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The PBR world finals are going on right now and that event simply would not exist without the Bullfighters. A big thank you from the riders and all the fans.

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For the second year my Beal’s Cowboy Buckles store is an event sponsor for this year’s 2014 Wrangler Buck Brannaman Pro-Am Vaquero Roping contest. You’ll see some of the very best ranch roping in the world. Best of luck to my many friends who will be competing!

“A unique vaquero-style roping event is set for October 24, 25 & 26, 2014 at the Santa Ynez Valley Equestrian Center in Santa Ynez, California. Conceived by horsemanship clinician, Buck Brannaman and his daughter Reata, the Wrangler Buck Brannaman Pro-Am Vaquero Roping will be free for spectators to watch 100 teams compete for substantial prize money in the classic California ranch roping style.

As Buck says of the event, “For years I’d been wanting to do a roping event styled after a pro-am golf tournament. Two-person teams enter and come to town, and out of a pool of handpicked pros that I have chosen; we’ll draw their third team member. That will be their team for the weekend. It’s going to be a neat deal – after two days we’ll take the top 30 teams for the finals held the third day, on Sunday. Unlike a lot of ranch ropings, it’s going to have serious prize money – we’re figuring over $25,000.”

You can get more information at their website by clicking HERE.

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The Professional Bull Riders finals start tonight in Las Vegas. And it’s the last time we’ll see the champion bull Bushwacker. You can read more about him in my previous blog entry by clicking HERE. It’s been a great adventure.

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Rugged ranchers or welfare cowboys? Dispute over grazing fees on public land rages on. I thought this was a good summary of two points of view.

By Rob Nikolewski
New Mexico Watchdog

SANTA FE, N.M. — The accusation is a blunt one: That ranchers who hold permits from the federal government to graze their cattle on public land are little more than welfare recipients. The response is just as blunt: Like hell we are.

The argument has kicked around the West for years, and it’s come into sharper focus in recent months as ranchers in parts of northern and southern New Mexico have clashed with environmentalists over the recent listing of a critter most people in the Land of Enchantment have never even seen — the meadow jumping mouse.

In June, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed the mouse — which can hop up to three feet from its hind legs — on the endangered list. That has prompted the U.S. Forest Service to reinforce a gate along the Agua Chiquita in Otero County and erect barbed-wire fencing near the Rio Cebolla creek in the Santa Fe National Forest to keep cattle from damaging the mouse’s habitat.

“The livestock industry has enjoyed special treatment from the federal government for so long that our streams have been trampled to death,” Bryan Bird, program director at WildEarth Guardians, said earlier this month when his group filed a lawsuit just before the fencing was constructed.

Bird’s comment echoes a long-running complaint environmentalists have about grazing fees on public lands.

They say ranchers have been getting a sweetheart deal from the government for too long, pointing to fees charged by the entities such as the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service charging $1.35 a month for what’s called “Animal Unit Months,” compared to an estimated $16-$20 a month on private land.

They also cite data from a 2005 report from the General Accounting Office and say U.S. taxpayers suffer a direct loss of more than $120 million because of the fees.

“Ranchers have benefitted from a whole suite of subsidies. I used to call them welfare queens,” John Horning, the executive director of WildEarth Guardians-NewMexico, told New Mexico Watchdog in an interview in July. “I don’t really care if it’s welfare because the bigger issue for me is not that (taxpayers) subsidize it, but that we allow the activity to degrade so many valuable things.”

But cattle growers push back just as forcefully.

“It couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Caren Cowan, executive director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association. “And it’s a tired old argument.”

Cowan says the price difference between grazing fees is misleading because ranchers have to pick up the costs for things such as managing and fencing their allotments, supplying their herds with water and absorbing any losses due to death and attacks by predators that aren’t usually incurred when grazing on private property.

