The Outside Circle: EHV-1 outbreak, $4 million cowboy, BJA and Cowgirl Showdeo |

The Outside Circle: EHV-1 outbreak, $4 million cowboy, BJA and Cowgirl Showdeo

I hope by the time you read this that the southeast and east wind have gone away. On the bright side, I’ll have a different view while re-shingling the south side of the house.

Last weekend I took a little trip up to Belfield, ND, and back. It was great to see the country out from under its record layer of snow. There were still some snowbanks showing in the Cave Hills north of Buffalo and the big ridges south of Bowman, but the grass was greening, the dams were full and the creeks were running. Cows and calves, yearlings and ewes and lambs were enjoying the new growth and making the best of a rather cold, drizzly day. It probably felt pretty good after such a cold winter.

I didn’t get to mention it last week, so will mention it now. Tommy Thompson called me with the news the his grandson-in-law had won a brand new Dodge dually pickup at the big USTRA team roping at Billings, MT, the beginning of the month. Kevin Jaeger, Newell, SD, is a header and a good one. Tommy was sure tickled for him. Congrats Kevin!

The headline news in the horse industry is the outbreak of EHV-1 that showed up at the big NCHA Western National Cutting Championship in Ogden, UT, held April 30-May 8. Equine Herpes Virus 1 has several versions, but this is one of the bad ones – Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy, the neurological form.

The NCHA is requesting help in gathering data to help combat the further spread of the disease. If you were there and have a horse that is showing symptoms, or has died of what you believe was EHV-1, please contact Pam Robison at the NCHA office at 8187-244-6188, Ext. 111. Those involved need to be watching their horses closely and taking temperatures twice daily to be able to detect a fever, which can indicate the onset of the disease.

Neurological signs of EHV-1 include high fever, incoordination, hind end weakness, dribbling urine, lessened tail movement, depression and nasal discharge. It can also cause a mare to abort a foal.

It is highly contagious and carriers may not show symptoms (probably how it got to Utah). It has an incubation period of around two to ten days. It cannot be transmitted to humans, but humans can pass it from horse to horse through contact. It can also be transmitted through the air, shared tack, trailers and barns. There is no vaccine to protect against this disease. Treatment is simply support therapy, but many with the neurologic form of EHV-1 are put down due to the effects of the disease.

There have been suspected and confirmed cases in Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Arizona, Washington and California so far. All the states that had any horses at the competition are addressing the situation aggressively and following strict protocol to control an outbreak.

Other big events in the west, including two big cuttings in Oklahoma, have cancelled or postponed their events. To be safe, if you suspect that you have a horse who possibly came in contact with a horse that was at that Ogden cutting, isolate the horse and monitor it for no less than 21 days. Follow careful sanitation practices and don’t take any chances.

This is going to be awfully hard on upcoming events for the near future, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. I have heard of some barrel races that are postponing further west, and I’m sure it’s going to have a ripple effect throughout the industry. I’ll keep you posted as to updates. You can find out detailed information online by entering EHV-1 in your favorite search engine.

Trevor Brazile has passed the $4 million mark with winning in the steer roping, tie-down roping and team roping at the Bridgeport, TX rodeo on May 14. He’s an amazing athlete and rock-solid individual. Very impressive.

Belle Jackpot, Belle Fourche, SD, will be kicking off with the May 27 event. This is a Friday, so don’t go on a Wednesday like usual. There will be barrels, poles, goats, team roping and tie-down roping in the two arenas. Check with Chrissy Peterson at 605-347-9166 for information. The next two will be June 8 and June 15 (back to Wednesdays). This is a great family deal, where the littlest to the oldest can compete and have fun. Be sure and call ahead in case of rain, too.

On June 16-17, Dawn Newland, Belle Fourche, SD, is hosting an Equine Therapy and Intuitive Clinic by Tracey Sharp. Tracey is a certified equine massage therapist, nutritional consultant and intuitive psychic. Call Dawn at 605-892-2813 or her cell at 605-210-2188 to book your time slot. There’s limited space so get your name on the list early.

June 13-16 is the date for the Christian Up Rodeo Bible Camp at New Underwood, SD. Age requirement is 13-18 (or 19 if a 2011 graduate). There will be barrels, breakaway, goats, pole bending, tie-down roping, team roping, barebacks, saddle broncs, bull dogging and bull riding with professional instructors. Best of all, there will be Bible study, singing and chapel. Call John at 605-754-6062 or Luvene at 605-754-6562.

South Dakota Horse Racing wraps up the season at Brown County Fairgrounds, Aberdeen, SD, May 29-30. Call Mike Schmidt at 605-229-0013 for details.

June 18-19 will be the Cowgirl Style Barrel Race at Golliher Outdoor Arena south of Belle Fourche, SD. Pre-entries are due June 11. It’s NWBRA approved with $1,000 added 5D format, Futurity and Senior sidepots and 3D youth. Call Jerry or Sue at 605-642-5363. Entry forms will be available at

Shaun Stroh, Dickinson, ND’s five-time NFR saddle bronc qualifier underwent arthroscopic surgery May 3 to repair torn cartilage in his left hip joint and remove two bone spurs. Stroh, 38, is recuperating at home under the watchful eye of his wife Shannon who is a nurse (I’ll bet he can’t get away with anything!). He’s enjoying his down time though, spending time with his five kids and going to their youth rodeos. There’s a silver lining in that cloud, for sure.

I want to remind you of the upcoming All-Cowgirl Showdeo on Saturday, June 18, during the Wild Bill Days at the Deadwood rodeo grounds. There will be equine workshops, horsemanship clinics, equine psychics, arena skill games, Cowgirls of the West show, plus chuckwagon cooking, shopping and more. Proceeds from this event will benefit the new Days of ’76 museum. Call Black Hills Central Registrations at 1-888-838-2855 to get your tickets.

Well, that about winds up our circle for this week. It’s sure nice to see the grass greening on these ridges and some chokecherries blooming in the draws. That faint whiff of smoke in the air is from somebody’s branding and makes it that much better. I sure do love springtime.


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