Jan Swan Wood: Homegrown help, DNA testing, reward offered, Leachman convicted | TSLN.com

Jan Swan Wood: Homegrown help, DNA testing, reward offered, Leachman convicted

December sure came in like a lamb this year. I had the blessing of having our son and his wife and little sons help work and move some cows on Dec. 2, when it was 68 degrees outside. A beautiful day like that can only be made better by having those little guys along. The two-year-old rode with his Dad and the nine month old rode with me. What a joy. Those little guys, especially the older one, sure like riding and being around the cattle. I think it runs in the blood pretty strong.

Time is running out for registering those older horses with the AQHA. The special price of $300 to register a horse 36 months or older is quite a bargain compared to what it will revert back to after Dec. 31, which is $550-$1,000, depending on the actual age. Better get it done. Those horses deserve to have their papers with them. At least you can usually tell whether they're worth a darn by the time they're that age!

A recent rule change will take effect for the coming year in South Dakota 4-H. Any competitor showing livestock at the state fair will have to have a DNA test done on the animal they are going to exhibit. It will prevent cheating and also protect the integrity of 4-H members if there is ever a question. The new rule stems from a competitor showing a hog at the South Dakota state fair that had been allegedly shown at the Missouri state fair, which is a violation of 4-H code of ethics. I suspect this will apply to horses shown at the state horse show as well. You sure might want to check that out with your 4-H leaders.

There are some terribly sick and twisted people out there in the world. Three mares owned by Dale Kling, a Grassy Butte, North Dakota stock contractor, were shot in their pasture off of Hwy 85 about a mile and a half east of the north entrance of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. The mares were only a few feet apart, one shot in the head and the other one had eight bullet wounds. Their weaning age colts were still standing with them. A third mare was found later where she had died, with her colt still with her. The mares ran in a rough pasture which would have required the assailant to walk in to the area they were at to shoot them. It would have been hard to mistake the gray mares, one dappled and the other nearly white, for any kind of wildlife. The mares were shot with a high-powered rifle. Oilfield pipeline workers spotted the dead mares and notified the owners on Sun., Dec. 2. The other 17 mares and foals and the stallion were moved to a different pasture after the dead mares were found. There is a reward being offered for information leading to the person who did this heinous thing. If you know anything at all, please contact the McKenzie County Sheriff's department at 701-444-3654.

Jim Leachman, was found guilty on all five counts in his animal abuse trial in Yellowstone County, Billings, MT. It took the jury seven days to decide the verdict, which was a new record for Yellowstone Co. Sentencing will be Dec. 12.

A suspected wolf was shot by a hunter south of Watford City, ND, recently. Genetic testing will be done to confirm that it is a wolf, but the 96 pound critter sure looked like one, according to authorities. The hunter shot it when the animal threatened him. Whatever it was, it sure won't bother anyone else.

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We don't live the same as a lot of folks in the country. I was reading about the stud fees of some of the popular Thoroughbred sires and that sure illustrates my point with vivid colors, mostly green. Bernardini's fee will remain at $150,000, as will Giant's Causeway's at $85,000. Unbridled Song's fee was reduced to $60,000 and Tapit's to $125,000. Awesome Again's fee, though, was raised to $75,000. My, oh my, how ever will I decide which one to breed my mare to …

Fall horseback work has about wound up most places, as it has here. It must be time to get the shoes pulled and the feet trimmed on my pet saddle horse. I could do it myself, but that makes me break out in a terrible sweat. I suspect a severe allergy to the tools, though I haven't been tested on that. My recently crippled farrier husband is finally back to work trimming and shoeing a very select part of the horse population. I can probably talk him into doing mine, since my horse is a big pussycat to do. I may have to call him and make an appointment in order to get on his schedule.

Have a wonderful week, stay warm, and enjoy the season on these days leading up to Christmas, when we observe the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It's not really about the shopping.