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☛Is the Federal Government paying outsourced hunters to shoot wild horses?

Posted by on Dec 14, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 1 comment

by Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP

Dec. 14, 2018

I recently engaged in a conversation with Captain William E. Simpson, a former military veteran, freelance writer as well as a Wild Horse and Burros conservation enthusiast. The topics of the conversation included a myriad of individual and shared philosophical ideologies and hypothesis exchanges pertaining to: Wild Horse and Burro preservation, as well as Mr. Simpson’s newest concept, i.e., the reintroduction of captured and corralled wild horses and the burros that were previously removed from government rangeland, for the sole purpose of wild fire control in remote wilderness areas of the U.S.

In fact, the reintroduction of wild horses and burros into remote wilderness areas to feed off of the underbrush grasses, which fuel the rapid numbers of increasing and devastating wild fires, seems like a very logical concept to me.  It places the wild horses and burros back where they’re supposed to be, decreases federal spending for rounding up, corralling, transporting, housing, feeding and caring for the animals, except for a few obstacles in its path. main culprits are our federal government and the cattle and sheep ranchers whose cattle are occupying vast swaths of lands in our western public grassland landscape.

During my tenure on planet earth, I’ve learned a few facts about our federal government. For example,  after it’s involved in a federal project, it probably will never work efficiently again – if at all. Wanton financial waste is an inherent institution in our “powers-that-be,” whose economic projections, spending and enactment most certainly defies sound business logic. To quote a U.S. Senator from Louisiana to illustrate this established trend, one only has to apply his testament to this truth said by the honorable Mr. John Neely Kennedy, “Our country was founded by geniuses and is run by idiots!”  

Over the years, I’ve personally written a litany of articles on the topic of the preservation of wild horses and burros, the inflictions being put on the wild horses, burros and predators occupying public grass lands, the ineptness of the federal government, as well as horse abuse. To me, it’s not as hard a topic to understand as the federal government, sheep and cow ranchers receiving government subsidies who occupy public grasslands and the special interest groups profiting from public land grazing would like for you to believe.  

First of all, long-ago the public grasslands were set aside by the U.S. Government for the citizens of the U.S. and its wildlife and not for ranchers receiving government subsidies for ranching on our public lands. Nor did the government set aside this land for billionaires and millionaires who have found a very lucrative dollar sign to attach to their bottom-line profits while taking advantage of the ridiculously low grazing costs as well as the endogenous species originally occupying public grass lands, such as wild horses and burros, deer species, predators (i.e.) carnivores-meat eaters,  e.g., bears, wolves, bobcats, mountain lions, etc.

Two things I’ve learned from being associated with the federal government through my military service in the U.S. Army during the Viet Nam War era and my sixteen years as a Drug Enforcement Agent and Law Enforcement professional. (1) Some federal government employees are masters at propaganda and (2) some federal government employees are corrupt.  They have adopted the “Do as I say and not as I do” mentality. In fact, some years back, I wrote a request for a criminal investigation of the BLM, with the request being sent to the Office Of Inspector General in Washington, DC. To date, I haven’t heard the outcome. 

The Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros act of 1971 was supposed to be the shining beacon on the hill – so to speak.  The act covered the management, protection, and study of “unbranded and unclaimed horses and burros on public lands in the United States.”  

However, as with all things designed to be good, unscrupulous opportunists have learned to take advantage of the system and profiteers have learned to make exorbitant financial profitsat the expense of our public grazing land and the wildlife inhabiting it. Horses and Burros are removed and either sent to exile in concentration camps to make room for more cattle and sheep, predators are killed because they feed off of cattle and sheep have been introduced in their native habitat by ranchers, that turn out to be “lunch menu items” and are either trapped and removed at taxpayer expense or shot and killed in place by ranchers, as well as birth control, i.e., sterilization for wild Horses and burros.

Confidential sources have told me that the BLM has a little known undocumented expenditure amount of $2,500 that certain agency members can spend without claiming what it was used for and without receipts to verify the expenditure. I’m told that many outsourced hunters are being paid this $2,500 to kill, in place, wild horses and burros with high-powered rifles with silencers. I’ve also been told that there are currently some 290-some-odd head of horses lying dead in a mountainous region of a Western state, with all deceased bodies lying side by side and shot in the head. The corpses are decomposing as of the writing of this article.

