SD cowboy loses roping horse
MINOT, N.D. – Last week’s snowstorm in western South Dakota not only brought devastation to the area, it brought trouble for cowboys headed to this weekend’s Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo in Minot.
J.B. Lord, Sturgis, S.D., recorded 36 inches of snow at his place, and after the storm was done, his good roping horse was dead. The 21-year-old horse was in a lot with a windbreak, but when he was found, he was on the other side of the pasture fence. J.B. speculates that the horse walked over the fence where there was a snow bank, and the wind drove him out from the windbreak. “He must have gotten delirious and gotten lost,” he said. The storm had to “be pretty bad to lose a horse.”
J.B. was in Texas at his son Eli’s college rodeo when the storm broke out, and his younger son Levi was home doing chores. When Levi realized the horse was missing, he wanted to go out and look for him, but didn’t. “I’m glad he didn’t,” J.B. said, “or he wouldn’t have made it back to the house.”
The roping horse, who was named Baywatch, was the 2012 Badlands Circuit Heading Horse of the Year. Lord had bought him when he was 15, and “I won a lot on him that first year,” he said. His older son, Eli, took the horse the next year. Eli was 15 and J.B. estimates that Eli won about $40,000 on Baywatch that year, which “started Eli’s roping career off pretty good.” After that, J.B. took him back and rode him through July of this year, when he switched horses.
Lord, a steer wrestler and team roper, competes at the Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo this weekend, as does Eli. J.B. had not planned on riding Baywatch at circuit finals, but it was still hard to lose him. “He was part of the family. You get pretty attached to them after a while.”
Another Y’s Men’s Rodeo participant was affected by last weekend’s storm. Pickup man Tyler Robertson, who lives in Sturgis, didn’t lose any horses but did lose some cattle. “We don’t even know how many yet,” he said. “We can’t even find most of them.” He and his wife Tiffani spent two and a half hours shoveling out horses by hand on Saturday. “They were on a 30-foot bank, and we had to get them out and to water.” He estimates the area saw 70 mile per hour winds. “I’m hoping it’s one of those hundred-year blizzards and I hope nobody has to see one again. It was something.”
This will be Tyler’s 15th year to be selected to work as pickup man for the Badlands Circuit, and he is anxious to get to Minot. “I’m ready to get out of here for a few days.”
–Badlands Circuit Finals