The Outside Circle: Wolves, bronc match, barrels everywhere, preakness and fishies

Jan Swan Wood

Some friends took a drive through Wyoming’s Big Horns last weekend. They went up to Ranchester, over Dayton, to Greybull, Ten Sleep, and back to Buffalo. They raved about what a beautiful drive it was, plus lots of moose were within viewing distance, so it was a grand trip. A spooky element of the drive, though, happened just southwest of Buffalo, Wyoming. They weren’t sure how far out of town they were, but figured it was 12-15 miles out of Buffalo, when they glanced uphill from the highway and spotted a group of wolves loping off of a slope. They couldn’t get an accurate count but thought there were about 10 in the pack. Interesting viewing, of course, if you’re just a tourist enjoying the scenery. But, for the ranchers that run cattle, sheep and horses in that area it’s bad news in every way. So, this is just a heads up for everyone over in that region, to let you know that Big Bad and his friends are in your neighborhood.

The 19th Casey Tibbs Match of Champions, Ft. Pierre, SD, will be held June 2, at 7 p.m. It’s a two-round event this year, with 30 cowboys competing in the first round and the top 10 in the second. There’s a $15,000 purse up and the contestant list includes eight 2011 Wrangler Nationals Finals Rodeo (WNFR) competitors, eight of the current top 15, and four former World Champions. New this year is a stock contractors futurity with a $12,500 purse. Ten contractors will be bringing their top-three five-year-old and under broncs to compete in the first round of the match. These contractors have high hopes for the young horses coming up through their breeding programs, and these young broncs will be outstanding, I’m sure. Sounds like a blast!

On June 12 the 6th Annual Wayne Melvin and Swede Swanson Memorial steer wrestling will be at Sutherland, NE. This event draws steer wrestlers from across the U.S., plus local hands, and there will be ‘doggers there from national high school champions to WNFR qualifiers. The admission to this event is free, but a free will donation goes to cancer research. There will be a cowboy introduction at 2:30 p.m. with the steer wrestling starting at 3 p.m.

The NutraLix Barrel Daze barrel race will be June 9-10 at Miles City, MT. It’s WPRA, NWBRA, UBRC, and NBHA approved. Pre-entries are due by May 29. For schedule and entry forms, go to For info, call Lana Tibbetts at 406-485-2997.

Lana is also the contact person for the Bakken Barrel Daze barrel race at Sidney, MT, on June 24, with pre-entries due by June 12. Entries can be found on

Golliher’s Cowgirl Style 5D Barrel Race will be June 16-17 at their outdoor arena. Pre-entries are due for that by June 9. Call Jerry or Sue at 605-642-5363 for more info.

The first payment for the 5th Annual Roper Futurity is June 1. Go to for more info on that. The date and location have changed to August 24-26 at McCook, NE.

Speaking of barrels, at the big Cloverdale Rodeo at Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, some of our favorite ladies brought home the cash in the barrels. Trula Churchill, Valentine, NE, placed second, while Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, SD, was third and Britany Fleck, Mandan, ND, was fourth. Those big payoffs really help them keep traveling down the road. While in British Columbia, Lisa also won the barrels at the Falkland Stampede, while Trula was second.

The Bobbi Johnson Memorial Open 5D barrel race will be run on Saturday, July 7 at Besler’s Cadillac Ranch. Exhibitions will be 8-10:30 a.m. with the barrels to run at 11 a.m. Contact Billi Charles 605-210-2561 or Fran McCoy at 605-641-0238 for more info.

The college finals are coming up right away. The College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) will be June 10-16 at Casper, WY. This is the thirteenth year in Casper and will have over 400 rodeo hands from over 100 colleges and universities competing. There’s also the CNFR alumni reunion going on during the finals, so, would be a good time to go and renew old friendship and make some new ones. This is one of the greatest rodeos you’ll ever see, so, would sure be worth the trip to go watch.

The second leg of the Triple Crown was run and, “I’ll Have Another,” once again narrowly defeated the hard running “Bodemeister” to win the Preakness. I’ll Have Another came off the win in great shape and has been moved to Belmont to prepare for the Belmont Stakes, the third race of the Triple Crown. Bodemeister isn’t going to be running, as the added distance is more than he can handle. It’s been 34 years since Affirmed won the eleventh Triple Crown title, so, it sure doesn’t happen often. With I’ll Have Another’s big moves and stamina at the end of the Derby and Preakness, this may be the year the twelfth is crowned. Wouldn’t that be something? Don’t forget to admire his pony horse, “Lava Man,” in the post parade.

The SDRCHA Independence Derby will be July 6-8 at the Central States Fairgrounds, Rapid City, SD. There will be working cowhorse classes, plus some jackpot classes in herd work and rein-fence work. They need to know by July 2 if you’re going to be there, with Derby entries in by July 5. Go to for forms and further info.

Also at the Central States Fairgrounds on July 5-8, will be the Black Hills Summer Circuit Quarter Horse show. For info contact Mary Glass at, or call her at 701-361-7732, evenings.

The 2nd Annual Will James Roundup will be July 13-15 at Big Horn County Fairgrounds, Hardin, MT. There will be working ranch horse and youth ranch horse classes, three man cow doctoring, cowboy bronc riding, and a ranch rodeo. Go to or call 406-666-2330 for info. I know some folks that went to this event last year and had a blast. It’s real family fun and competition in a beautiful area. May have to tag along with them this year to see for myself!

By the way, it’s turnout time for goldfish in the watertanks. They sure keep the mosquito larvae slurped up and other bugs out of the tanks, plus being kind of fun to watch. I’ve used them for a long time, some lasting for four or five years and getting really big in the tanks. I put them in the tanks with heaters for the winter, then scatter them out to other tanks for the summer. I think the initial investment is about 28 cents a head at Wallyworld. Pretty cheap bug control if you ask me.

Have a wonderful week and send me all your items so I can share the info.