“It’s kind of like you renting a house in Albuquerque that has all the amenities,” Cowan said. “It’s furnished, you’ve got electricity, all the utilities are done.” But grazing on public lands is like “renting a house that’s totally vacant, has no amenities … and anyone can come through your house and use the bathroom anytime they want … The price is low until you look at the amenities that don’t go with it.”

But Horning counters the pricing formula for grazing on public land has essentially been frozen by the executive order since 1986 when Ronald Reagan was president.

“The grazing fee today is the same as it was 30 years ago,” Horning said. “Name one commodity or one resource that you can extract today for the same fee you could 30 years ago.”

But for ranchers like Mike Lucero, grazing cattle along the Rio Cebolla is something his family has done for generations, going back to the time of land grants in New Mexico, predating the existence of the U.S. Forest Service.

“This is my family and ancestors’ heritage,” said Lucero, a member of the San Diego Cattleman’s Association.

Unique to states such as New Mexico, land grants were awarded to settlers by the Spanish government during colonial times. Under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, the U.S. government pledged to honor the grants, but property disputes have persisted in the Southwest ever since.

“I totally agree, there is a discounted rate involved,” Lucero told New Mexico Watchdog this summer. “But when that used to be a land grant, that wasn’t federal land at all. So you’re telling me I don’t have a right to get a discount when it was taken away from my ancestors to begin with? Everyone knows land grants are for the people in those communities to make a living off of.”

THE MOUSE IN QUESTION: Listing the meadow jumping mouse as an endangered species has led to a battle between environmentalists and New Mexico ranchers.
THE MOUSE IN QUESTION: Listing the meadow jumping mouse as an endangered species has led to a battle between environmentalists and New Mexico ranchers.
Ranchers at the Rio Cebolla say their cattle only use the meadow for four-five weeks in the fall and one-two weeks in the spring. They insist they keep the area in excellent shape.

But environmental groups say the habitat for the meadow jumping mouse has been systematically degraded in New Mexico, as well as Arizona and Colorado.

“We are asking the Forest Service to keep cows out of 1 percent of public lands that have streams and rivers,” Bird said. “The livestock industry needs stop kicking and screaming and cooperate to ensure clean water and healthy wildlife.”

“Ranchers are responsible for the stewardship of their land,” said Cowan. “Recreationists don’t pay to hunt or hike or fish on those lands. But the timber industry, the oil and gas industry, the livestock industry (do). I think guides and outfitters even have to have some kind of permit. Those folks are paying the government something.

While WildEarth Guardians has filed its lawsuit to protect the mouse’s habitat, the ranchers have filed their own, alleging the Forest Service of heavy-handedness and not following its own environmental analysis.

Regardless of what decision is reached, it’s clear the debate — and the rhetoric — over grazing fees will continue.

“Grazing permits are costly food stamps for cattle,” wrote an attorney from Utah in the Salt Lake City Tribune earlier this year.

“The whole purpose of what (environmental groups) are doing on the land is not to save anything, it’s to protect it from people who actually doing something productive and I’m talking about ranchers ,” said C.J. Hadley, publisher of the pro-rancher publication RANGE magazine.

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Kent Rollins shares his tips for savory white gravy.

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Champion ranch horse trainer Mike Major demonstrates the steps to a sidep

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Dr. Matt Spangler, University of Nebraska-Lincoln extension beef genetics specialist, presented this webinar December 4, 2012. The webinar focuses on utilizing EPDs in the selection of sires to make genetic progress and to meet producers goals.

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Extension Beef Cattle Specialists in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension talk about beef cattle nutrition and considerations in feeding cattle.

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Thanks to my brother John Beal for finding this.

By Rosalyn Oshmyansky
From Entertainment Tonight



Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco is not only an actress but a skilled horseback rider.

At the Longines Los Angeles Masters yesterday, Cucoco participated in a charity competition as part of a team with California show jump rider Paris Sellon.

Cuoco was the amateur on her team, but you couldn’t guess it based on her photos and the video she shared on Instagram.

