary for the successful conduct of the 2010 Games.”

The recent furor over horse racing injuries and the growing clamor of humane organizations necessitates such developments… and what a relief it is to all horse owners and competitors to know it’s possible to make things easier and safer for equine athletes! Kentucky Horse Park is to be commended for their constant and ongoing leadership toward excellence.

Looks like that’s the end of our ol’ lariat rope for another week… keep cool an’ ride in the shade if ya’ can!

© 2008 Rhonda Stearns

Email Rhonda at