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Sale_Blog
HS_Update
May 18, 2009

EVA Requirement Lifted by Montana Department of Livestock

From:  Dr. Martin Zaluski

The Montana Department of Livestock has rescinded a 2007 rule concerning the importation of stallions and testing for Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA), and a new rule will take effect on Monday, May 18, the department announced today.

Dr. Marty Zaluski, state veterinarian, said the new rule is "more appropriate" than the older, now rescinded rule, which was put into place several years ago on the heels of a multi-state outbreak of the virus.  Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) is a transmissible disease of horses, donkeys and mules that can reduce reproductive success and can be fatal in young foals.

The new rule on the importation of stallions that test positive for Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) will take effect on Monday, May 18, Zaluski said.

The new rule requires that the State Veterinarian be officially notified before any stallion known to be a carrier and shedder of EVA can be brought into Montana.  In addition, if a stallion testing positive on a serum diagnostic test for EVA has no certified proof of vaccination against the disease, a copy of a lab report confirming there is no EVA virus in its semen must be provided before importation will be allowed.

An order to implement the new rule beginning on Monday, May 18, was issued earlier this week with the approval of the Montana Board of Livestock.  Those with questions about it should call the Department of Livestock at 406-444-2043. 

 

 

 

May 3, 2009

Montana Bill Becomes Law

Through the link you can read the first Associated Press report that we received about Montana HB 418 that encourages investment in horse processing facilities in Montana, and provides protection from harrassment. 

 

Congratulations and Much Appreciation to Everyone Who Wrote, Called, Emailed, Faxed, and Testified in Support of This Important Legislation!


As we were waiting to find out whether Montana's Governor would veto the legislation, or allow it to become law without his signature, we learned that Representative Frank Nicely of Tennessee has introduced a bill in his state which is modeled after Montana's bill. North Dakota has also taken proactive measures to facilitate the opening of horse processing plants in their state. More information about the plethora of positive movement around the Nation will be forthcoming in the next few days.
By The Associated Press
HELENA - Legislation to allow investor-owned horse slaughterhouses in Montana and limit opportunities for legal action against them became law on Friday, after Gov. Brian Schweitzer neither signed nor vetoed the measure.Friday was the deadline for Schweitzer to act and, with no action by him, House Bill 418 automatically became law.

The bill includes some protection against court injunctions that would stop or delay slaughterhouse construction. The measure sponsored by Rep. Ed Butcher, R-Winifred, aims to limit the kind of legal challenges that forced the last U.S. slaughterhouses, which were in Illinois and Texas, to close in 2007.

During the 2009 legislative session, which ended Tuesday, Schweitzer rejected the limit on legal action. He said it would strip people of appeal rights important in environmental protection. The Legislature then rejected the changes Schweitzer wanted.    Butcher said during the session that the governor's amendments would make the bill "an empty shell because nobody's going to invest five to six million in a business in Montana if they're going to be harassed."

Schweitzer has said that as an owner of livestock and horses, he supports the humane processing of horses to produce meat for human consumption.

His communications director, Sarah Elliott, issued a terse statement Friday, saying only that "the governor made his opinion on this bill known, the Legislature did the same. No action was taken and the bill has now become law."

The bill brought lawmakers and the governor a flood of e-mails and telephone messages, from across the country, in support of the legislation and against it.
..

APRIlL 2009

HB418 LANDS ON GOVERNOR SCHWEITZER'S DESK!!

The Montana Legislature showed its courage and its integrity last week by passing House Bill 418 that will help the horse industry and horse people nation wide.

There is just one step left for HB 418 to become Montana Law, the Governor needs to sign the bill. Because Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer is heavily financed by out-of-Montana dollars and is being heavily lobbied by environmental and animal rights activitists to veto the bill...it is really important that he hears from rural America and horse people everywhere.
 