One could probably file a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request to try and obtain any information pertaining to this alleged act but the filer probably would have as much luck getting a truthful answer from the government, as one would have finding Hillary Clinton’s missing e-mails. 

One fact of certainty remains: wild horses, burros and predators are being killed and the BLM isn’t conducting enough all-inclusive investigations to find out who the culprits are. It’s been my experience and opinion that BLM would rather listen to a group of whining taxpayer subsidized ranchers receiving millions of taxpayer dollars equivalent to welfare payments than they would to preservation groups whose only concern is the welfare of our public grasslands and wildlife.  

After all, public grassland beef production only accounts for two percent or less of the total beef production in the United States., at a cost of more than $500 million annually to appease welfare ranchers who demand wild horse, burros and predator removal.  This public travesty is just another example of the federal government trying to act like smart people while fulfilling the forgoing statement: “Once the federal government gets involved in something, it probably will never work right again, if at all.” 

On the other hand, in an article entitled “Healthy Forests – Healthy Communitie,”, Mr. ????   Simpson offers a sensible and alternate solution to this problem by re-homing wild horses and burros in remote wilderness areas to feed off of grass that fuels wildfires (i.e.) the devastation from this and last year’s wildfires is still unfolding at a scale that has not even begun to be understood. 

The socioeconomic impacts, which include the loss of life, property, natural resources, massive impact on health and healthcare, economic impacts on business and real property, etc., emanating from last year’s wildfires are continuing to mount as other new impacts are just surfacing. The total annualized losses and costs are in the realm of hundreds of billions of dollars annuallyand unsustainable.

Legislators must CHANGE how they are handling this most serious problem as the usual methods (and people) are not providing the greatly needed solution. We need new blood and ideas if we are to devolve this monumental devastation, which is certain to be worsening year over year, as it already is trending.

Following is a plan to save human life, wildlife, forests, watersheds, fisheries, property and native-species American wild horses, that are approaching extinction under the BLM’s awful management according to Dr. Ross MacPhee, curator of Vertebrates – American Museum of Natural History: An intelligent forest management plan encompasses three synergistic actions:

1.      Correcting Unnatural 1-hour Fuel Loading.

                  It’s important to note that: When native Americans used fire to manage the landscape, there were about 100-million more large-bodied herbivores grazing on the landscape than there are today. Those now-missing, native-species herbivores consumed about 273-million tons of annual grass and brush (1-hour fuels), based on an average grazing of 15 pounds per day across various native-species herbivores. The best science informs us that when native-species herbivores are depleted, catastrophic wildfire evolve.

2.      Logging And Thinning Forests.

                  Forests must be managed by experienced managers who have a holistic approach to forest management. Overstocked (high tree densities) forests must be culled so tree densities are optimal (based on species and carrying capacity of landscape) in order to preserve water and light resources for the best trees and this requires intelligent thinning. 

In ecologically sensitive areas containing rare flora and fauna, domestic draft horses have been well-proven to be a successful method for both logging and thinning in ecological sensitive forests. In other less sensitive areas, traditional methods (mechanized) can be employed with proven success.

3.      Wildfire Suppression

                  With the assumption that the foregoing programs and methods are implemented, stopping wildfire suppression is logical and made far more effective by the implementation of the best practices as outlined herein above and therefore must be set as established policy by all agencies.

For more information on Mr. Simpson’s fire prevention plan with the re-introduction of corralled Wild Horses and Burro’s, please click on the following link:

Link Here

For more information on Mr. Simpson’s latest video on this subject, please click on the following link:

Link Here

Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle!!


WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP

Managing Member

Office/Mobil: (985) 630-3500

Email: richardedennis51@gmail.com

Web Site: http://www.richardedennis.net

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A CHRISTMAS REFLECTION – THEN & NOW

Posted by on Dec 14, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

By Rick Dennis
Dec. 14, 2018

THEN …

As a youngster growing up in Alabama in the 1950s and 1960s, I was born into a family and community where Christmas was one of the most celebrated holidays of the year.

