The Outside Circle: Rest in peace Denley, rodeo injuries & horse sales |

The Outside Circle: Rest in peace Denley, rodeo injuries & horse sales

The haying is all wrapped up (excuse the pun) on Dry Creek, so I can breath a sigh of relief. Always nice to have that pretty grass hay all in the bales.

Sad news from cowboy country: Denley Norman, 44, was working cattle at one of the Phfister ranches between Newcastle and Lance Creek, WY, when his horse blew up and fell over backwards. Denley was killed instantly. Denley was raised near Tucumcari, NM, and began his cowboying career at the Bell Ranch to the north. He also worked at Buster Welch’s in Texas; Kendricks in Wyoming; Padlock Ranch, WY; then 14 years on the Haythorn Ranch, Nebraska. It was there that his daughters, Kate and Carly, were born to he and his wife Lisa. In 2009 they decided to become self-employed and moved to the Edgemont, SD/Lusk, WY country, where they were welcomed with open arms.

A trust fund has been set up for Kate and Carly, and cards can be sent to Lisa Norman, 251 Greasewood Road, Lusk, WY 82225. He did a lot of living in his 44 years, but I’m sure it won’t seem like enough to his wife and daughters. Services were held July 30. My condolences go out to his family.

The rodeo trail has sure stomped the tar out of some hands lately. Kiko Mendoza, 21, was hit in the face by his bull, then hung up at the Great Plains Indian Rodeo at Ridgeview, SD, on July 30. He was taken by ambulance to Eagle Butte, then by chopper to Rapid City Regional hospital where he remained until Aug. 1. He underwent facial reconstructive surgery to repair his eye socket, complete with plates, screws and a mesh. His field of vision in that eye is impaired for now, but should recover. He also has six broken teeth and one missing entirely. Dental work has also begun to relieve the pain of exposed roots, and could take six months to complete. The biggest worry to his doctors though, is his lacerated liver. It will take at least three months to heal and he is not to lift anything over 10 pounds for that long. His riding arm was also worked over pretty good, but not broken. Kiko’s folks, Larry and Wendy, are teachers, so are able to help him recover at home. They ask that you be lifting him up in prayer for healing and patience. Kiko would appreciate mail at 1507 N. Ames, Spearfish, SD 57783.

Ardie Maier, Timber Lake, SD, got stepped on by his bull at Cheyenne. He spent two days in the hospital with injuries to his spine, ribs and a bruised lung. He’s expected to recover fully and is planning on being back and riding in September. You’ll all be relieved to know that the bull’s hind feet were not injured in the accident.

Speaking of injured bull riders, I saw Brian Curtis at a wedding last week and he is up and motating on his own. He looks good for having lost a head butting contest with a bull. Glad to see him up and about.

On the other end of the rodeo arena, Kyle Callaway, Gillette, WY, tore a pectoral muscle in the steer wrestling at Cheyenne. He had surgery Aug. 1 to reattach the muscle to the bone and is now resting at home. He’ll be in a sling for six weeks, another four months on R&R, and then have another nine or ten months before he’s 100 percent healed. Ironically, in 2010 he tore his ACL while competing at Cheyenne. He thinks maybe he’ll skip Cheyenne hereafter and just go fishing.

The 15th Annual Broncs and Bulls Open Rodeo will be Friday, Aug. 12, at 7 p.m. (Calcutta at 6) at the Powder River Fairgrounds, Broadus, MT. Saddle broncs and bulls will be from the tough Max Burch stock. That should be quite a show!

The United Horsemen’s Front is having a 2nd International Summit of the Horse meeting Aug. 11 at the American Royal Livestock facility in Kansas City. The attendees will be working on how to proceed to restore the horse business to pre-2007 levels. The re-opening of domestic processing facilities will be high on the agenda, especially in light of the GAO report that recommended that.

The United Horsemen has been battling the animal rights groups, government, and the various other anti’s for the right for us to manage our horses as we see fit. That, of course, takes money to go to Washington, D.C., and other points to fight for us. They are in need of donations, which are tax deductible, and are pushing to get our slaughter plants back up and running and the market viable. You can find out more on, or e-mail If you’d like to call, contact Dave Duquette at 541-571-7588 or Sue Wallis at 307-680-8515. This is a great organization and they are really working for all of us in ag, not just the horse folks.

At Deadwood’s Day of ’76 Rodeo, JJ Elshere won the saddle broncs on Burch Rodeo’s great bronc, Lunatic Fringe, with an 87-point ride. Last year his cousin Cole won the Days on the same horse with the same score. Cool, huh? Also at Deadwood, barebacks were won by Joe Gunderson, Agar, SD, with Jake Smith, Whitewood, SD placing third. The steer wrestling was a split for second between Dean Gorsuch, Gering, NE and Jake Rinehart, Highmore, SD. Nikki Steffes, Vale, SD was third in the barrels and Jess Tierney, Hermosa, SD, was third in the steer roping.

The 2011 sale catalog is online for the Central SD Ranchers and Breeders Quarter Horse Sale at the Central States Fairgrounds, Rapid City, SD, on Sept. 3. There’s a mouth-watering selection of good horses, including weanlings, started colts, broke horses and broodmares, being offered. Web sites are or Call the Lauings at 605-347-6193 or Jerry Simon at 605-280-0356.

The Open Box Rafter Sale of Jim and Joni Hunt’s is going to be held Sept. 10 at the Central States Fairgrounds. They will be awarding six registered colts from their program to kids age 9-18 as part of the inaugural AQHA Ranch Heritage Breeders Youth Incentive. Contact the Hunt’s at or 605-538-4450 for information on that (or a catalog), or the AQHA at What a great program and an opportunity for a youth to start off with a top weanling to boot.

The APHA sure has made a tough decision, but a good one. A recent rule change proposal is that any horse that is possibly afflicted with HYPP must be tested before registration is permitted. If a horse is positive (H/H), they are denied registration. That just makes sense and I’m sure sorry that the AQHA didn’t do that to start with. A lot of horses would have been saved from suffering if they had. Hats off to the APHA!

Well, that’s our circle for this week. Thunder’s rumbling in the distance, so I think I’ll get off my horse and call it a day.

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