If you live in Montana be sure and get all of your friends and neighbors to call, email or write and tell Governor Schweitzer how important it is for all of us, no matter where we live, that horse owners’ rights and options are preserved in America.
Be brief. Be specific. Be polite. Make sure you ask for the bill to be signed without vetoing any part of it. The injunction against harrassing lawsuits is so important in order to encourage foreign investors to take the risk to build a $5 to $6 million dollar processing plant that would be a benefit to every horse owner, whether they ever send a horse to slaughter or not, because it will help the horse market for all horses recover.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED - PLEASE CONTACT THE MONTANA GOVERNOR'S OFFICE:

PHONE calls to Governor Brian Schweitzer's office - (406) 444-3111 - ask to leave a message for the Governor to sign HB 418 as it is.
 
FAX a note or letter to Governor Brian Schweitzer - (406) 444-5529 - asking him to sign HB 418 as it is (and you could add some of your own thoughts).  (Be sure and sign the letter and give your phone number

MAIL A LETTER to:   Governor Brian Schweitzer --  P.O Box 200801-- Capitol Station-- Helena, Montana 59620  (this may be the most effective way to get a message to him and you can expand on your thoughts regarding the need for horse processing in Montana.)
 
ONLINE: You can leave an online comment for the Governor on his website.

Click here for a sample letter.

APRIL 2009

KLA: PETA Challenged On Poor Pet Adoption Record

 

The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) has published documents showing that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) killed 95% of the adoptable pets in its care last year. According to public records from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, PETA euthanized 2,124 pets last year, while placing only seven in adoptive homes. Since 1998, a total of 21,339 dogs and cats have been euthanized by PETA at its Norfolk, VA, headquarters.

 

CCF questioned the fact that PETA doesn’t operate an adoption shelter despite a $32 million annual budget. David Martosko, CCF’s research director, called PETA a "hypocritical killing machine."

 

"Since killing pets is A-OK with PETA, why should anyone listen to their demands about eating meat, using lab rats for medical research or taking children to the circus?" Martosko said.

 

CCF is a non-profit coalition supported by the food industry to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices.


SEPTEMBER 2008

EQUINE CRUELTY ACT PASSES COMMITTEE BY VOICE VOTE

The “Equine Cruelty Prevention Act” passed the House Judiciary Committee by voice vote on Tuesday.

This means HR 6598 is now up for consideration for a floor vote by the full House of Representatives. This Act (H.R. 6598) would make it a federal crime to buy, sell, own, or transport a horse, alive or dead, with the intent to use it for human consumption.

Republican House Judiciary Members offered several amendments to revise this bill. However, all but one of these amendents failed. Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) offered an amendment that replaced the words "Attorney General" and inserted "in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture." This amendment passed.

As a result of Rep. Goodlatte's efforts, the House Parlimentarian will have to review HR 6598, and decide how to address this amendment. This maneuver will soak up time and slow the process of allowing the bill to come up for a full House vote.

Sources report that due to the fact HR 6598 did not come before his committee, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) will send a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) requesting that HR 6598 not come to the floor until the Ag Committee holds a hearing and reviews the bill. This also delays HR 6598 from advancing to the floor.

Furthermore, Chairman Peterson is strongly opposed to this bill and an Ag. Committee Hearing on HR 6598 would give him and his colleagues a chance to hammer HR 6598. The combined efforts of Goodlatte, Peterson and other key Members of Congress should prevent HR 6598 from advancing any further.

However, individuals like yourself must make phone calls and send emails to U.S. House Members. Find a complete list of Representatives and contact information here.

Jess Peterson with the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association is based in Washington, DC and has been attending these hearings and said, “The Human Society and its allies have been in full force at all of these Hearings. They filled the first 3 rows at today’s Hearing. These groups are definitely charged to take on production agriculture, and we gotta’ keep all our allies pulling together on these animal welfare issues. A HSUS lobbyist nearly crunched my hat— fortunately for the both of us the lobbyist did not—but this sure was a frustrating hearing.”

