Tragedy, helping hands, congrats and just plain stupid |

Tragedy, helping hands, congrats and just plain stupid

It’s sad news I have to share today. Most have probably already heard, but, Garrett Clarkson, Ludlow, SD, was killed in a one vehicle accident north of Belle Fourche on June 25. Garrett apparently fell asleep and his pickup went over a bridge railing. Garrett, 35, was a well-known and liked rancher from Harding County, plus he was a PRCA Steer Wrestler. Currently fifth in the Badlands Circuit standings, Garrett tied for first at the Wild West Days PRCA Rodeo in Sturgis just two weeks ago. He’d been a PRCA member since 2000. Garrett’s favorite role, though, was that of husband and Daddy. He leaves behind his wife, Nici, and his sons, Brextin (8) and Holden (3), and parents, Mert and Sue Clarkson, and lots of extended family. My condolences to all his family and friends. He was a fine man.

Moving along, if you would like to donate money, clothes, bug spray, bedding, or nearly anything else to the good folks of Dupree, SD, those donations can be sent to the United Church of Christ, P.O. Box 368, Dupree, SD 57623. Call for info at 605-365-5141. Dupree was heavily damaged by a herd of tornados recently and the residents there can sure use some help. I’ll bet they would let you pitch in with physical labor too. They are going on with their Centennial celebration as scheduled on July 10-11, which doesn’t surprise me. They are just that kind of folk. I salute you, Dupree.

Congrats to all the National High School qualifiers from the Northern Plains area! I took in the South Dakota state finals and was impressed with the contestants and the rodeo itself. It was well run and the arenas were in great shape despite the rain that plagued them leading up to the start of it. The one thing that really didn’t impress me, though, was the Steer Wrestling cattle. Those were the most awful steers I’ve seen at a rodeo in a long time. One of the contestants said he’d rather crawl in the pen with Nixon’s bucking bulls than in with those steers. Hopefully that problem will be addressed and solved for the future. The roping steers and the calves were good though.

The new SD High School Rodeo queen is the lovely Brielle Yackley of Watertown. She’s the granddaughter of Odie and Catherine West from Onida. They are also the grandparents of Miss Rodeo South Dakota, Kelsey Smith of Rapid City. Both of the girls’ moms are West daughters. Being the Grandparents of these cousins must be a sweet deal! Brielle also competed at the State High School Rodeo in the Girls Cattle Cutting.

Ekalaka, MT is having their Days of ’85 Celebration August 12-15 in conjunction with the Carter County Fair. This is also the 125th birthday for Ekalaka, so there are extra activities planned, including a Draft Horse Wagon Train, rodeo, dances, a parade, art show and myriad other family activities. For more info call 406-775-3879. Ekalaka is one of the prettiest towns you will find anywhere with lots to see and do, so check it out.

The Clear Lake, SD Crystal Springs Ranch (PRCA) rodeo June 24-26 was a Who’s Who of the top Badlands Circuit hands and rising stars in the winner’s spots. Clay Cowan of Highmore won the All-Around there and also at Dickinson, ND.

Dickinson’s Rough Rider Days saw Jake Rinehart, Highmore, SD, winning the Steer Wrestling; Brent McInerney/Guy Howell (Alzada, MT and Colony, WY) winning the Team Roping; Saddle Broncs were a split for first with Troy Crowser, Whitewood, SD on Korkow’s Raylene and Ty Thompson, Wanblee, SD on Korkow’s Vanilla Twist with 82 points each; and Thunder Boomer, Interior, SD, won the Bulls with an 81 point ride on Korkow’s Spite Ya.

The Granite Falls, MN PRCA show saw Jay Mattson, Deadwood, SD winning another All-Around (he’s making a habit of that) and Troy Crowser winning the Saddle Broncs.

Lehi, Utah Roundup’s Steer Wrestling was won by Hermosa’s Todd Suhn. The Mission Mountain PRCA rodeo at Polson, MT saw Jesse Kruse, Great Falls, MT, winning the Saddle Broncs with an 80 point ride on JS Rodeo’s Bad Hair Day.

The Crazy Horse Stampede on June 19-20 will be remembered well by permit holder Kenneth Wright, Mission, SD. He broke both femurs in a bull riding wreck there and had to have rods inserted in both leg bones. He was released from the hospital June 24 and has Doctor’s orders to not work for four months and no bull riding for at least eight. Ouch. Kenny won the Great Plains Indian Rodeo Association Bull Riding title in 2009. He’s a tough hand, so I’m sure he’ll be back at work and in the arena sooner than his Doc wants him to. I’m also sure he might be able to use a little help to pay bills until he can work again. I’d be happy to pass along info in that vein if anyone would like to share it with me.

Also at Crazy Horse, Jeff Johnston, Seneca, NE and Jay Mattson, Deadwood, SD split the All-Around title while the South Dakota hands won every event except Bulls and Barrels.

I’m just expressing my opinion here, mind you, but have you noticed that there is a big difference between ignorant and stupid these days? To me, ignorance is the state of not knowing something, while stupid is the state of knowing something and doing it anyway. I was roped into a situation recently involving some people that moved here from the West coast and have a bunch of idle, fat, on-the-verge-of-founder, spoiled horses that they are too stupid to own. They had put four mares (one cycling); one old, obese draft gelding; and a young, no-mannered, VERY sexually mature stallion in a tiny lot fenced with electric wire. Gee, I’ll give you three guesses what happened. Yep. Old gelding got kicked, ruined his stifle and due to the stress, heat and dehydration, got down and died in 24 hours. They are finally interested in cutting the stud now that it’s too late for the old gelding. Of course, all of the mares are no doubt bred (you can only achieve 100% conception if they are totally without purpose), so even gelding him now won’t change much. Undoubtedly one of the little foals will be a stud and they just won’t get around to getting him gelded…you get the picture. These are the same folks that call what they do “rescues” and supported the organizations that were most responsible for the destruction of the horse business through the closing of processing plants. I didn’t smack anyone over this, but I wasn’t very kind either. I sure felt bad for the old horse though. Grrr…

Well, my horse is all lathered up, so I’ll get off and cool his back for a while.

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