By today’s financial standards, some would say our family was poor – but we never recognized or was aware of this class distinction. Growing up, I always had plenty to eat, 22 bullets to shoot, several pairs of overalls to wear and at least one pair of boots to wear a year. I grew up in an era and community in Alabama when farming was the principle source of income for families.

When I was not in school, hard work and assigned chores was the standard of the day. It seemed a never-ending supply of work was readily at hand requiring attention. As I was the oldest in my family, these essential after-school duties usually came my way first. I never did quite figure out why being the oldest meant you were assigned more work. I always figured being the oldest meant you could be assigned a managerial role. I soon learned this philosophy was not a viable thought process with my parents.

Horses and mules were not used for recreational or exhibition purposes as they are today. Instead my family, as well as other families in my community, used these noble animals principally for plowing, cultivating and harvesting crops in the fields to provide food for the table and bring our sale crops to the train depot in Clanton, Alabama for shipment to the farmers market in Birmingham, Alabama.

These animals were also used as our principle mode of transportation, to bring trees out of the mountains to provide firewood for the fire place and wood-burning heaters, the smoke house for meat preservation or the saw mill to provide lumber for building purposes. Tractors were non-existent in this time period.

It was during this time of the year my family was catapulted into the Spirit of Christmas, which meant it was time to go up on Oak Mountain for the much-anticipated and celebrated Christmas tree cutting. My grandmother Jeanette, on my father’s side, was the matriarch of the designated Christmas tree selection and harvesting process.

My grandmother, born out of a Scottish father and a Native American Indian mother, always seemed to have a spiritual connection with the tree she selected. We would move over the mountains for hours viewing what seemed an endless supply of trees – but after each evaluation she would declare, “Nope, not the right tree!”

Often times this tree scrutiny and survey continued for hours and miles of hard walking, until the moment of truth arrived when suddenly my grandmother would stop by a tree, grab and shake it, mentally eye it up and down, walk around it several times and turn with a big smile on her face and declare, “Kids, this is our Christmas tree!”

When the selection process was over, the tree was harvested by the oldest family members with an axe or a crosscut saw, or both, and promptly loaded on the sled and pulled home with each family member sharing with their turn on the pull rope.

When we arrived at home there weren’t any store bought ornaments to decorate our tree but we did have an ample supply of hand-made decorations acquired over the years from various family members. Each family member possessed one special ornament with his or her name scribed on it which made for a fast scramble to the ornament box to be the first to put their ornament on the tree.

The remaining ornaments were made by us. Popcorn was popped, colored with food dye into various colors, strung on sewing thread and hung on the tree to form a sea of riveting colors. Everything kids could think of were eventually hung on our Christmas tree until the matriarch affixed the Star of David on top of the tree, signaling the decorating was over.

The remaining day was spent sitting around the fire and thinking about what could be made by our family to donate to the church for distribution to other families in our region who were less fortunate than we were.

The most valuable lessons I learned from my early childhood experiences and the Spirit of Christmas are – the family is the most valuable commodity we have, never forget your roots, always give something back, it’s better to give than to receive and it doesn’t matter how much or what you have, make the best of it because often times more is not necessarily better.

NOW …

Today some Christmas trees come complete out of a box, including lights and

decorations. Christmas tree decorations and ornaments are manufactured in sizes, shapes and colors and readily available for purchase at department stores.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year have been replaced by the politically correct euphemism  “Happy Holidays” and another politically correct euphemism has replaced “A Christmas Party” with “A Winter Party.”

Horses and mules have been replaced by tractors as the principle cultivation tool in the farming community while establishing themselves as the principle means of recreation for the equestrian community as well as, in some cases, big business.

In fact, an entire equestrian industry has evolved around the noble horse as well as the businesses that have emerged to support them: tack shops, feed stores, judges, horse training facilities, horse breeding facilities, medical facilities and veterinarians, drug manufacturers, horse trailer manufacturers, equestrian magazines, bit makers, saddle makers, etc., and include the nonprofit organizations that have emerged to support this industry.

In the equestrian industry today, we are very lucky to have nonprofit’s such as the American Quarter Horse Association, National Cutting Horse Association, National Reined Cow Horse Association and the National Reining Horse Association, as well as other horse organizations in the industry that provide us with a place to exhibit our stock (professional and non-pro alike), meet new folks in the spirit of competition and establish new friendships along the way.