 

 

February 2008

January 26 sale - The big news of the weekend was the blazing loose horse trade - right back on track and bucks better than it has been in three months - right here at Billings Livestock.

The loose horses reclaimed their lost ground and gained some - as the top selling loose horse brought $2,200 and the top 20 averaged $823. Horse for horse, the loose horse sale averages tell the story - $386 per head average on 118 head - that’s up nearly $150 per head over December’s figures.

Here is the breakdown - Top five averaged $1,380, top 10 at $1,053, top 20 $823, top 50 brought $606, and the top 100 averaged $427 - and the entire loose horse sale - 118 head, averaged $386.

Top five - $2,200, $1,500, $1,250, $1,050, and $900.

Right smack dab in the middle - 59 from the top and 59 from the bottom - that horse brought $350.

All markets were represented in addition to prospectors.

Read the complete article inside this issue of the BLS Horse Sale Update!

Our next loose horse offering is 9 a.m. Sunday, February 24.

LOOSE UPDATE - By Bill Parker, BLS Horse Sale Manager:

The loose horse market came alive and showed a lot of strength at our January 26 horse sale.

One hundred eighteen horses were offered at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning to a full house of buyers.

The prospect market was extremely strong with several outfitters on the seats and buyers shipping horses to the eastern and southern United States.

Several prospects were sold in the $1,000 to $2,200 range.

Buyers were on the seats representing all of the major foreign pakcing plants and the weigh up market was on fire.

The market was a full $10 a hundred higher on all classes of weighup horses and in some cases, up as much as $15 a hundred over our December horse Sale.

I fully expect this market to stay strong for the next 60-90 days.

If you have loose horses to sell, it's time to think about it.

Remember - quality and condition will always bring top dollar on any market.

So - whether you have riding horses or loose horses to market, have them in the best flesh possible when you bring them to town.

We at Billings Livestock Horse Sales promise to continue to work hard to ensure your horses bring the most dollars possible and look forward to your business in 2008. Call me with your marketing questions and - Come see us!

 

December 3, 2007

Jann, here could be answers you could give folks who might contact you wondering what to do. I’ve contacted Nancy Robinson at LMA and she’s going to find out if money could be sent into a fund to Rep. Stenholm, OK who is our counsel there in Washington, DC to see if he could get some extra pressure started getting this resolved.

As far as what these people could write to their Congressmen, a couple of points that are imperative to bear down on other than “what are we going to do with these horses” or “it’s totally unfair“. It is very, very necessary for them to pound home is this:

1. It flies in the face of First Amendment that any rule could make it impossible for people to sell their livestock as they see fit under constitutional law. It’s private property. Just as anyone who owns a horse has the right to bury that animal in the back yard or they can move it on at their discretion to slaughter channels. This is private property, they should have, under constitutional law, the privilege to do that.

2. There are three words in the law “FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION“. All this says, should this stay enacted is that these same vegetarians and free-wheelers could take after the beef cattle industry, the hog industry, the poultry industry, any item that the vegetarian movement sees fit not to eat as a human diet. This flies in the face of the first Amendment. What we’re dealing with here is a bonafide First Amendment situation and legally the industry across America can and should preside in any federal court in America with the above major arguments.

Don’t give up, we’re going to need your money, we are going to need your input. We need examples of losses.

Pat Goggins

Editorial by Pat Goggins, October 29, 2007

Horsemen, You Must Help!

“SO WHAT DO WE DO?  ANYTHING? SOMETHING? SO LONG AS WE JUST DON'T SIT THERE. IF WE SCREW IT UP, START OVER. TRY SOMETHING ELSE. IF WE WAIT UNTIL WE'VE SATISFIED ALL THE UNCERTAINTIES, IT MAY BE TOO LATE.”   Lee Iacocca

Our three day horse sale for October was a very good horse sale in most all respects. There were problems with the loose trade - there are problems nationally across America within the loose horse market.

