The Outside Circle: Cowboy church, more farewells & Timberman rocks at Denver
The Black Hills Stock Show (BHSS) is up and running! I always look forward to all the events going on in Rapid City, besides all the folks I get to see and visit with while there. It sure breaks up the winter season for all of us.
The cowboy church service that is held every year at the BHSS will be Jan. 29 and Feb. 5 at the Ramkota at 10 a.m. Susie McEntire will be the main feature, along with Joni Harms and Hermosa’s Kenie Word. What a nice way to start off Sundays at the Stock Show.
The rodeo world was saddened by the news that Julie Ann (McLaughlin) Swanson, 68, passed away on Jan. 16 from complications of lymphoma. Born in Alberta, she and her husband, National Finals Rodeo (NFR) saddle bronc rider Chuck Swanson, eventually moved to Montana where their daughter Molly was born. Julie enjoyed the opportunity to run barrels with Molly, and when she and Chuck moved to Texas in 2005 to be closer to Molly and her husband Turtle Powell, she got to resume that activity. In August 2011, she welcomed her first grandchild, Layne Edward Powell, to the family. She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Chuck; Molly and Turtle Powell, and grandson Layne, all of Stephenville, TX; and a sister and brother. She’ll always be remembered as a great competitor, trainer and friend to many.
The 2nd International Summit of the Horse on April 2-5 in Oklahoma City will feature scientists, experts, and horse industry leaders as speakers at the gathering which will be focused on “Building a Better Future for Horses and Horse People.” Rich in quality and knowledgeable voices, this summit features keynote speaker Dr. Temple Grandin of Colorado State University who will focus on “Humane Horse Handling.” A preliminary schedule of events and registration details can be found at http://SummitoftheHorse.org.
A legendary career ended when thirteen-time Wrangler NFR bucking horse Skoal’s Frontier died Jan. 14 at the Powder River Ranch, Riverton, WY. He was 29 years old. Called Gold Coast Skoal for part of his career, he was a tremendous individual. Hank Franzen of Powder River Rodeo bought him in 1988, fixed a problem with his foot, and then hauled him for 16 years as one of the rankest bareback horses in the business. He was in the “eliminator pen” at the NFR all 13 years. He was unique in that Hank put bell boots on his front feet before he bucked due to overreaching. Gentle and kind on the ground, he let Hank put them on and off without being haltered. He and Khadafy Skoal bucked at their first ProRodeo in 1989 at the Black Hills Roundup in Belle Fourche, SD; were best buds; and retired together at the NFR in 2004. Khadafy was standing over him when he was found dead in the pasture of an apparent heart attack. What a grand old horse.
Backing up a little to the Sand Hills Stock Show at Odessa, TX on Jan. 6-7 and 11-14, the saddle broncs had Jeff Willert, Belvidere, SD, placing second in the average, while Jesse Bail, Camp Crook, SD, tied for third, and Cole Elshere, Faith, SD placed fifth.
On Jan. 7, at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver, CO’s “Super Saturday Rodeo,” the top 100 rodeo hands were invited from all over the U.S. to compete for a piece of the over six figure purse. How the deal worked was the top eight from each round rode again, then the top four and finally the top two rode against each other for the purse. Kelly Timberman, Mills, WY, was one of the 20 bareback riders to compete and by the end, had ridden three tough horses in one day. Kelly scored an 87 on his first horse, but was limping after the ride. He scored an 89 on his second horse, and then it was down to just him and Kaycee Field. Timberman, when interviewed before the final ride, admitted he was hurt, but was riding this horse for his wife. His wife needs back surgery and the $10,000 purse would pay the deductible and enable her to have it. So, after Field’s 90-point ride, the place was roaring when Timberman got down on his last horse. He knew he had to score a 90 or better to beat Field.
After the pickup man carefully placed him on the ground, he waited the agonizing moments before the score was posted. When it went up as a 90, he put his hand over his heart and the place nearly came down around his ears from the noise. The crowd went wild, as they say, as they had seen a man overcome the extreme pain of a separated pelvis to ride two more super-tough bareback horses to phenomenal scores.
I don’t know about you, but that’s quite a tribute to a man and how he feels about his wife. I hope Timberman can get healed up soon and be back on the rodeo trail once again. My respect for him has grown by leaps and bounds and I wish him the best, along with his wife and her surgery.
Also at Denver’s National Western regular rodeo, the steer wrestling found Dean Gorsuch, Gering, NE, finishing second in the average while Kyle Callaway, Gillette, WY, was fifth. Team roping had Browning, MT’s Ty St. Goddard and Kyle Whitford first in the average while Brady Tryan, Huntley, MT and Matt Zancanella, Aurora, SD were fifth. Cody Taton, Corona, NM (formerly of Newell, SD) was second in the average in the saddle broncs and Dawson Jandreau, Kennebec, SD was seventh. Trula Churchill, Valentine, NE, was sixth in the average in the barrels on her good horse Worm (A Streak of Rita). Bull riding had Seth Glaus, Cheyenne, WY, winning the average with 265 points on three, while Bobby Welsh, Gillette, WY, was fifth.
The Roper Rage Open 4D Barrel Race will be Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Camplex East Pavilion, Gillette, WY. It’s WPRA/Badlands and Mountain States, NWBRA co-approved. There’s a Youth 3D and a Futurity sidepot as well. Call Lynn Kohr at 307-680-5271 for more information.
There will be a Rickey Green Team Roping clinic April 21-22 at the Circle T Arena, Hermosa, SD. It’s limited to 11 headers/heelers. Call Jim Tiltrum at 605-209-8064 for information.
I hope we can visit at the Stock Show this week. I’ll be looking for you!