The Outside Circle: Congratulations to several Sturgis High School Rodeo’ers, AQHA genetic testing and rodeo wins
The days of normal weather sure made us whimper about the cold. I’m afraid I’m turning into a sissy as I thought it was nippy when it was 22 degrees with a northwest breeze. The cows and horses don’t seem to notice the cold much. I think they’re just glad there isn’t 20 inches of snow on top of the grass. I know I am.
A friend of mine near Sheridan, MT, sent me a picture of a wolf trotting down a trail with a baby calf in its mouth. It appeared to be in proportion to a coyote carrying a baby lamb. In the background of the photo was a pasture full of cows that hadn’t calved yet. Kind of like a wolf buffet.
I sure feel for those folks that have to deal with those cold-eyed boogers every day. I think it’s just a matter of time until they are a force to be reckoned with for many farmers and ranchers. I, personally, am afraid of the big bad wolf and what he can do to our cattle, horses, sheep and wildlife.
On a brighter note, congratulations to Brian Curtis, Belle Fourche, SD, on receiving the 6th annual “Keeping the Faith – True Grit” award during the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo.
The award is given in memory of Shane Drury, a Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) bull rider and Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) qualifier who died from a rare cancer in 2006, at age 27. Shane fought a valiant fight against cancer and was a fine example of strength and dignity until the end. Brian was gravely injured last June in a PRCA bull riding accident and has made an amazing recovery. The award is especially meaningful to Brian as he and Shane were good friends.
Another area ranch’s name has been added to the, “AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders list.” LeRoy and Shirley Wetz, Vale, SD, and their Stirrup Ranch, horses are a perfect fit for the program. If you have a yearling, two or three-year-old with that pretty little stirrup brand on the left shoulder, your horse is eligible. Check it out at: http://www.aqha.com.
The Northern Hills AgFest at the Sturgis Community Center will be held Feb. 17, from 10 a.m.to 6 p.m. There will be cattle and agriculture on display, a chili cook-off, sheepdog demonstration, and plenty of other neat things going on. To top off the day, there will be the Sturgis High School Rodeo Booster club smoker at the Loud American on Main St. at 5 p.m. They have a powerhouse rodeo team and it’s surely a good cause. Go and support those kids and enjoy a great meal in the process.
Tyler Willis, Wheatland, WY won the PRCA Xtreme Bulls at Ft. Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. He scored 169.5 points on two head and was the only one of three guys to ride both bulls out of the 80 bull riders in the event. He’s becoming one of the toughs really fast, it will be fun to watch his career as it goes along.
I was elated to hear on the news that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) rates South Dakota at the bottom of their list for humane practices in animal husbandry. What this really means is that South Dakota doesn’t cowtow to their pressures and enact a thousand ridiculous regulations on our livestock industry. We govern ourselves, which is the right way, instead of having a bunch of anti-animal-agriculture fanatics tell us how to handle our business. Several of the surrounding states were also at the bottom of their list, which means that they aren’t dancing to the HSUS tune either.
AQHA is offering a genetic test panel for five-hereditary diseases found in some of the bloodlines of quarter horses, as well as paints and appaloosas. The panel includes: HERDA, HYPP, GBED, PSM and Malignant Hyperthermia. When the test is ordered, AQHA sends the horse owner a test kit and the owner sends the necessary sample(s) to the veterinary genetics lab at U.C. Davis. Once testing is complete, AQHA contacts the owner, and puts the results on the horse’s record and certificate of registration. The cost is $85 for members and $125 for non-members. For panel tests along with a DNA, which is needed for most breeding stock, the cost is $105 for members.
It’s best to know if your horse is a carrier of any of the diseases so informed management decisions can be made, especially in the case of breeding stock. The only way to stop genetic diseases is to stop raising the horses that have it. I am sure the negative results from such testing would increase the value of horses that carry the bloodlines in question.
The BHSS and Rodeo drew in some of the biggest names in pro rodeo with its change to a one-head format in the timed events. One of those big guns was Trevor Brazile, Stephenville, TX, who won the tie-down roping and placed in the team roping.
I usually just brag on our regional contestants, but I have to say, Trevor is an amazing athlete and by all accounts, a fine man. He’s someone for our kids to look up to and emulate, so I’m going to give him a big “attaboy.” Besides, it’s way cool that he came to Rapid City to rope.
Speaking of cool, Nikki Steffes, Vale, SD, won the average in the barrels at the Ft. Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. She split sixth in the first round, split ninth in the semi-final round, and split second in the finals round. Ft. Worth is a really tough crowd as they take 200 entries for the first round, whittles it down to 90 for the semi-finals, and only 12 for the finals. In the final round, she was the third one out on the ground, so had a sizzling run on the great mare, Dash Ta Vanila, aka Nila. The 2005 palomino is owned by Allen Woodbury, ND, and was raised by South Dakotan, Carissa Shearer.
Nila is by Dash Ta Fame and out of the great mare SX Frenchmans Vanila, a Frenchmans Guy daughter. Nila was bred and raised to be a barrel horse and sure hasn’t disappointed anyone. Of course, her partner, Nikki, was born to be where she is too. A lovely ranch raised girl, she’s taking time off from her college studies to make a run for the WNFR. She’s currently fourth in the WNFR standings, so, we’ll be watching her progress throughout the season. Congratulations Nikki and Nila!
Also at Ft. Worth, Cody Taton, Mud Butte, SD, dominated the saddle broncs by winning the first round, the finals and the average with 252 points on three-head. Jake Rinehart, Highmore, SD, tied for third in the average in the steer wrestling, as well as placing second in the finals run.
Well, I’m all out of country, so I’ll pull up for this week. F