The loose horse market situation is a First Amendment Right problem, and you folks who get this publication in more than 36 states must act. All of you have two Senators and some of you have several Representatives in Washington, DC. This is where the problem lies, and if we’re going to get this First Amendment Right settled, it has to be from you and me and all the other folks interested in our individual rights.                                                                        

I understand there are quite a few folks around the country who have a favorite horse or two, that they wouldn’t think of putting down in a slaughter situation. That is OK, that is your First Amendment right. You own the horse, you should be able to do with that horse what you see fit. If you want to put the horse down and bury him in the back yard, that’s sure fine, but there are many, many across America who are in the industry in a rather large way who must move the cull stock on.

This keeps a safety-net under your industry that is not going to help the total industry if we lose it. There is a huge demand for horse meat in much of the world.                                                                     

When I was a kid I rode in a wagon for quite a few falls helping during a roundup of some 15,000 yearlings in a huge, huge area. We are out on a wagon from daylight until dark for several weeks. The owner was very ‘frugal’ and he put down a two year old or so, a nice fat one and that is what we would have to eat. I liked it. I, for one, enjoy horse meat. A lot of folks don’t like to think about it but believe me folks, it’s very good.                                             

When you go to France or Belgium or Italy, and in many of the European countries, when you go to a fancy restaurant that will charge you high prices for food. If it’s meat, you can bet your bottom dollar that most of it is horse meat. Itšs very tasty, very tender, doesn’t have much fat in it and it is very much preferred by the great gourmet cooks around the world.                     

Be that as it may, it is a situation of free enterprise and First Amendment Rights for all of us. So, if you as a horseman chose to move your cull stock into the auction, that is your prerogative. If you own it you should be able to do with it what you care to.                                                 

But, here is the problem:This situation that we are into doesn’t have a lot to do with ‘slaughtering horses’, but it has everything to do with vegetarianism and folks with big, big dollars coming through the Humane Society, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), Friends of the Earth and other organizations. Their main drive is to attempt to keep people from eating meat in their diet.                        

When vegetarianism becomes a religion, and it has, we must act.    We who demand First Amendment Rights, we who demand free enterprise, we can’t just stand back and talk to each other. We have got to put our money where our mouth is, we have got to get a hold of our Representatives and Senators and if necessary, put together a conclave on a given day and arrive on the steps of Washington, DC and make demands.               

This will require getting excellent counsel. Lawyers are not cheap but neither is your business. It is a very enterprising business. We, at BLS, have proven that and we want to continue.                                                

So, I’m telling you, you have got to help. You can not just talk to each other about it and make threats. That doesn’t do any good.

We had a great sale for October. For instance, our top 100 horses averaged $4446 compared to $3576 last year. And last year we had a top horse of $42,000 which made a difference in how the averages play out. This year, we had a top of $27,000 ­ very respectable, we thought. In the loose horse market we lost about $250 a head just because the horses had to be moved further, they had to be moved out of the borders of the United States. With the cost of moving stock and losing competition, the sale on loose horses acted accordingly.  

We must act and we must act now.

But I want all of you horsemen to understand that a young, thin, unattractive horse that doesn’t weigh much, doesn’t have much muscle yet, he will not bring very much money. He never has, you know, but if he’s a prospect and has some pedigree behind him, there are folks who are looking for this kind. It might be good for you to go ahead and feed out some of those young horses, those thin horses, get some weight on them and let this thing cool down a little because they are the horses that suffer. I think all you horsemen know that.

We must act. Wešve got to protect this industry, one of the greatest free enterprise industries in America and we here at BLS, our horse sales are right at the top. And we propose to keep it there. We have got involved in making this a better business but we can’t do it alone. We’ve got to have you, the leading horse folks of this great country to help. You get this publication ­ you must act.

Thank you very much.  We'll see you at Billings Livestock for our next horse sale, November 24-25.