These organizations are not always perfect but a lot of folks rely on these equestrian organizations, as well as the guys and gals that run them, as a source of revenue to provide sustenance for their families in the spirit of entrepreneurship. They not only provide a single source of revenue for some but a lot of enjoyment for families and individuals in the equestrian industry.

Therefore, in the Spirit of Christmas, I would like to personally thank you – one and all for your time spent in these wonderful organizations and the contributions made by each one of you to support the equine industry.

In my journey, I’ve never lost sight of the core principles I learned as a boy nor have I forgotten my roots or the Spirit of Christmas! In keeping with these ideologies, it has been my policy throughout my professional career to always give something back to the community from my professions: free drug lectures to schools, free time spent as a mentor with under-privileged children and free riding lessons for the youth – no matter what their financial position is.

Over the years, my students have always generously paid me back by providing me with an exhilarating feeling from just watching their eyes light up when they finally execute a maneuver correctly or after completing their first show. When I see such happiness in a child’s eyes, it reminds me of days long ago on Oak Mountain harvesting that special Christmas tree on that cold winter day and that special lesson I learned during a time in my life long ago. “It truly is better to give than receive!”

At this very special time of the year, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our progress possible. It is with the Spirit of Christmas and personal gratitude that I would like to wish each and everyone one of you, especially the avid readers of “Ricks Corner” and “www.AllAboutCutting.com,” as well as all those in the equine industry, a Merry Christmas and a most prosperous and safe Happy New Year!

“Until Next Time, Keep ‘em Between The Bridles!”

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Wind River Company LLC
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Email: windrivercompanyllc@gmail.com
Web Site: http://www.windrivercompanyllc.com

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TODAY’S NEWS

Posted by on Dec 9, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, FROM THE EDITOR, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, MAJOR EVENTS, REINING NEWS, RODEO & BULLRIDING NEWS, SALES INFORMATION, WHO, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

Gathered by Glory Ann Kurtz
Dec. 8, 2018

TOMMY HOUSTON NAMED HALL OF FAME MEMBER FROM TARLETON STATE UNIVERSITY

Showing his versatility, Tommy Houston, current operator and manager of the Houston Ranch in Bluff Dale, Texas, , along with two other inductees, was recently inducted into the Tarleton State University Rodeo Hall of Fame. Most of the cutting horse world knew Houston as a cutting horse owner and rider.

According to a press release from Tarleton State University, on Nov. 3, during the Tarleton State University Rodeo Hall of Fame ninth annual steak dinner and auction, at the Twisted J in Stephenville, Texas, they inducted Houston, along with two other individuals: Bradley Harter, a saddle bronc rider and 10-time qualifier for the Wrangler National Finals rodeo and Kim Todd Hodge, a barrel racer, goat tyer, breakaway and team roper, who competed in the National Little Britches Rodeo Association, as well as high school rodeos and the NIRA. 

Houston accepted a rodeo scholarship at Texas Tech, but traveled with members of the Tarleton Rodeo team, including Tooter WaitesRandy MajorsCharles Bitters and Bobby Hungate. Taking honors such as the all-around hand at the West Texas State University rodeo in 1967 and twice winning the Texas Tech calf roping and the Tarleton Rodeo calf roping in 1967, he was no stranger to the winner’s circle. He went on to win the American Quarter Horse Association’s World Calf Roping Title in 1981.

NRHA FUTURITY:

The first major Western horse event to be over by today’s date is the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity held in Oklahoma City, Nov. 19-Dec. 1.  The 2018 NRHA Open Futurity paid out the second largest purse in the event’s history, with nearly $1.5 million awarded. Additionally, there was an 8 percent increase in horses entered (399) and a 14 percent increase in total entries (1,124).

The Open Champion of a 70-horse field across four levels, taking home a $142,500 for his owner and $7,500 for his nominator, Karl Hapcic, was A Vintage Smoke, sired by an NRHA Million-dollar Sire, A Sparkling Vintage, out of Lady Smoke Peppy, owned by Diane Mesmer and ridden by NRHA Million Dollar Rider Jason Vanlandingham. 

