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Anna Belle’s Debut at the NRCA Finals

Special French Bear (Anna Belle) made her debut as a rodeo horse last weekend at the NRCA Finals held in Rapid City, SD. The 6-year-old mare owned by Westergren Quarter Horses did great and even brought home a little cash placing 4th in the first go-round. She also finished 5th in the second go-round and 7th in the average against a very tough field of barrel racers.

Anna Belle was first started by Shelly Mueller and has been a part of the Routier Ranch program since the beginning of her futurity year.  Thanks to Westergren Quarter Horses for sharing such a ‘special’ horse with us!

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Riley is 2012 Reserve Champion Slope Circuit Heeler!

Last night the 2012 Slope Circuit Rodeo Banuet was held in Marmarth, ND and Riley got to come home with this nice Air Ride saddle pad for being the reserve champion heeler for the year. (I’m thinking this pad will look great on one of the barrel horses!) Congrats Riley… And thanks to everyone who helps keep the Slope Circuit going!

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Wisconsin Cows Misbehavin’

One of my uncles in River Falls, WI owns a cow and calf who made headline news this week! I forget that cows in town in Wisconsin is a bit more unusual than cows in town in Buffalo, SD!

Read the article from the River Falls Journal below or click here: Cows Run Amok, Cause ‘Utter’ Chaos In River Falls, Wis. for a pretty entertaining news clip!

River Falls police dragnet seeks to contain bovine escapees

While not considered armed and dangerous, police officers had their hands full for two hours Sunday afternoon, Nov. 11, after two stray cows were spotted at DeSanctis Park. The heifer and calf apparently came from the Paul Haskins farm just west of the city. When officers got to the park, the cow suspects had hoofed on.

They ambled south on Grove Street, past the city compost site and school bus garage before ending up by a fence at the old power plant overlooking the South Fork River.

Efforts to herd them into a UW-River Falls lab farm horse trailer proved fruitless. The pair of cows wanted their freedom and the odyssey continued.

Police, using squad cars, tried to hem the cows in so they wouldn’t cause a traffic accident. Members of the Haskins family even assisted on horseback.

One police sergeant on duty said the procession drew a hearty crowd of onlookers who seemed to relish the Sunday afternoon spectacle.

The heifer and calf eventually split up as they drifted past Westside Elementary School, the under-construction Eco-Village and Faith Lutheran Church.

Officers lost sight of them in the Dry Run Road area of St. Croix County as they moved in the general direction of the farm where they belonged. This occurred at 4:30 p.m. as daylight was giving way to darkness.

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Thank you veterans of all kinds!

Happy Veteran’s Day!

The story below was being passed around Facebook in honor of this Veteran’s Day… just another (easily forgotten) example of the role horses have played in our country’s history.

Life Magazine named the filly in this photo as one of the Top 100 Heroes in American History.

She was a former Korean race horse who was purchased by a Marine at a Seoul race track in 1953 for $250, and she served in the Korean War with suc…

h distinction she was awarded the rank of Staff Sergeant USMC. Her name would become SSgt Reckless.

One of her battles….the Battle of Vegas was hopeless. Chinese troops outnumbered the 2nd Battalion of the 5th Marines by ten to one. It seemed there was no chance for a victory other than to withdraw the Marines and regroup for a counter attack, but the troops at Vegas were nearly cut off. Escape was almost impossible.

The Battalion determined the best tactic for escape was to protect the movements of the Marines with cover fire, and a heavy “wall of fire” was to be provided by launching continuous rounds from recoilless rifles…otherwise known as reckless rifles. High ground was chosen for the gun placements, but the needed ammunition was heavy. The rugged winding trails leading to their placements were 45 degrees up-hill. Supplying ammo would be difficult, but constant re-arming of the guns was needed in order for the plan to succeed. The “wall of fire” could not stop until the Marines were safe.

Reckless had been trained to supply these “reckless rifles” on the front lines with ammo while avoiding enemy fire as much as possible. Her learning had been swift, and she did her task without assistance from a human.

The battle lasted for five days. In one 24 hour period alone, while under heavy fire, the little sorrel mare made over fifty trips up the rugged winding trails of the forty-five degree hill. On that day she traveled over 35 miles, and carried more than 4 tons of ammo to the gun emplacements with no human assistance. She stopped only once: to put herself between three trapped Marines and enemy fire while “shielding” them to safety. Twice wounded, she was undaunted. She knew the importance of her task, and every Marine in the Battalion knew it, too. They gave her water and food, and cleaned blood from her eyes as she passed them by.

In the end the plan worked, and constant fire never ceased. The fire curtain held, and protected the Marines as they regrouped, and then re-took the territory. The battle was won.

At the end of the battle, Sgt Reckless was given a rub down and special treats. She drank water, beer, and soda from the helmets of grateful Marines. The next day she awoke with lameness. She walked around constantly until the limp went away. After she “shook it off,” she returned to the munitions depot on her own accord….ready to carry ammo up the hill again. It’s what she wanted to do. There would be other battles to fight….this had been just one of many.

On November 10, 1960 she was given the rank of Staff Sergeant, USMC in a ceremony held for her at her Camp Pendleton, Ca. home. In attendance at the ceremony were her comrades in arms from Korea, her two foals whom she had given to the United States Marines and Marine Corp Commandant Gen Randolph Pate whom had fought side by side with her in Korea. Gen. Pate personally presented the stripes to her.

In May of 1968 SSgt Reckless, USMC died. Please never forget her…..and don’t let history forget her, either.

Her Facebook page is here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sgt-Reckless/168429476628917?ref=ts&fref=ts

Her website is here: http://www.sgtreckless.com/

Both links were instrumental in providing information for this post.

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Happy Halloween!

The kids had a grand Halloween! We are a little late in posting this because we wanted to share the video from the annual Headless Horseman barrel race and costume contest which took place the weekend after Halloween this year. For the contest Braden was an Indian chief paired up with Pepper the Indian pony and Payton decided to go as a Witch with her Broom Stick (Classy) instead of Catwoman, who she had dressed up as for Trick or Treating.

They announced all of the entrants in the costume contest into the arena one by one and just before it was his turn to go in Braden decided that not only do indians ride without a saddle, but they shouldn’t ride with a bridle either. So after much discussion I agreed to let him go bridle-less. As you will see from the video [below] it didn’t work out quite as Braden had planned but it did win him 3rd place in the costume contest!

PS Scroll down past the video for more Halloween pictures!

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