The Outside Circle: Fun events, new faces in studville and a propane explosion |

The Outside Circle: Fun events, new faces in studville and a propane explosion

There’s a lot of country to cover this week, so lets hit a lope.

I want to tell you first off about a Benefit Roping/Barrel Race on Sept. 26 at Oelrichs, SD for Lisa Edgar, daughter of Shaun and Kelly Edgar. Lisa has cancer and the benefit is to help defray expenses for her treatment. There will be Team Roping, Tie-Down Roping, Breakaway, Old Man’s Breakaway, and Barrels, plus youth events. I’ll bet it will be a fun time for all and for such a good cause. Unfortunately, I don’t have a contact person, but I’ll bet someone from down there would be able to tell you what time it starts. If you have Wanda Brown’s number, she could tell you for sure. If I had her number, I would. Hint hint.

Also on Sept. 26 is a big roping at the Yellow Rose Arena in Platte, SD. Sponsored by Platte Livestock (Scott Kirsch and Marshall Ringling), it will have Sr. Men’s Breakaway (6 head/$200/$500 added), Open Ladies Breakaway (3 head/$120/ $500 added), and Open Incentive Tie Down Roping (3 head/$150/$500 added). I don’t know what they mean by incentive: perhaps if you miss they tickle you until you cry. I just don’t know.

Highmore, SD is having its 13th Annual Dick Stirling Memorial Ranch Rodeo on Sept. 26, too. Held at the Highmore Roundup Arena, the Calcutta will start at 10 a.m. and the events start at 10:30. They raise money for local people who are fighting cancer, the disease that took Dick Stirling’s life years ago. His family puts this fundraiser on every year and it’s a great show. Took in the last few events last year and it was a blast. (The wind was a blast too, but its unlikely they’ll have a wind like that again!) They also have a kids Ranch Rodeo, too, with events like Graining, Egg Gathering, Wild “cow” Milking, etc…. Such a great time in a nice little town. Call Sandy Sivertson at 605-943-5518 or Allen Stirling at 605-852-2653.

The next weekend, Sunday, Oct. 3, there will be a NWBRA sanctioned Barrel Race at the Merrill Ranch Indoor Arena, about 20 miles south of Wall. They’ve put up a 100- x 240-ft. indoor coverall barn with good sand for ground, so it should be nice. It’s open to everyone and the points will count toward NWBRA if you’re a member. There will be all divisions, then pole bending afterwards. Call first if it’s really windy. The number for Leslie Merrill is 605-993-6144, e-mail, or their Web site is That’s a good way to check out their horses too, as they have some good studs and a band of top mares to go with them. I’ll bet you could find a big, stout weanling at their place to take home from the barrel race!

Speaking of good horses, Chuck and Mary Crago, Belle Fourche, SD, have been raising good horses for many years, and they have just added a new stallion to their lineup. Their son Jade partnered on “Ihavepromisestokeep,” s.i. 94, a gorgeous son of First Down Dash (the all-time leading sire) and Lucks Gold (an all-time leading dam of ROM) by What Luck (TB). He’s a proven sire of Stakes winning race horses and barrel horses, so ought to be a good fit in their performance horse program.

Speaking of fast horses, All American Futurity Winner, Mr Piloto, was just retired to stud and will be standing at Southwest Stallion Station at Elgin, TX for a $5,000 fee. Don’t know if he came in sore off that race or if they just didn’t want to risk it, but he’s going to have a great life from here on out. Kind of like winning the Heisman Trophy and then… well, never mind.

On a very serious note, two Marana, Arizona cowgirls were in a bizarre accident at the Sonoita Rodeo at the Santa Cruz Co. Fairgrounds. Whitney Alderson, 18, and Rayche’ll Ochoa, 15, were staying in a living quarters horse trailer for the rodeo over the Labor Day weekend, when the trailer took on a nasty smell. They decided to light a scented candle to clear it up, but instead, the living area exploded, blowing out all the windows and doors, though the sheer force of the blast extinguished the fire. People nearby were stunned by the explosion but still gave the girls, who were burned, immediate assistance. They were life-flighted to the burn unit at Tucson, where Whitney was in critical but stable condition, and Rayche’ll in stable condition. Whitney has second degree burns over 50 percent of her body, with third degree burns on her side.

It was apparently a slow leak of propane and we all know how bad propane stinks. That’s the idea, the stink it added to give warning to people that there is gas present. Unfortunately, it smells just like a dead mouse, and it’s not easy to tell the difference. Trailers harbor little critters, just like houses, but the small area makes the gas leak that much more intense.

Whether you are at home, in your trailer, or camping, if you smell that “dead mouse” smell, get out of the area. Even static electricity can ignite gas, to say nothing of a match used to relight a pilot light. Shut off the gas at its source, then open a door(s) to let it air out. Only after the air has cleared and the smell is gone, should you try to relight the pilot lights or find the leak. Perhaps it actually is a dead mouse, but, wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry?

My thoughts and prayers are with those girls and their families. A fun weekend of breakaway and barrels became a life-altering horror in seconds. I guess we just never know what’s going to happen next. They are fortunate to be alive.

Sage Kohr, Gillette, WY, won the 5 State Barrel Breeders Futurity at Rapid City, SD. Sage, 10, rode the five-year-old mare, Nother Time to Cash, or Sunshine, to win the Amateur Division as well. Sunshine is quite a little mare, and at 13.2 hands, proves that great things come in small packages. By Dashing With Cash (Sitnal Lvsk, Spearfish, SD) and out of Good Times N Cash, by Dox Bueno Dinero and out of a No Maybes mare, she was bred by Fred and Clara Wilson, Newcastle, WY, and is owned by Kohr Quarter Horses.

The Kohrs really like those Dashing With Cash horses as Lynn, Sage’s Mom, recently won the Bold Heart Futurity on Dashing Misty Isle and the Cornhuskers Breeders Derby on Lil Dashin Blitz. (I’ll bet ol’ Ray Wardell smiled down on that one!).

Well, time to call it a day and go put my horse up. Send me you news and notes!


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