The Reserve title went to Isnt She Perfect ridden by Kole Price.  She is sired by NRHA Two-Million-Dollar sire Walla Walla Whiz out of Miss Silver Gun and is owned by Amy Meadows. The mare was nominated by Tamarack Ranch LLC. The owner’s share of the purse was $130,352 and the nominator’s share was $6,518.

The NRHA Non-Pro Futurity included historic numbers with entries being up 8 percent , hosting 629 entries compared to last year’s 582, and a record purse of $617,166.  Also, the purse for each level was at a record high.

The winning  Non-Pro title went to Tish Fappani following a three-way runoff for the Championship. Fappani was aboard Icecube, a red dun stallion by SG Frozen Enterprize and out of Taris Designer Genes, nominated by Andrea Fappani and owned by Andrea and Tish Fappani. 

NCHA FUTURITY SALES:

Following a stellar Session I Day Sale on Wednesday, Dec. 5, Western Bloodstock continued its upswing in the Preferred Breeders I Evening Session with a $30,000 average and 82% completed sales.

High Brow CD, the 2007 NCHA Futurity Open champion and a leading sire of the earners of $8.6 million, was the high seller of the evening. The 14-year-old son of High Brow Cat, consigned by Grace Ranch, brought $401,000 from Robert S. Collins/Homeplace Horse & Cattle, Blackville, S.C.

Magic Metallic, an 8-year-old Metallic Cat daughter, with an embryo by Hottish, brought the second highest price of the evening. Consigned by Waco Bend Ranch, Ltd., the full sister to 2017 NCHA Open Horse of the Year and World Champion Stallion Metallic Rebel LTE $438,266 sold to Stella Swanson, Midland, Tex., for $370,000. On Monday, in the NCHA Futurity 2-Year-Old Sale, Swanson purchased the Metallic Cat son Tin Man for $500,000.

Money Talks Smart, a 16-year-old mare sired by Smart Mate and consigned by Beechfork Ranch, sold for $100,000 to Rocking P Ranch, Fort Worth, Tex., owner of leading sires Metallic Cat and Spots Hot. Money Talks Smart, dam of the earners of $557,103, sold with an embryo by Metallic Rebel and one by Purdy Boy Flash.

 NEED A LAST-MINUTE CHRISTMAS PRESENT?

If you are at any of the above-mentioned high-dollar events for cowboys and cowgirls, you will surely see Bill Chambers, a published author of a variety of books that he sells at major horse events. Chambers, who grew up with Cerebral Palsy, a debilitating physical disease he was born with and that severely affects his body movements, as well as speaking – but not his mind and ability to write interesting books. 

Rather than simply accepting government assistance, Bill is the author of at least 10 books that he physically markets at major horse events. His latest is called Seven Hill Sides and was inspired by a song written his friend Walt Wilkins. I think it is his best! 

The 158-page easy-to-read book is about the life of a man, born in an Appalachian mining town, who escaped being a miner, becomes a famous baseball player and marries a beautiful woman. But he loses his only child before it is born. He eventually finds God and becomes a carrier of the gospel. The book takes place during real major events in American history and includes a list of interesting characters who experienced both life and death during those times and reveals what they learned along the way. 

If you haven’t seen Bill at one of the shows, you can order books at P.O. Box 1338, Boyd, Texas 76023. They make great Christmas presents!

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☛ AQHA STANCE ON VOGEL/DUFURRENA SITUATION- 11-15-18

Posted by on Nov 15, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE LAWSUITS, HORSE NEWS, HORSE ORGANIZATIONS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 9 comments

AQHA ANNOUNCES THEY WILL NOT MAKE HORSE REGISTRATION CHANGES IN VOGEL/ DUFURRENA SITUATION

 

FINAL JUDGMENT OR SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT NECESSARY BEFORE AQHA WILL ADJUST RECORDS

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 15, 2018

The AQHA has made a statement regarding the Dufurrena  and Vogel situation and the adjusting of AQHA records.

 

Attached is their statement; however, in the end, the AQHA is saying they “will not take any action to change the status quo of its records unless and until a final outcome or resolution of the litigation has occurred by either the entry of a final Judgment or the execution of a Settlement Agreement between the parties.”

