Jan Swan Wood: Moisture!, Jerry Golliher inducted, RNCFR, Oregon Senate Bill, stupid move in NM
April 22, 2013
The back-ordered moisture finally arrived! We ended up with about 20 inches of snow after a nice rain, so are absolutely thrilled. It's actually still snowing as I write this mid-week, so we may have a little more before it's over. Thankfully, we aren't calving yet, so it was a bit easier for us than for others. I haven't heard of anyone complaining about the snow or the extra effort necessary to keep those calves and lambs going. Most I talked to were tickled to death to have calves in the kitchen! I'm sure there will be some water gaps to fix after this too. I hope I remember how.
I saw a picture online of some cows at Alliance, NE, that had drifted with the storm and ended up in town. The picture showed the ice/snow encrusted cows looking in the glass doors of a business. The message with it noted that townspeople had put the baby calves in their garages until the rancher could gather them up. Bless you all for that.
Jerry Golliher, well known rodeo hand/horseman/all around great guy, was inducted into the Black Hills State University Rodeo Hall of Fame on April 12. Jerry and his wonderful wife Sue live between Belle Fourche and Spearfish, SD, and host the Golliher Arena series barrel races, plus some great roping schools and other events at their indoor and outdoor arenas. Jerry came up through the ranks of rodeo and is an outstanding roper. I remember him calf roping on his great stud Hoddy Jay way back when, besides some other great horses. He also team roped and I seem to remember him lining doggin' steers too. There's just no one I can think of who deserves this honor more. Congrats Jerry!
Speaking of good hands, the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo was held in Oklahoma City last week and area hands made us proud. In the steer wrestling, Jason Miller, Lance Creek, WY, was first in the average with Dean Gorsuch, Gering, NE, second. Dean also was second place for money won with a total of $11,791 riding home with him. The team roping average had Mike Kobold, Billings, MT/Matt Robertson, Augusta, MT, placing third. Cody Taton, Mud Butte, SD/Corona, NM, was fifth in the average in saddle broncs and third in money won with $8,958. Tie down roping had Dane Kissack, Spearfish, SD, sixth in the average, fifth in the semi-finals and seventh in money won. Barrels had Theresa Walters, Billings, MT, tied for third in the average, plus fifth in the semi-finals and fifth in money won. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, SD, was fifth in the average and eighth for money won. Abe Dillman, Grassy Butte, ND, was seventh in the average and was in a six-way tie for second in the semi-finals and seventh for money won.
The state of Oregon is having a tug-of-war from side to side in it's legislature. Senate bill 835, sponsored by Sen. Mark Hess, D-Beaverton, would make it illegal to rope horses by the front legs for any reason. He's zeroed in on this because of a highly-edited-to-make-it-look-terrible video taken at the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo. Of course the tape was made by an animal rights group who I won't dignify by mentioning the name. At Jordan Valley Big Loop, a horse is roped by the neck, then handled to allow a loop to be stuck on the front legs. The horse is laid down to call time and then bounces back up to join its herdmates. Nothing that isn't done on big outfits handling wild horses regularly. Despite the backing of ranchers, stock contractors and veterinarians who say it is often necessary to handle horses this way, the anti-everything folks want to shut it down and found a voice with Sen. Hess. To counteract this nonsense, which could lead to the shutting down of a lot more than horse roping, Sen. Bill Hansell, R-Athena, submitted a Right To Rodeo bill to protect rodeos in the state. The two bills were combined and the wording would protect rodeos but not Jordan Valley or private entities, including vets who need to restrain unmanageable horses for treatment. It's a complex issue, and lots of shouting is going on from both sides. I'll try to keep you updated, as the senate bill went to the floor April 8. The ripple effect on these things is always substantial.
I've known about this other for a while but hadn't decided whether to say anything. I guess I will… About a year ago, Tim Sappington, Dexter, NM, made a video of himself as he prepared a horse for slaughter and then, after using some unsavory language directed at the animal rights crowd, carefully shot the horse and it dropped dead. Not a thing wrong with what he did (other than acting like a jerk with his language) and he put the horse down efficiently. Well, he posted the video on YouTube, which was brilliant. Naturally, the animal rights crowd pounced on it and edited out his actual purpose for making the video (how to process a horse for personal consumption – he eats horse meat) and held onto it until it looked like Valley Meats, Roswell, NM, would be getting inspectors, then released it to their rabid followers to howl about. Mind you, the guy did exactly what any of us have to do to euthanize a horse (though without the language and the message for the anti's thrown in) since we can't send one to slaughter. The anti's came at this guy like the crazies they apparently are and death threats toward him, his family, and Rick de los Santos of Valley Meats and his family, came in a torrent. Valley Meats immediately terminated the guy's employment with them, but that didn't stop the vitriolic abuse by the anti's. Now the FBI is investigating these death threats (finally) and we'll see what happens with that.
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Death threats from the anti's is no new thing, as anyone who has said a word in favor of horse processing has probably gotten some. Some of the grisly descriptions of what needs to happen to us are pretty alarming and would be a huge concern to law enforcement if we were directing such hate toward the anti's. Yes, I have gotten those threats too. It doesn't deter me and won't, from promoting processing of horses.
Well, I've loped this horse over a little bigger circle than usual, so had better pull up. Thank God for the moisture!