Jan Swan Wood: Hurricane, election, injuries, awards

Every day when I wake up I’m glad to be living where I do. Being a native of the northern plains, I’m used to all it’s quirky weather, cold winters, wind and adversity. I’ve never, ever wanted to live anywhere on the east coast. I’ve visited there, thought it was pretty in it’s own way, but never any interest in staying more than a few days. Hurricane Sandy emphasized to me just how much affection I have for a good old blizzard. We can handle snow and wind in a blizzard. With preparation, its more a case of hang tough until it’s over, then start turning out stock and moving snow. Snow stays outside if the doors and windows are closed properly. Water doesn’t.

The footage from the flooding, wind damage, fires, trees falling over and people suffering are frightening and heart wrenching. I feel so bad for people who are there and am double thankful that God chose to place me here. I’m sure it’s going to get worse there in many ways, before it gets better. My prayers go out to them.

Another big event upon us is the election, which may be over for some of you who get the paper a little later in the week. I’m not going to tell anyone how to vote. What I am going to say is this: don’t bet on a “horse” who has no chance of winning the race. By voting for someone like that, it’s actually a vote for or again someone else who is potentially able to win. We only have two who can win: Obama and Romney. Not Ron Paul, not a libertarian I’ve never heard of. Just those two. Get off the fence and make a choice for one or the other. It’s only one of them that can win and a vote for one who can’t win will get the wrong one elected. It happened when Ross Perot ran against Bush Sr and Clinton. He wouldn’t back out. It could happen again. Make that vote count. Also, if you don’t vote, don’t come around howling about things to me. I’ll give you a lecture, take your coffee cup away and send you out the door in a hurry. It’s a privilege. Go vote. I already did.

John Teigen is home at last. He got home Oct. 18, but I didn’t say anything for fear he would be mobbed and get too tired. I’m sure visitors are welcome, but call first. He’s got lots of physical and occupational therapy to do, but he’s home. Praise God.

There are lots of breeds of horses in our region and I don’t always cover much about some of them, but want to say there are outstanding horses in every breed. So, saying that, congratulations to the Ranch of Cherry Creek from Wessington Springs, SD, for their fabulous wins at the U.S. Arabian National Show. They brought home seven National Championships, two Reserve Championships and two Top Tens. If you haven’t already, you really need to ride a good Arab horse sometime. I have and was impressed. Easy moving, tough, big hearted and smart describes them.

Clayton Savage, Casper, WY, has a sprained shoulder and turned his bull out at the Mountain States Circuit Finals. He’ll be doing some serious physical therapy and rehab to get ready for the WNFR in December.

Also rehabbing in preparation for the finals is Cole Elshere, Faith, SD, saddle bronc rider. He has a strained right elbow.

The 2013 South Dakota high school rodeo calendars are out and being sold by members right now. A couple of smiling young ladies stopped and sold one to me recently and I encourage folks to buy one if they get a chance. They’re $20 and each month is a picture of the state champion in an event. There’s also a neat poster in the calendar. The money they raise with the calendar sales goes toward sending the national qualifying team to the finals. Each student must sell no less than five calendars to qualify for high school rodeo for the season. By buying a calendar, you’re also put in a drawing to win $40 or $200 each month.

SDHSRA memberships were due Nov. 1, but if you forgot, you can still apply. You will be paying a substantial late fee, which gets higher the longer you wait. Go to or email Ann Sunderman at for more info.

Gillette College, Gillette, WY, is holding breakaway and goat tying jackpots in conjunction with the RCM Winter Series Barrel Race at the Camplex. The breakaway is open to everyone, with multiple entries on different horses allowed. It started Nov. 3-4, then will be Jan. 12-13, Feb. 23-24, and March 9-10, in 2013. I think you could get more info from Will LaDuke, rodeo coach, at 307-689-5806 or email him at

Well, that’s my circle for the week. Have a wonderful week, enjoy the great weather, go vote, and send me your news items to share here. How’s that for great suggestions?