Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Loss of a friend, NFR sendoff party, American Pharoah won the Classic, EPM treatment improved
November 5, 2015
We had another little taste of fall last week but I'm not going to complain after having the nicest fall I can remember in a long time. I made a trip to Fargo to do the pedigrees at a horse sale and it was even nice there for the first time in my experience of doing a horse sale there this time of year. The country looks great all the way there and the stack yards are full everywhere.
I am saddened to share the news of the death of Gary Tarver, Gillette, Wyoming. We've known Gary for decades and respected him as a breeder of good horses, rider of good mules, and an all around nice guy. He had the great stallion Mr. Roan Hancock all his life and raised many more fine stallions by him that are used all over the U.S. and Canada. Gary sure loved his Blue Valentine horses, but usually rode a good mule due to back problems from an airplane crash many years ago. He ran cattle on his ranch west of Weston in a beautiful place that he loved. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
I realize this is short notice, but I just got word that there will be an open horse sale at Gordon Livestock, Gordon, Nebraska, Nov. 10. They sell both loose and ride ins at their good sales. You can find out more by calling 308-282-9998 or 308-282-1171.
The annual NFR sendoff party at the Branding Iron Steak House, Belle Fourche, South Dakota will be Saturday night, Nov. 21. I didn't get the info on what time it starts, but I'll bet if you're there by 6 p.m. you'll be fine. This is your chance to go and meet the WNFR contestants from our region and wish them well for the upcoming finals.
I was absolutely thrilled when American Pharoah won the Breeder's Cup Classic Oct. 31. They are calling it the Grand Slam, as he already won the coveted Triple Crown. He faced older horses for the first time in the Classic and showed them what a race horse is by leading from start to finish with his ears up. On the home stretch Victor Espinoza asked him for a little more and he pulled away to a six and a half length lead at the wire, still with his ears up. He set a new track record of 2.00 for the 1 1/4 race. He retired with a record of 9 wins and one second from 11 career starts, and bankrolled a whopping $8,650,300, making him one of the four richest race horses of all time. He traveled by air and van over 28,000 miles this year as well. One of the most remarkable things about American Pharoah is his disposition. Due to his sweet and quiet nature, fans were able to be relatively close to him, pet him and pose for pictures with him. Bob Baffert, his trainer, says he's the easiest horse to handle and train as well, and accompanied him to his new home and fed him his favorite treat, baby carrots, while getting him settled in. The Zayat family who owns him made a deal with Coolmore's Ashford Stud at Versailles, Kentucky, to stand him at stud now that his race career is over. He will breed his first mares in 2016 after having time to settle in, come down from racing fitness, and just be a horse again. I am anxious to see what he does as a sire and if he will sire as well as he ran. His breeding fee has not been set as of yet.
Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a terrible neurological disease that affects horses and is transported by contact with opposum feces through grazing or eating feed contaminated by it. It is the disease that spelled the end for the phenomenal Dash For Cash. It is caused by a parasite that invades the brain and spinal cord and if left untreated, can cause serious damage to the central nervous system and can be fatal. That said, the FDA has just approved new dosing for the first approved treatment for EPM. The drug Marquis is now recommended to be given at a much higher or "loading" dose at the onset of treatment, and the concentrations of the drug in the horse's system is in a steady state within 1-2 days as opposed eight days with the old dosing. Treatment given early at the onset of symptoms can be successful and with the new dosing, hopefully more horses will be able to recover more quickly.
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Well, that's my circle for the week. Have a great week and send me all your news items and event information! My email is at the top of this column for your convenience.