Pat Goggins

News!   September 25, 2007

BLS September loose market trumps Sept '06

Amazing - even with the unannounced closure (again) of the last U.S. processing plant on the Friday afternoon prior to the
September sale weekend, the BLS loose market maintained it's strength AND - was actually $126 per head BETTER on the top 100 than in September one year ago!!

How about that??!! The top 100 in September 2007 averaged $653 per head - the top 100 in September 2006 averaged $527 - the comparison on the top 50 is even more astounding - in September 2006 they averaged $643 per head, while September 2007 they brought $838 per head - now that's $195 MORE!!!Top market prices ARE paid at Billings Livestock - rhyme and reason - a full slate of buyers are in attendance at BLS - from top-end to bottom-end - from prospects to recipients - from riders to buckers - the buyers are on the seats to buy them "as is, how is". Your loose horse is marketed to a full sale arena.

Comparing September 2007 against August 2007 prices (when one U.S. plant remained in operation) - the top 100 brought $692 per head in August vs. $653 in September.

HONESTLY - It's worth the gamble and coggins test (if nec) to bring them to BLS - you stand a good shot of your loose consignment exceeding current market value.   It's not a secret at BLS - we publish the averages!

Here are the stats for September 2007: 469 head offered loose; top five averaged $1,260; Top 10 came in at $1,003; Top 20 averaged $817; top 50 brought $643; and the top 100 averaged $527.

Next loose offering:  Sunday, October 28 at 9 a.m.

October 1 2007 - John Scott's Billings, Montana based

"S RANCH" wins AQHA Remuda of the Year Award!! 

John Scott Jr.’s father was raising “quarter” horses long before there was an American Quarter Horse Association. On September 25, Scott’s S Ranch, headquartered in Billings, MT, received the coveted AQHA/Bayer Best Remuda Award.

“The Quarter Horse is noted for its Western Heritage and preserving that heritage is what the John Scott Ranch is all about,” said Scott (pictured), who has registered more than 1,500 horses with AQHA. “Our goals are to raise quality horses to be used in competition, including cutting, rodeo, barrel racing, reining and, of course, for use on the ranch.”

Cattle and horses far outnumbered people when Scott’s great great-grandfather, a friend of Davy Crockett and a Mississippi Supreme Court judge, settled in the Republic of Texas.

“At that time, they didn’t work the country with a (chuck) wagon,” Scott pointed out. “They’d just take a pack horse and three or four of them would gather cattle. They called that a cow hunt.”

In 1925, John Scott Sr. purchased 10 daughters by the Hickory Bill son called San Antonio Sorrel to supply his Texas remuda with mounts. By the 1930’s he was raising his first crops by the Harmon Baker son Jazz.

After serving in World War II, John Scott Jr. moved to Montana to expand the family’s ranch holdings by 120,000 acres, in partnership with his brothers and father. In 1959, Scott acquired his own ranch and by the late 1960s employed 25 cowboys; owned a feedlot that held 30,000 head – 50 percent of which were S Ranch cattle; and ran 10,000 mother cows. In 1969, he held what was at the time the largest one-brand, one-owner cattle sale in U.S. history with 5,300 head selling for $1,001,035.

Today, the S Ranch is still owned and operated by the Scott family – John Scott Jr., John Scott III, Maggie Scott Brown and Sissy Scott Croft are all general partners of the 227,000-acre ranch operation. The Billings ranch has 58 mares, three stallions and 78 geldings; the 23,000-acre S Ranch keeps 4,000 head of cattle in its feedlot, runs 4,000 head in their cow/calf operation, and feeds about 1,600 head of stocker cattle.

“We always broke and rode the fillies and geldings,” said Scott of the S Ranch Quarter Horse program. “For years, we rode mares only on the Powder River ranch and geldings on the Billings ranches. We drew our replacements for the broodmare band from the better mares, as we needed them. We tried to breed the best of the mares to the best studs and over the years, I have added a few mares from the Burnett Ranches in Texas, the Ronald Mason (Cross J) Ranch in Nowata, Oklahoma, and the Gill Cattle Co. in Arizona and Montana.”

