The Outside Circle: Fundraiser for Brian Curtis, congrats to several, cow horses, clinics and God Bless America |

The Outside Circle: Fundraiser for Brian Curtis, congrats to several, cow horses, clinics and God Bless America

Jan Swan Wood
For the June 25, 2011 edition of Tri-State Livestock News.

Been a busy week. Finally got our calves branded and the pairs moved to summer pasture. Those calves were pretty brawny, so am glad we slipped between rain showers and got them done, despite being short of crew. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and we made it work.

There’s going to be a fundraiser for Belle Fourche, SD cowboy, Brian Curtis, 31. Brian, a PRCA bull rider, was seriously injured June 18 at Cedar City, UT, when his face and the bull’s head/horn met in the middle. He has skull and facial fractures, and was transported to Las Vegas for surgery there. His progress is good, but has a long recovery ahead of him. Brian and his wife Stephanie have a little daughter, Oaklee, and with Daddy laid up and lots of travel/medical costs, they’re in need of our help.

The fundraiser will be held July 9 at the Branding Iron Steak House, Belle Fourche, from 6 to 9 p.m. There will be an auction and they need items for it. Remember, it doesn’t have to be an actual item; it can be a service that can be rendered for the purchaser, too. Contact Chanda Snook at 307-290-0400 for where to send/drop off donations. There are also accounts set up at Pioneer Bank, 700 State St., Belle Fourche, SD 57717 and also at First National Bank, Box 910, Philip, SD, 57567, if you just want to send some money.

I’ve known Brian since he was a little kid, and he’s a nice young man. Not only is he a very gifted bull rider, but having worked many a branding and doing other cow work alongside him, know he’s a good hand on a horse on the ranch as well. Your prayers for his quick recovery would be most appreciated, too, so please lift him and his family up.

Elsewhere in this paper you’ll find the obituary for Donn King, Faith, SD. Donn passed away June 15 after a lifetime spent in, or near, the prairie oasis. He was a fun guy to visit with and loved his town and that country. I remember he used to provide the stock for the wild horse race during the Faith Stock Show and Rodeo. He raised Clydesdales, as I recall, and those young horses were pretty salty! Those big feet on those horses smacked more than one wild cowboy upside the head and left tracks on others. It was always fun to watch from a safe distance. I don’t know how long it took those big horses to calm down and learn to drive, but they sure had a lively time at the wild horse race!

Dane Kissack, Spearfish, SD, placed third in the tie-down roping at the College National Finals in Casper last week. That’s pretty neat in itself, but, according to Dane, even better was his great horse “Weasel winning” the Men’s NIRA Horse Of The Year. Weasel, 17, is a stout bay gelding who has partnered with Dane since the 8th grade. He carried Dane to three SDHSRA championships, was a four-time NHSFR qualifier with two short-go qualifications in the process, then college rodeo finals, amateur (NRCA/SDRA) and ProRodeo wins as well. He underwent two surgeries in February 2010 with no certainty of his recovery, but obviously he is back on his game and giving it 100 percent every run. Congrats to both Dane and Weasel.

Congrats also go to Trula Churchill, Valentine, NE, for winning the Daines Ranch ProRodeo in Innisfail, AB, riding her great gelding A Streak Of Rita, aka “Worm.” This great rodeo horse is only a six year old, an age when most horses are still working the 1D shows. He’s by Brian and Lisa Fulton’s good A Streak Of Fling stallion. This puts Trula in the #17 slot in the standings for the WNFR.

Vale, SD hand, Nikki Steffes had a great weekend and no doubt made her Dad proud in honor of Father’s Day! She won the barrels at the Crazy Horse Stampede near Custer, SD, tied for fourth at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte, NE, then sixth at the Wild West Days in Sturgis, SD. Her and that big gray gelding can sure smoke those barrels! Great job, Nikki!

It was sure great to see that Marlene Wendt, Castle Rock, SD, won the 2D at LI Summer Buckle Series at Rapid City, SD, on her great mare “Classy.” It wasn’t that long ago that Classy was fighting for her life, requiring major surgery and having an uncertain future. Many prayers were sent up on behalf of Classy and Marlene, and I’m so glad they were answered.

Don’t forget the Independence Derby going on July 1-3 at the Seven Down Arena, Spearfish, SD. Jointly hosted by the SDRCHA and WRCHA, there will be two sets of classes in the NRCHA Derby with $16,500 added. It’s the first major National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Derby in the region. Let them know you’re coming to play by June 28. You can get forms and instructions at or Derby entries close June 30 at 6 p.m. Call either of these numbers for more info: 406-323-2255 or 406-828-4044.

Another really good clinician will be coming to our region soon. Bryan Neubert, California horseman, will be giving a clinic at Medora, ND on July 21-24. There will be Colt Starting, Horsemanship and Ranch Roping. Call Jen Obrigewitch at 701-260-2108 or e-mail her at He’ll also be at Sheridan, WY, on July 29-31 with Colt Starting, Horsemanship and Cattle Work. Call Adam Gable at 307-751-3938 for that one. Bryan’s a good hand and a nice feller, so am sure his clinics are really good too. He’s also the genuine article hand, not just a wannabe that jumped on the “clinician” and “horse whisperer” band wagon.

I’m planning on attending the Buster McLaury clinic at Brad and Beca Andrews on Aug. 4-7 and enjoying every minute from my trusty lawn chair. You may still be able to get in the clinic with your horse though, so call Brad at 605-515-0088, Beca at 605-515-0027, or their house at 605-985-5493.

Well, that’s about the end of the circle this week. If you’re flooding, I hope you get dried out; if you’re drouthed out, I hope you get rain. Since I won’t talk to you again before the Fourth of July, have a great one! Don’t forget what it represents (besides rodeos, reunions, parades, etc…). Regular folks laid aside their regular lives, unhitched their plows and though outnumbered by superior forces, fought for the independence of our nation and won. That’s what this day commemorates! One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all! I thank God that I am an American!