Here she is riding Thor:

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Each team was judged on the number of penalties over fences, the team’s style and elegance and the horse’s style. Cuoco calls her style “Cowboys and Indians” as seen by her attire in her pics. The competition had 11 teams that represented 11 charities. Cuoco and Sellon rode for Ride On Thereapeutic Horsemanship. Ride On teaches adaptive horseback riding to children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities.

Although 2008 Olympic Team Gold medalist Laura Kraut and Hannah Selleck, daughter of Tom Selleck, were crowned the Charity Pro Am Style & Competition winners, Cuoco and Sellon raised $25,000 for their charity.

In this pic with Sellon, she says, “Had an amazing time partnering up w the amazing and talented @parisanns for the #lamasters #proam #longines @ #laconventioncenter 25k to the charity #rideon #ididntsuck #thankgodforThor.”

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By Carolyn Jones
From the San Francisco Chronicle



It took 90 years for Thea Murphy to get on a horse, but about 30 seconds to fall in love.

“I’ll be sore tomorrow, but it doesn’t matter. It’ll make me remember Katy,” a beaming Murphy said Friday afternoon at a Petaluma horse arena as she gazed upon the palomino mare that provided Murphy’s first horseback ride. “Look at her. She’s so beautiful. And she listens to me!”

Murphy’s maiden horseback ride was courtesy of a Napa nonprofit called Celebrating Seniors, which granted wishes for half a dozen elders in the North Bay. Murphy’s wish was to ride a horse — something the 50-year Napa resident had never done.

Other seniors wanted to go on San Francisco Bay cruises, or visit a great-grandchild on the East Coast. But for Murphy, who’s partially paralyzed from a stroke and blind in one eye, it was all about horses.

riding1“It’s because I love them,” Murphy said before getting on a horse. “I love animals, I love horses. I want to know what it feels like to ride one.”

Gentle horseback rides

The ride took place at Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Petaluma, a facility that provides gentle horseback rides for people who are physically, cognitively or emotionally disabled.

Murphy’s wish was chosen from about 45 entries, and she had been planning for the excursion for weeks. She bought denim skinny jeans and a bright red shirt for the occasion, with red lipstick to match and hair colored strawberry blonde.

She was accompanied by caregivers, friends and volunteers from Celebrating Seniors, who became a little weepy when Giant Steps staff lifted Murphy from her wheelchair onto the 1,000-pound beast.

“With her disabilities, at her age, to still have that same desire that she had since she was 6 … that’s what we found so heartwarming,” said Penelope Hyde, who led the senior wish committee for Celebrating Seniors.

Even the staff at Giant Steps was moved by Murphy’s story, and by Murphy herself. The slight, Dutch-born widow smiled almost incessantly as she petted the horse and chatted happily with spectators.

Riding horses can be great therapy for disabled people, said Giant Steps Therapeutic Center Director Mark Walden.

Balance, coordination and core strengthening are among the benefits, plus the emotional and social boost from interacting with the patient, placid animals.

Will Rogers’ wisdom

“It’s like what Will Rogers said: There’s something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a man,” Walden said.

Murphy has had her share of physical setbacks recently. In the past few years she’s had a leg amputated, undergone hip replacement surgery, lost vision in one eye following cataract surgery and became paralyzed on her left side after a stroke.

Giants Steps staff held her on both sides as the horse ambled around the arena and down a short trail, for a total of about 30 minutes. Murphy held the reins and directed Katy left, right and forward. Katy, for her part, followed along cheerfully.

Murphy may have physical limitations, but her spirit has never been brighter. Until very recently, she was reading a book a day, knitting, puttering in her vegetable garden and Skyping with her 91-year-old sister in Holland every morning.

“She’s a tough cookie, extremely strong-willed,” said neighbor Anne LeBlanc. “She gets something in her mind, and there’s no stopping her. She decided she wanted to ride a horse, and here we all are. Life is really quite amazing.”

