The Outside Circle: Horse racing, ranch rodeos, Belle Jackpot, Vesicular Stomatitus in New Mexico |

The Outside Circle: Horse racing, ranch rodeos, Belle Jackpot, Vesicular Stomatitus in New Mexico

We finally got some wonderful rain, a total of 1.10 inches over the weekend. The country looks great and we’re sure going to have grass. Dams are still dry or close to it, but, now that the ground has some moisture, the next rains should start running some water.

The winner of the South Dakota Bred Race Futurity on May 5 at Ft. Pierre, was “Webb Famous Fame”, a sorrel filly owned by Butch Webb, Isabel, SD. Trained by Bob Johnson and ridden by Jeff Jones, the filly dug in to win the race over a muddy track and with a head wind. Placing second was Brief Case of Corona and third was Charmed N Sixy.

The Kentucky Derby ran the same day and I got to watch it for a change. It was won by 15-1 shot, I’ll Have Another. The race was a great dual at the end between the winner and the horse that led the field for the whole race, Bodemeister. Bodemeister was flagging badly in the last yards, but gamely tried when I’ll Have Another headed him, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the finishing drive of I’ll Have Another. I’m sure looking forward to the Preakness and think that I’ll Have Another and Bodemeister are going to really dual it out there. They’re both class horses and it will be fun to watch.

I’m even a big fan of I’ll Have Another’s pony horse. Most of the pony horses are flashy Paints, Appaloosas or Quarter Horses, but I’ll Have Another has a horse that can give him racing tips on the way to the gates. He’s ponied by Lava Man, one of the great Thoroughbred runners of recent times. He ran out around $5 million on the track, and as a gelding, was aged out of a career. So, instead of dumping him somewhere, they just changed gears and put him to work as a pony horse. Some “pony”, right? He’s a giant of a horse and quite impressive in the post parade, to say the least. I think it’s wonderful that the owners gave this horse a chance at a second career. They should all do it.

If you’re a bull riding fan, don’t miss the Northern Bull Riding Tour Extreme 8 Bull-O-Rama at Presho, SD, on May 19.

If you’re going to go to Sheridan, WY, for the big Leather Show and Silver Exhibition, you should also plan on taking in the Equi-Scan Saddle and Horse Fitting Clinic. It will be May 19, 8-10 a.m. at King’s Arena, 3102 Hwy 87, south of Sheridan. What an opportunity to learn more about all the intricacies of saddle fit. For info about the event, call 307-672-6293.

The SDJHRA finals will be May 27-28 at Seven Down Arena, Spearfish, SD. The top four in each event will then go on to the Finals at Gallup, NM, June 24-30. There are 78 contestants in South Dakota this year. This is the pre-high school rodeo level of competition and it is great rodeo watching for everyone.

The Cowboy Classic Ranch Rodeo, Bulls, Barrels, and Ranch Bronc Riding will be May 26, at the Dawes Co. Fairgrounds, Chadron, NE. You have to be entered before May 16, so call 208-241-6147 or 402-360-1531 for information. This sounds like a terrific show and is in the evening at 6 p.m., so everyone should be able to attend.

Also in Nebraska, the Johnson Saddle Series Barrel Race number one kicks off at Crawford on May 26. Call Deanna Johnson at 308-665-3960 for info. The number two will be on June 9.

Belle Jackpot Association will start its summer season on May 30. Exhibitions at 5, run at 6 at the Roundup Grounds, Belle Fourche, SD. It’s perfect for folks of every age to compete at, plus great watching in a beautiful setting. I’ll be looking forward to seeing all of you there!

The Eastern Wyoming Ranch Rodeo will be held June 9, at Lusk, WY. Sanctioned with the WRCA, it’s a qualifier for the WRCA Finals in Amarillo in November. Outstanding competition, real working cowboys and a family atmosphere will be found at this event.

Many of us enjoyed watching the videos of Stacy Westfall’s bridleless reining performances on her great horse TSW Can Can Vaquero. Sadly, Vaquero had to be put down May 7, due to neurological problems stemming from a bony growth that was growing into his spinal column in his neck. It was a natural defect and not from an injury. Stacy and Vaquero were three time winners of the Freestyle Reining, bridleless, at such shows as the All American Quarter Horse Congress and the Dixie Nationals. Their performances were awe inspiring and beautiful to watch. Vaquero was a 2005 son of Topsail Whiz and out of Can Can Lena, by Paddys Irish Whiskey. A beautiful individual, Vaquero was gelded last year to simplify traveling and pasturing, and he had enjoyed his time as a real horse on pasture before his health deteriorated.

The AQHA is still making the offer to register horses over three years of age for $300. Normally this would cost $550-$1000, depending on the horse’s age. This offer is good until December 31, 2012. For more information, call the AQHA at 806-376-4811 or go to

There have been two cases of Vesicular Stomatitus (VS) in Otero County, New Mexico, which is south of Ruidoso. This is the first confirmation of VS since June 2010. The location is quarantined and there are no known traceouts at this time. VS isn’t usually fatal but is sure debilitating for horses, cattle, hogs and occasionally, humans. The viral disease causes blister-like lesions on the mouth, tongue, lips and nose, as well as the coronary band, udder and sheath of horses. Humans experience flu-like symptoms. Flies are believed to be the most common carrier of VS. If you are going to be traveling into that area with horses (west TX, NM, or CO), you probably should check with your vet to see if there are any restrictions. Fly season is upon us and an ounce of prevention is still worth a pound of cure.

Well, that’s my circle for this week. Send me your upcoming events, results, and stuff, and I’ll sure share them here. Have a great week!