The Outside Circle: EHV-1 update, horse wreck, rodeo news and other stuff |

The Outside Circle: EHV-1 update, horse wreck, rodeo news and other stuff

Wow, talk about rain! The northern plains have been waterlogged, flooded, and pert near washed away in the last week or so. There are lots of water gaps to fix, and a bunch of cleanup for many ranchers in the region, besides other damages. But, at least we’re not burning up or drouthed out.

First, an update on the EHV-1 outbreak. As of May 21, there were 34 horses in nine states and Canada that have tested positive for it. At least seven of those have died. The number is likely to go higher as official counts come in. Plus, it’s ongoing – not over. It’s known that over 1,000 horses were exposed by direct or indirect contact with the over 400 horses that were at the show in Ogden, UT. Colorado has had nine confirmed cases, with two deaths; In Oregon, 140 horses have for sure been exposed to the virus, but with fewer actual cases. With the long incubation period, many horses were hauled to other shows before it was known to have sourced in Utah, so the exposure is potentially huge.

Al Dunning, renowned trainer from Scottsdale, AZ, had three of the 11 horses he had at Ogden contract EHV-1 after the show. He was very pro-active from the first and started taking temps of all the horses at his place, thus picking it up early when it was only a slightly elevated temp with no other symptoms. The horses were isolated with a 60-foot buffer zone around them, then stalls were stripped and sterilized. He also imposed a 21-day lockdown on his facilities to prevent the spread.

Being on top of it can mean the difference between losing or saving a horse. Daily temperature taking is inconvenient, but can sure pick up the first sign. Any temperature of 102° and up is cause for concern. Some states, including Wyoming, are requiring a veterinary check and certificate with a temperature taken on every horse listed within 72 hours of coming to the state. Each state is different, so, have your vet check on it for you when you get your healths. Don’t even THINK about trying to bootleg horses in and out of states. Bad idea.

In response to the outbreak, many shows and events have been cancelled or rescheduled. All NCHA shows are cancelled through June 5, and that could be extended if horses continue to get sick. Also, in view of the outbreak, the AQHA has lowered the number of points needed to qualify for the Adequan Select World Championship Show to be held Aug. 28-Sept. 3 in Amarillo, TX. Show. So far, 90 shows have been cancelled or rescheduled in the AQHA, so qualifying for that with the former point requirement would have been difficult. You can check up on cancellations at the AQHA Web site.

Most Pro rodeos are going on with their event, but are applying strict protocols, so check them out before you haul to the rodeo. Hauling any extra horses for seasoning should probably be curtailed too.

Due to the EHV-1 outbreak, 7 Down Arena near Spearfish, SD is closed to horse traffic until further notice. Consequently, the SDJHRA Finals scheduled for May 29-30 has been moved to Besler’s Cadillac Ranch near Belle Fourche, SD. Directions on how to get there can be found at

Common sense and caution will shut this outbreak down if people will just use both. Some don’t think that EHV-1 is serious, but those who have horses that are dangerously ill or have died would argue that point. It is super, super contagious: don’t take chances. If you really don’t have to go somewhere with your horse, stay home. People whose living depends on showing, rodeoing, racing or whatever are staying home, so, follow that lead. It’s just not worth the risk.

A tragic riding accident claimed the life of Kim Asay, 47, mother of Kanin, Kaleb and Klayten Asay, Powell, WY. The accident happened at their place east of Powell on May 18. Kim died instantly from a head trauma in the accident. She is also survived by her husband Mike. My sympathy to her family.

Let’s move on to some brighter news. The Preakness was won by Shackleford with the Derby winner, Animal Kingdom, coming in second by a half length and closing, with Astrology third. The Belmont is the longest race, so perhaps that will be Animal Kingdom’s big race to follow up his Derby win.

Les Shepperson, Midwest, WY steer wrestler, has made an amazing 10-place jump in the PRCA standings. He had an amazing weekend with winning the average at Redding, CA, and tying for first at Ramona, CA. He seems to be recovered quite nicely from a pectoral tear that caused him to take time to heal up and then get back on his game. Shepperson, 33, grew up on a ranch near Midwest and likes to train horses and hunt mountain lion with his hounds in his free time. Incidentally, his dad, Frank, was the 1975 World Champion Steer Wrestler.

Lovely Britany Fleck, Mandan, ND, raked in a tidy sum over the weekend of May 21-23 with checks totaling $23,250! Not bad for three day’s work.

At Hayward, CA Pro rodeo, the saddle broncs were won by Troy Crowser, Whitewood, SD, with Cole Elshere, Faith, SD, coming in with a tie for fourth. Both of those guys are top college rodeo hands too, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing much more of them in the coming years in the pro shows. At Ramona, CA, Cole won the saddle broncs with Troy coming in second. I get the feeling they’re traveling together.

At Redding, CA, it was Jesse Kruse, Great Falls, MT, who tied for first in the saddle broncs.

Speaking of the young guys and saddle bronc riding, there will be two PRCA Rookie Bronc Riding events for saddle bronc riders ages 14-19. There’s a $100 entry with $500 added per rodeo, and whoever has the most money won at two rodeos will have their PRCA permit cost paid. The first one is at Sturgis, SD, on June 18, 12 p.m., and the second one is at Ft. Pierre, July 5 at 12 p.m. Entries opened May 23 and will close June 5. The first 30 to enter and pay will be accepted. Call this entry line at 254-334-9311.

South Dakota high school rodeo students from the Northwest Region can apply for the Vicki Young Memorial Scholarship. You must be a graduating senior, be in high school rodeo, and have a minimum 3.0 GPA. You can sign up at the Buffalo and Dupree regional rodeos. Call Doug Young at 605-466-2292 for more information. Vicki was a lifelong rodeo supporter, contestant, and rodeo mom who passed away from cancer within the past year. What a lovely way to keep this fine lady’s memory alive.

My horse is tired from this boggy circle on the gumbo, so I’ll pull up for the week. Be sure and call ahead to any event you’re in to be sure it’s still on. It could have been canceled due to rain or EHV-1.


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