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Alysa Matraver rides Denise Kersley’s Tiger Tim to second place in the National Dressage Championships novice restricted

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From Western Hats

The Cattleman crease is the most basic and oldest crease found on a cowboy hat.

A Cattlemen crease started when ranch owners did not want the look of the rodeo cowboy on their cowboy hat.

These cattlemen wanted a more taller and narrower crown so that when the wind blew and the rain poured these cowboys could pull their cowboy hats down so that it would stay on their head better.

The Cattleman crease is also a dressy crease and worn by the true cowboy gentlemen.

A Cattleman crease can be found on former President George W Bush’s cowboy hats.

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From Facts About Beef

Myth: Big beef uses antibiotics without regard for animal welfare or human health.

Facts: Antibiotics are just one tool beef farmers and ranchers use to keep cattle healthy by treating and preventing the spread of illness. Cattle can pick up illnesses, just like humans, whether they’re out on pasture or in a feedlot with other animals. Cattlemen work closely with veterinarians to develop a comprehensive health program, which may include nutritious diet, proper housing, hygiene, vaccinations and antibiotics.

Here are the basics on antibiotic use in cattle:

How are they used?

When an animal gets sick, farmers, ranchers and veterinarians carefully evaluate when to administer antibiotics and use specific dosages and treatment protocols to treat the animal.

Cattle farmers and ranchers believe not treating cattle that become sick is inhumane as part of their ongoing commitment to animal health and welfare. When administering antibiotics, they follow precise label directions, meaning they adhere to usage guidelines to protect both animals and humans that have been rigorously tested and approved by the United States Food & Drug Administration. Just like in human medicine, there are many protocols developed by veterinarians and scientists that they have to follow diligently.

Antibiotics are used in animal medicine to prevent disease, which is important to animal and human safety.

Antibiotic use to prevent disease differs from growth promotion purposes in three ways: dose, duration and level of veterinary oversight.

Some farmers and ranchers choose to use ionophores – a special class of antibiotics not used in human medicine – to promote lean muscle growth in animals, which results in leaner beef choices.

Who ensures antibiotics are not overused?

There is no reason to overuse antibiotics, but reasons why they might be used at specific times and in targeted ways. For one, it’s the law not to overuse them, but antibiotics also are expensive for the small businessmen and women who raise cattle for beef.

How are antibiotics given to cattle?

Depending on the circumstance, antibiotics may be given to cattle as individual injections or added to feed or water to treat a larger group who has been exposed to the same illness.

Are antibiotics safe?

All antibiotics must go through rigorous government scrutiny before being approved for use in livestock.

Unlike human medicine, animal medicine goes through three layers of approval, is the medicine safe for the animal, the environment and the humans who will consume the meat. All three areas must be evaluated before approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

Even after they’re approved, antibiotics are continuously monitored and must be re-evaluated annually. They only stay on the market if they continue to be proven safe.

What’s being done to improve antibiotic use?

Cattlemen and the entire livestock community are working together to continuously improve the way antibiotics are used in animals, because they care about how their practices impact antibiotic safety and efficacy.

The beef community is also working to avoid using antibiotics that are important to both human and animal medicine, as identified by the World Health Organization. For example, Food & Drug Administration Guidance 209 and 213 will eliminate growth promotion uses of medically important antibiotics and extend veterinary oversight.

For consumers who want beef raised without antibiotics, the beef community has listened and provides choices to meet those needs.

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Can’t be there for the $210,000 Central Park Grand Prix, presented by Rolex? You can still see some of the world’s best jump in the heart of New York City in Central Park—tune in to NBC Sports from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, Sept. 18 to see all the jumping action LIVE in this historic setting.

This broadcast will mark the first time an equestrian sport has been shown live in a primetime slot on a major sports network, and by watching you can help show the television industry how much we all want to see horses on TV. Visit http://www.nbcsports.com/tv-listings to find the channel for NBC Sports Network in your area. SHARE this with all your social networks—encourage them to watch this event and boost the ratings to help get more horse sports shown on television!

