Shank’s mare, Stock Show happenings & good horses |

Shank’s mare, Stock Show happenings & good horses

For the Feb. 6, 2010 edition of Tri-State Livestock News.

I don’t know about you, but I’m about pooped from trying to take in all the great events during the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo. “Shank’s Mare” is foot sore and ready for a brief turnout, I think.

It dawns on me that there might be some whippersnappers out there who don’t know who Shank’s Mare is. Well, it means you’re afoot, as apposed to being on a horse.

That makes me think of the old story about the neighbor calling the cowboy to ask him to come help him work some cattle. Said to just bring his saddle, he’d provide the horse. They got the cattle gathered and in the corrals and the neighbor said to get off and tie up the horse, they would work the cattle afoot. The cowboy replied, “I’ll just stay on him, this is the most afoot I think I’ve ever been.”

Okay, I’ll get back on track here. Sounds like the horse sale at the Stock Show did pretty well, with the overall average up over a thousand dollars and high selling horse at $16,000. Of course, that figure sure helps the average. Young, unstarted, or green horses were still having a bit of trouble stirring much interest. It’s like the saying in real estate about the three most important things a property can have: location, location, location. In horses, that would be broke, broke, broke. A long resume with lots of experience is what is getting a horse “hired” these days.

Anyone that is interested in the South Dakota Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of America should know that the organizational meeting of that group was postponed until Feb. 20, 2010 at 1 p.m. The meeting will still be at Blake’s Trailer Sales. For more info contact Doug Bechen at 605-645-2296.

On Jan. 19, the leaders of the United Organizations of the Horse and United Horseman’s Front were the first organizations to meet with the GAO team in Washington, DC in regard to the GAO’s study on the affects of the closure of the horse slaughter plants on the horses themselves and on the farm and ranch economy as related to the horse industry. Former Texas Congressman Charlie Stenholm led the contingent that included Sue Wallis (U.O.H.), Rod McQueary (U.O.H.), and Dave Duquette (U.H.F.). The deadline for the study was extended from March 10, 2010 due to the scope of the study and complexity of the situation. A new deadline hasn’t been declared but will likely be eight to twelve months away.

Also, a hastily (meaning sneakily) scheduled hearing of HR 503 by the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee was cancelled as soon as it became clear that the National Congress of American Indians was standing alongside the United Organizations of the Horse in the battle. HR 503 is the toxic legislation that would make it a felony (yep, just like murder and armed robbery) to transport a horse that would be used for human consumption.

That news tells me that they do pay attention to a united front and that we need to drop our petty differences and join together for our industry, no matter what breed or discipline we prefer. Speak up by taking the time to call, email, or write your people in Washington, both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Let them know that we are watching and listening to what they are doing and that we, as an industry, demand to be heard and our rights respected. We hired them by electing them. Keep in mind that we can fire them with our votes.

A friend asked me to let you know about a benefit that is coming up on Feb. 12 for Mark Burgess of Sundance, WY. Mark is battling cancer and the treatments and travel to get them are astronomical. One injection he recently had was $4,000! There will be a silent auction, and a chili and soup feed at 5 p.m., with a live auction at 7 p.m. There will be music and entertainment as well. Mark’s well known around the Sundance community, so if you know him, or even if you don’t, it would be a great place to go and do something good for someone. All this will be in the basement of the Crook County Courthouse.

Something that you might enjoy if you like cowboy music, cowboy poetry and conversations about ranching and cowboying, would be America’s Cowboy Review. It’s found on the net on Just look for America’s Cowboy Review, with T.J.Casey, and you’ll find it. Produced in Nashville, its ring-leader is T.J.Casey of Billings, MT. You might remember Rhonda talking about T.J.’s Giving Back Foundation work to help ranch and farm families in crisis. He’s doing this to help educate the more urban public about the realities of the cattle and horse world. It just so happens that this past week’s show had my husband Bill and I on it.

I always enjoy the Ranch Horse Competition held at the Event Center during the BHSS, and this year it was jam packed with good hands and good horses, as usual. The time and work put into getting a horse ready for this kind of challenge is daunting, and it’s great to see people dedicated enough to keep bettering themselves and their horses for competition.

A super event was shadowed at the very end by the tragic and unforeseeable death of Craig Haythorn’s great bay gelding, Peter (aka Little Britches on the ranch). During the cow work segment, Peter went down and when the dust had settled, was dead from an aneurysm. Fortunately, Craig wasn’t injured in the fall, but I’m sure his heart hurts from the loss. Horsemen like Craig care deeply for their horses, and they are partners in the work at home and in competition. Having lost a couple of top horses before their time, I can empathize with Craig.

Haythorn Land and Cattle Co. of Arthur, NE had a rough week before the trip to Rapid City too. Two of their hands got hurt so they couldn’t compete at the Ranch Horse Competition. Loriann Lindner boogered up her shoulder and was sidelined, and Larry Hengstler had a cow stick a horn in his leg and will be laid up for a while. Sage Haythorn is hand enough to step on someone else’s horses and still show them well, so all was not lost in that respect.

This circle has been a long one with such a busy week, so I’m going to pull up now and give my horse a breather.

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