The Outside Circle: Tragedy, rodeo calendars, rodeo schools & pet peeves |

The Outside Circle: Tragedy, rodeo calendars, rodeo schools & pet peeves

For the January 21, 2012 edition of Tri-State Livestock News.

Just last week I wrote in this column about the good hands that won at the Indian National Finals Rodeo (INFR) in Las Vegas in November. Little did any of us know that one of those young people would not be with us at the writing of my column this week. Things can sure change in a hurry.

Talented bareback bronc rider, Austin Janis from Rosebud, SD, was killed in a car accident near Wray, CO on the way home from his first ProRodeo as a PRCA cardholder. Austin, 24, was a great young cowboy, both in and out of the arena, and was in the top 10 in the Badlands Circuit for 2011 and was third in the 2012 standings. He was reserve champion in the barebacks at the 2011 INFR.

Austin and saddle bronc rider Jeremy Meeks from Belle Fourche, SD, were headed home from a rodeo when an oncoming car crossed over the center line and hit their van. Austin was ejected from the van and was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Both Meeks and the driver of the other car were taken to a nearby hospital and treated for their injuries.

To the family and friends of Austin Janis, my heart goes out to you. He was a man you could all be very proud of. Make sure you tell his little boy all about him as he grows up so that he can know his Dad the way you all did. My prayers are with you.

I have a little update on John Costello, Sundance, WY. He’s on the mend, though slowly, and at the time of this writing, was still incarcerated in Rapid City Regional Hospital. He’s hoping to be able to go home soon and continue his rehab from there. He’d probably enjoy a visit from friends if you get down to Rapid. Make sure you’re healthy though, as his lungs and ribs are still pretty delicate.

The South Dakota High School Rodeo Association (SDHSRA) mid-winter director’s meeting will be Jan. 28 in the Redd Room at the Rapid City Civic Center at 9 a.m. If you have something you want brought up at that meeting, be sure to contact your director ahead of time and talk it over.

There’s also a Nebraska High School Rodeo director’s meeting on Sunday, Feb. 12, in Arnold, NE at 10 a.m. at the community center.

Remember SDHSRA, that you have to sell no less than five calendars to be able to rodeo this season. The calendar sales are over March 1. Ahem… no one has sold me one yet.

At the Ram Montana Circuit Finals in Great Falls, MT, Jake Costello from way, way north of Newell, SD, won the average in the saddle broncs with 215 points on three head. Way to go Jake!

Also at the Montana Circuit Finals, Colten Jensen, Bozeman, MT, got his leg broke and his ankle dislocated in the bull riding. He will be sidelined for a time letting them heal up. That’s sure a tough deal right here at the beginning of the season.

There are some really good rodeo schools coming up this spring. I think they are a great way for a young person to learn the right way of doing an event, and cheaper in the long run than learning by direct application and payment of entry fees at a lot of rodeos.

The 2012 Dickinson State University bareback and saddle bronc schools will be March 2-4 in Dickinson, ND. Instructors are Wayne Herman and Brad Gjermundson. The cost is $375 per event and a $200 deposit is due by Feb. 10. It’s limited to the first 20 in each event. Call Eudell Larson at 605-515-0765 for information.

Down on the other end of the arena, there’s a calf roping and breakaway school with eight-time World Champion and PRCA Hall of Famer Joe Beaver as the instructor. School #1 is March 15-16 and is for advanced ropers. School #2 is March 17-18 and is for intermediate and beginners. It’s limited to 20 ropers and costs $475 per student for two days. A $275 deposit is due by Feb. 15. Spectators can go watch for $100 a day. It will be held at the Reis Ranch and Arena east of Bismarck, ND. Contact Wes Wickum at 701-389-8878 or e-mail him at If his schools are as good as his videos, they should be great.

Also on that end of the arena, Brian Fulton and Troy Pruitt will be having a breakaway and calf roping school on March 31-April 1 at Edelman’s Barn at Huron, SD. There are limited spots in this school. You’ll need to contact Paullyn Carey for more information. I wasn’t given a phone number, so maybe contact Brian Fulton and he can help you out. His number is 402-429-3204.

The 2012 St. Jude’s Ride will be the weekend of Sept. 14-15. The actual ride is on Sept. 15, but word has it that campsites at French Creek Horse Camp are filling fast with only a few left for both nights. Call right away at 800-710-2267 for a reservation. This is a fabulous ride in beautiful country and benefits a great organization.

I saw several things as I was driving toward Belle Fourche the other day that really bothered me. First, I saw horses grazing on pasture with trees, brush and posts all around and they were all wearing those heavy, unbreakable nylon web halters. It was nearly beyond my control to not just stop, walk through them and remove all the halters and hide them. I was afraid that I would get shot, or worse, see a yearling or two-year-old uncut gelding amongst them and have to do something about that too. My pocket knife is notoriously dull, so I kept driving.

The other thing I saw was a horse standing on feet with about four-inch tall snowballs in them. His legs were being twisted every which way. I am quite certain that horse hasn’t turned a wheel since early last fall as his feet were also terribly long, so he didn’t need those shoes for his daily work. Please, if you have shoes left on a horse you’re not using, pull them before he’s crippled. He will be grateful.

Well, I’ve once again aired some of my pet peeves, so I’d better wind this up. It’s been quite a circle. Send me your events and fundraisers so I can tell everyone about them. I hope to see you at the Black Hills Stock Show!