 

The AQHA also states that the reciprocity agreement with NCHA allows AQHA to reciprocally suspend a member who has been suspended by the NCHA for an offense of using prohibited drugs, unsportsmanlike conduct or inhumane treatment. Since the NCHA suspension of Brandon, Ed and Rieta Dufurrena falls outside of the reciprocity agreement., the AQHA has not suspended them.

 

AQHA_EdDufurrena

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☛ NEWS FROM THE NCHA 11-9-18

Posted by on Nov 9, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE NEWS, HORSE ORGANIZATIONS, INDUSTRY NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 2 comments

NEWS FROM THE NCHA

 

NCHA SUSPENSION RULE CHANGED

Apparently something has transpired within the NCHA organization, which prompted them to assign a new rule change. Previously, while being suspended, an individual was allowed to sit in the stands by NCHA permission at an approved NCHA show. Today, the NCHA suspension Rule has been changed for any suspension issued after August 31, 2018.  This suspension would obviously follow that date.

An anonymous source has informed me that at the Disciplinary Committee hearing, they dismissed a complaint filed by Shona Dufurrena against individuals who filed a complaint against Ed and Brandon Dufurrena at a show in Whitesboro, Texas. The eight people were represented by Lew Stevens, Attorney at Law. The complaint filed by Shona Dufurrena alleged unsportsmanlike conduct against the eight individuals who filed the original complaint against Ed Dufurrena at the Whitesboro show while Ed was on suspension.

The new rule prohibits a suspended person from being anywhere near the show and be prohibited from the arena, loping pens, parking lot, exhibit hall or any other property that can be called “show grounds”.

The result on whether Dufurrena will be suspended for a violation of his existing suspension has not yet been released and I’m awaiting the decision of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee on the outcome of any further attachments in Ed and Brandon’s Dufurrena’s existing suspensions.

 

$100,000 BONUS MONEY PAYOUT CONTINUES AT 2018 NCHA FUTURITY

According to an NCHA press release, the $100,000 bonus money payout continuing at the 2018 NCHA Futurity. The North Texas Chevrolet Dealers and the Great American Insurance Group, will continue the bonus money payout for the 2018 NCHA’s World Championship Futurity.

This year the Amateur competitors will receive $40,000 to be divided between the Rios of Mercedes Boots Amateur Class and the McAlister Assets Unlimited Amateur Class; the Non-Pro Division will receive $16,000; the Limited Non-Pro will receive $4,000 and the Open will receive $40,000.

The bonus money will be distributed between the champions and reserve champions in each of the divisions.

This will be the 51styear for the NCHA Futurity to be held at the Will Rogers Coliseum. It will be held Nov. 15, 2018 and conclude on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018.

 

MERCURIA WORLD FINALS & SALES:

The Mercuria NCHA World Finals will be held in conjunction with the Futurity and will feature the sport’s top older horses in 10 division scheduled from Nov. 23-Dec. 1. World Championship titles are on the line!

Also, the Western Bloodstock sales, held Dec. 3-8, will include close to 1,000 head of cutting horse prospects, seasoned show horses and breeding stock.

 

 

 

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☛ YIPPIE KA-YAY, THE RUSSIAN WAY-11-5-18

Posted by on Nov 5, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, FEATURE ARTICLES, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

YIPPIE KA-YAY, THE RUSSIAN WAY

 By Rick Dennis
Information derived from The New York Times and Valuets Journal
Nov. 5, 2018

Quietly secluded in the Russian interior, amid Russia’s wilderness fabric is a seldom heard of but emerging new industry modeled after the United States economy and the cowboy way of life. That new industry is the Russian beef industry.

Russian Company Rustles Up Cowboys To Help Beef Up Demand For Steaks

The firm Miratorg is building an American-style beef steak industry from scratch. To make it work, it has to import everything from the cows, to the feed — right down to importing American cowboys. And now we have a story from Russia of a massive effort to import something that’s very, very American. Russia has lots of open land, which is good for grazing cattle, but steak remains something of a foreign idea. So one company is trying to single-handedly build a steak industry from scratch in Russia – importing American cows, importing American grass, saddles, horses, and even importing American cowboys.