You can get more information at their website by clicking HERE.

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Looking for funds……

Inspired by Commedia Dell Arte (Italian Renaissance “Art of Comedy”), Shakespeare, and all things “horsing around”, Equine Dell Arte’s 1st full length production ‘O! For a Horse with Wings’ will take you on a whimsical wild ride! Galloping through a montage of music, magic and mayhem actors and horses team up to bring you a performance like you’ve never seen before!

Equine Dell Arte is an ensemble company comprised of professional actors, students, people with disabilities and/or under-served populations, and horses (of course!) working together to empower, enlighten, and entertain in an outdoor theatrical setting. EDA is a for profit company that donates to non-profit therapeutic entities.

EDA was conceived by Susan Kelejian and came into being in 2013. In the past year we’ve held acting workshops and performed at 2 fundraiser events for the Shadow Hills Riding Club (www.ShadowHillsRidingClub.org). The reception and popularity of those performances and workshops have lead to the demand for a full length, stand alone performance, “O, For a Horse With Wings!”

Since Equine Dell Arte began with SHRC, and we continue to work closely with them and their horses, a portion of all proceeds from the performances will go back to supporting their amazing therapeutic programs, including:
-Saddles and Serenity (People in recovery from addictions)
-Saddles for Soldiers (US veterans)
-Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (Children and adults with special needs)

All funds raised by this IndieGoGo will go towards the production of “O, For a Horse With Wings.” 30% of the proceeds from performances in September will go towards Shadow Hills Riding Club Therapy programs, while 70% goes back into Equine Dell Arte for further productions.

You can get more information at their website by clicking HERE.

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In this video, reining and cutting horse trainer, Larry Trocha shows emergency techniques to keep you out of the hospital emergency room.

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Thanks to Stacy Westfall for finding this.

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imgr1234esCraig Cameron, a life-long rancher, working cowboy and horse trainer, has just about done it all from cow-calf, stocker operations, custom hay-baling, or capturing wild cattle for fellow ranchers. After years of bull riding on the professional rodeo circuit and successfully operating his cattle business, Craig began conducting western horsemanship clinics and demonstrations to help beginning and seasoned riders increase their knowledge and understanding of their horse and to keep the cowboy tradition alive.

In the spirit of the cowboy tradition with a personal connection to the military, Craig has partnered with this special group of Special Operations Veterans and friends and seasoned riders for a unique Guts & Glory 100 Mile Trail Ride to raise awareness and funds for the SOWF.

– Bryan “Doug” Brown – General, USA, Retired 7th Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command
– Joseph Maguire – Vice Admiral, USN, Retired Former Commander Naval Special Warfare Command
– Larry Mahan World Rodeo Champion
– Walt Garrison former American football fullback in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys
– these are just a few of the legendary and heroic gentlemen joining, “The Cowboy’s Clinician,” Craig Cameron for his 2nd annual Guts & Glory 100 Mile Trail Ride!

This 3-day ride for the seasoned rider, scheduled on November 6-7-8, 2014 will begin in Goldthwaite, Texas, with a dinner and auction party on Friday evening at the N at Hardway Ranch and continue on Saturday to Bluff Dale; riders arrange their own overnight plans. If you are interested in riding all 3 days OR just the Sunday final leg (open to all riders), please email doublehornd@lipan.net to receive a Guts & Glory Horse Ride registration packet.

Proceeds Benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF)

In 1980, when eight special ops warriors lost their lives during a hostage rescue attempt in Iran, a promise was made to provide a college education to each of the surviving 17 children. Today, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation continues this solemn pledge to educate every child whose special operations parent loses their life in the line of duty. Currently supporting over

145 surviving children in college, there are another 570 children who will require college funding in the future, AND that number grows steadily as special ops warriors continue to sustain casualties in the line of duty. These funds are generously donated by friends and corporations all over the United States!

You can get more information at their website by clicking HERE.

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