The S Ranch’s current remuda has been greatly influenced by Doc O Dynamite, who has sired the earners of more than $650,000 in NCHA competition, and Paddys Irish Whiskey, a Peppy San Badger son whose offspring have earned $800,000 in NCHA, NRHA and NRCHA events. Earlier sires of importance included One Eyed Hippy, Bill Van Vactor, Texas Gill, Desecho, and Eddie 40.

“I really feel that the Eddie 40 horses were the best that we ever raised,” noted Scott. “They had everything a cowboy could want - lots of cow, easy to ride, good balance, soft mouth, and heart that would not quit.”

S Ranch will be presented with the Best Remuda Award in November, at the Working Ranch Cowboys Association Championship Ranch Rodeo in Amarillo, TX.

“Ranches such as S Ranch have contributed to our nation’s greatness and helped build the American Quarter Horse Association into what it is today,” said AQHA executive director Bill Brewer. “With this Award, we honor American Quarter Horse ranches that continue the traditions of the past.

August 29, 2007 - NEW IMPORT LAWS FOR STALLIONS

STALLION OWNERS!!!

It's new, it's important, and it's the law!!

As of September 7 the STATE OF MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF LIVESTOCK has imposed mandatory EVA testing on all stallions 13 months and older entering the State of Montana. Here is the official statement: - As of Sept 7th, the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) is requiring testing for Equine Viral Arteritis on stallions 13 months of age and older imported into the state of Montana. These horses need a negative test from an approved laboratory within 30 days of import. Horses imported for exhibition are exempted from this official order. For additional questions, please contact the Department of Livestock at (406) 444-2043 or visit the DOL web site at http://mt.gov/liv/animalhealth/index.asp.

Editors Note: Consignors - please plan! The test takes a week or so to run and get the results back...We do have a listing of the labs that are approved to run the test here at BLS - just give us a call, we'll fax them to you or your veterinarian. Thanks!

July 25, 2007 - COURT RULES CAVEL CAN RE-OPEN

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday (July 18) that Cavel International can resume processing horses in it's Dekalb, Ill, facility while it awaits a final decision on it's appeal of a state law forbidding the practice.

Cavell attorney J. Philip Calabrese said an injunction was granted Wednesday that allows Belgium-based Cavel, which has been shuttered since June 28 to operate while the appeal is being heard.

"It allows Cavel to operate pending resolution of the appeal", he said.  "I imagine it's going to take a little bit of time to get everything together, but they'll reopen shortly".

The plant "will be operating soon", Cavel Manager Jim Tucker said Thursday.

Cavel's courtroom saga began May 25 when it challenged a new state law forbidding the processing of horses for human consumption.

Cavel ships most of the meat overseas to diners in Asia and western Europe ghough a small prition is sold to US zoos.

The company was granted two temporary restraining orders that allowed it to keep operating while the case was being heard in federal court, the last of which expired on June 28.

On July 5, U.S. District Judge Federick Kapala ruled that Cavel had failed to show the law was unconstitutional.

Cavel appealed the decision last Friday.   No court dates had been set in the appeal as of Thursday morning, Calabrese said.

reprinted from the Western Livestock Reporter, July 25, 2007

July 9, 2007 - CAVEL INTERNATIONAL TO REMAIN CLOSED

Cavel International, DeKalb, Ill, the last U.S. horse processing plant will remain closed. 

Last Thursday, July 5, a federal judge threw out the plant's latest challenge to the state law that shut it down. 

The judge sided with the state, saying it has a legitimate interest in regulating food for human consumption and ensuring the humane treatment of animals.  Cavel's attorneys reportedly are considering whether or not to continue the court battle.