 

Russians Learn the Ways of the Cowboy From American Ranch Hands

 VALUETS, Russia — A visibly tiring but stubborn Aberdeen Angus cow sank all of her four feet in the rich black mud of central Russia, refusing to budge. Try as they might, the two Russians yanking on the rope lassoed around her wide, wet neck could not pull that massive body out of the icy December slush.

 

The cowboys on this new Russian ranch here still have a few things to learn. And unlearn. In a throwback to the old Soviet way of doing things, while the two were trying to move the recalcitrant cow, four others were standing idly by shouting advice.

 

Watching the greenhorns from afar was Ashley Chester Corlett, one of 10 American trainers brought in by the ranch’s owner, the Miratorg company. It chose them over Brazilians and Australians in large part because of the similarity between the climate in Wyoming and central Russia, where temperatures can drop to 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (minus 29 Celsius).

“At first people always want to use pressure to handle the cattle and don’t realize how much like a predator they seem to the cow,” said Mr. Corlett, a thickset fourth-generation cowboy from Riverton, Wyo. “If you want to get the best out of that cow, you have to understand how it thinks. It opens so much understanding.”The aspiring cowboys also have to get used to working long days in harsh conditions, a concept that often seems novel to many of them.

 

“Working here is hard. Many people cannot stand it, especially the need to stay sober,” said Viktor P. Buivolov, who installed elevators in Moscow before becoming the manager of the ranch. “We even have a Breathalyzer here,” he said, navigating a Russian UAZ Patriot sport utility vehicle through a herd of cattle.

 

Agriculture all but disappeared from this and many other parts of Russia years ago, after the final screw was turned into scrap metal at the last surviving Soviet collective farms. But as oil prices have collapsed and Russia has imposed retaliatory sanctions against Western food products, reviving the economy with import substitution has become a priority for the Kremlin. President Vladimir V. Putin has said Russia has the potential to become a world leader in food production, and has set a goal of self-sufficiency by 2020.

 

Russian Cowboys Learn To Wrangle A Brand New Beef Industry

 As far as rodeos go, everything resembles an American rodeo, but the proceedings were just a little different. No swords here, but plenty of horses. And tons of people who came to watch. They brought signs and applauded their teams as they struggled to rope steers in the arena.

 

The Russian Rodeo embodied more than entertainment. It was a cacophonous celebration of a fledgling beef industry clawing its way into the Russian countryside. It was also part of a larger national goal to gain self-sufficiency with food production.

 

By copying the structure of Western beef operations, Miratorg skipped more steps. Miratorg is single-handedly trying to create an American-style beef industry, but in a very condensed time period. It now has about 400,000 cows, the largest herd in the world. The company has had to build fences in a country without any, to train veterinarians, and to also import everything from horses and grass seed to tractors. But the hardest part of managing this immense operation is not the science or the planning.

 

It’s finding workers. Cowboys. So the company imported some of them, too. One of them, Shawn Weekes, has been in Russia for two years. He’s a fourth-generation, Montana-born cowboy with a great, big mustache, Western boots, a hat, and a tucked in button up shirt. “I grew up doing this,” he said. “A rope was actually my first toy.

 

“He’s worked on ranches all over the U.S. but the growth of Miratorg, from zero to the largest herd in the world, stood apart. “I’ve never seen anything grow this fast. Ever. And sometimes it kind of set me back a little bit, like, whoa, let’s slow this train down a little bit. But this is their program and this is what they want, so I just try to help them,” Weekes said.

 

His job is teaching locals to cowboy. The new hires, mostly young men from nearby villages, have no experience. Most of them have only seen cowboys in black and white movies. Miratorg now employs 1,000 Russian cowboys, though they call them ‘operators. “The difference is they’re starting out from scratch, there’s only a handful of us here to teach all these people how to do this,” he said.

 

Which ever way the Russian beef industry turns out, I’m sure the American beef industry and entrepreneurs supporting this industry will have a boost in their sales economy.

 

WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Freelance Writer and Author
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Email: richardedennis51@gmail.com
Website: http://www.richardedennis.net

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