May 10, 2007 - COURT GRANTS REPREIVE

The U.S, Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia decided 2-1 this week to grant an emergency request from Cavel International to resume its horse processing operations while the company considers an appeal of a lower court ruling that shut it doors March 28.

In that court case, a federal judge decided that an arrangement in which processing plants were paying USDA to cover inspection costs was illegal.  The suit was filed by the Humane Society of the US, an animal acitivist group. 

The two plants in Texas are currently closed as a result of an unrelated 1949 Texas law. 

CALL YOUR SENATORS!!!  This affects all of us in the horse business - all levels of quality - our government needs to hear from us.  S.311 is currently pending in the Senate.  Main Capitol switchboard 202-224-3121 ask for YOUR state's SENATORS!  Go, Go, Go!!

July 2006 - NEW HOST HOTEL!

With the closing and sale of the Howard Johnson's Inn, Billings Livestock is proud to announce that BILLINGS HOTEL & CONVENTION CENTER will be the new host hotel offering a special "Horse Sale Rate" of $59.99.  Reservations can be made on-line www.billingshotel.net or call 406-248-7151.   They offer a full service restaurant, casino and lounge, indoor pool and waterslides, acres of parking, complimentary limo and shuttle.  EXIT 446.

BEST WESTERN CLOCKTOWER INN is located downtown at Exit 452.  They are a totally remodeled facility located in the heart of downtown Billings. It is very well done and first class.  "Stellas" restaurant and bakery is located on premise.  They offer complimentary shuttle service and special "Horse Sale" rate of $64.99.  406-259-5511.

A Celebration for a Champion - Clay Tryan

January 2006 - We're proud of Montana's first World Champion Team Roper, Clay Tryan! Billings Livestock hosted a reception in his honor on Thursday evening, December 29 attended by over 200 friends, fans, and family.

Tryan, along with partner Patrick Smith, captured the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s 2005 Team Roping World Championship at the NFR in Las Vegas Dec. 2-11. Tryan and Smith pocketed $71,683 during the 10-day Finals Rodeo, bringing their 2005 earnings to a grand total of $167,204 apiece. In addition, the duo set a new NFR arena record - posting a 3.5 second run in the ninth go-around.

On Thursday evening, Tryan, with his wife, Bobbi, his dad Dennis Tryan and mom Terri Kaye Kirkland, and other family members surrounding him, sat quietly as accolades were laid on him.

As his NFR television coverage played overhead on the big screens, Scott Breen, sportscaster for KTVQ-2 congratulated Tryan and complimented him on a job "well done".

Joe Kusek of the Billings Gazette concurred, saying "Our World Champion is exemplary - he is a worthy champion and a testatment of what is good about rodeo."

BLS owner Patrick K. Goggins opened the program by welcoming everyone. He recalled back in the mid '90's when Clay was playing basketball at Shepherd High School. Goggins said Clay and his brother Travis would miss a few games or leave early because they were going roping.

"We said at the time, well you better decide what you want to do, rope or play basketball," Goggins said, adding, "Well, I guess you did."

BLS Horse Sale Manager Bill Parker knows Tryan well. He watched him grow up while roping with Tryan's dad, Dennis.

In addition, Clay's last "punch-the-time-clock" job was at Billings Livestock Commission Horse Sales - the winter before he qualified for his first NFR.

Parker said he admired Clay for joining the great world champions and also because "You have always been and still are a good person."

Steve Miller of Montana Silversmith's, Columbus, MT creator of the gold buckles for the PRCA World Champions, said "I kept telling them in Columbus to go ahead and put 'Tryan' on the World Champion team roping buckle because I was pretty sure one of them was going to win it."

Family friend and roper Levi Britton said he is working with Montana Highway Department officials to get a highway sign which states that Billings is the home of Clay Tryan, World Champion Team Roper.

Way to go, Clay - rope on!!!

(Becky Tescher Robison contributed to this story)