The last several years, the town of Pueblo, Colorado has hosted the National Little Britches Rodeo Association Finals Rodeo. Heartwarming, wholesome, family-oriented, hard-working, and inspirational are only five of countless words to describe both the participants and volunteers for Hope Counts of NLBRA. Some 2,000 kids, between the ages of 5 and 18, from 21 states compete in more than 275 “Little Britches” rodeos every year. Their most recent Finals Rodeo was held in July and members of Spalding Labs were again on hand to help with the Hope Counts Crisis Fundraising. According to Tom Spalding, President of Spalding Labs, “Of all the events we do every year, Little Britches is the most fun.”
The Hope Counts - Crisis Fund of the NLBRA was founded by Sydnee Christensen of Utah when she was a mere 12 years old. She wanted to help injured rodeo kids and their families facing catastrophic events. Sydnee started brainstorming ideas, lit a fire under her mom, and they began putting together the business side. Sponsorship Coordinator for the NLBRA, Sarah Faith Wiens, had this to say about Sydnee’s endeavor, "It's one thing for an association to start up a crisis fund, it's quite another to have a 12-year-old member start one. It makes me so proud to be a small part of an organization that has members willing to help one another in such a large way. The sport of rodeo is dangerous, there is no getting around it. Anytime you mix livestock, kids and a competitive atmosphere there are bound to be accidents and when that happens it's comforting to know that families aren't alone. NLBRA is truly an association where character is developed, western traditions live and legends begin!"
Sydnee’s base idea for fundraising was cleaning trailers for rodeo participants using Spalding’s Bye Bye Odor as they were checking in. Everyone who made a donation received the Hope Counts signature Blue Feather. The volunteers worked hard, cleaning trailers, for three days. Their youthful teamwork and dedication to serving others touched the heart of Spalding’s video director, Berry Landen who was on location shooting the Finals Rodeo. On the spot, Landen decided to produce the “Hope Counts: Kids helping kids get better” video.
Both Spalding Lab’s video and Blue Feathers went viral at that year’s NFR in Las Vegas.
Expanding on Sydnee’s trailer cleaning concept, Larry Garner with Spalding Labs, suggested they not only donate the Bye Bye Odor used to clean the trailers but then sell Bye Bye Odor at the event giving 100% of the proceeds to Hope Counts for unlimited fundraising possibilities. Garner said, “It’s a win-win-win. The kids raise money to help others. Spalding’s Bye Bye Odor cleans the trailers which means less flies, better smell and happier animals. We all know happier animals are better competitors.” The premier year’s overwhelming response was thanks to the many Little Britches alumni, now top professional cowboys and cowgirls who wore the blue feathers at NFR. The buzz in Las Vegas that year was, ‘what are all these blue feathers for?’ generating enormous baseline awareness for Hope Counts.
Again this year Spalding Labs had plenty of donated Bye Bye Odor on hand, along with some additional man power to help the kids clean the trailers, and raise over $4000. Hope Counts not only gives back to the rodeo community in need, but also teaches kids teamwork, volunteerism and selfless acts of service. Wise beyond her years, Sydnee states “Aristotle said ‘virtue is its own reward’ I think we all may get a little extra reward here.”
Angelea Walkup is a US Dressage Federation gold medalist best known in the horse world as web series host of HorseGirlTV and producer of the equibarre workout. She is a career content creator and holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. You can connect with her on Twitter @AKwalkup or her Facebook Page.
Deer flies are water breeders and can travel long distances, making them impossible to control in their larval stages. However, there are a few ways to help keep them away from you. BugPellent Gel is a good repellent if they are bothering you while out riding. If they bother you more in a specific spot, such as near a pool or in a back yard, etc., then a trap may be another way to go. There are traps that you can build yourself. You can search online for plans to build the home made version by searching for Manitoba Trap. For deer flies, another trap that works pretty well is to get something like a kickball and paint it blue (deer flies are particularly attracted to blue), then cover the ball in a product called Tanglefoot (you can usually find this at places like HomeDepot), then hang the sticky blue ball in a tree near where you spend time.
Extended Deer Fly Information
"We and they love your Fly Predators. No annoying flies around the manure in the barn or even in our house." says happy Fly Predator customer Kathy S.
Kathy cares for her big and beautiful oxen Dale, Max, Jake, and Chip by using Fly Predators. Her oxen weight about 2,600 pounds each and stand anywhere from 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall! That's a lot to love! :-)
Thanks so much for sharing these terrific photos with us! You can read more wonderful customer testimonials close to home on our Customer Quotes Near Me page!
Dr. Robert M. Miller discovered Pat Parelli at Bishop Mule Days when he was not yet 26 years of age. Dr. Miller recalls witnessing a young man loudly explaining to a small group of perhaps a dozen people how he was going to mount a mule colt and ride it for the first time. "This ought to be good" Dr. Miller thought to himself, and stopped to watch the show. A half an hour later he returned to his camper where his wife, Debby Miller was taking a break and told her, "I want you to come see this young guy working with a colt. I have never seen such natural talent in my life."
After Pat's demonstration was over Dr. Miller introduced himself.
"I know who you are." Pat said. "You work for Western Horseman Magazine."
Dr. Miller collected Pat's contact information and on his way home, got an idea. Dr. Miller pitched the idea of an article for Western Horseman Magazine to Pat on his colt starting technique. Pat was delighted. The article turned out to be a series of three in three consecutive issues titled, "A New Look at Same Old Methods." The series launched a demand for Pat's services, and the rest is history.
You can read Dr. Miller's 3 part series articles "A New Look at Same Old Methods" here.
Dr. Sharon Spier is a brilliant member of the faculty at the U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in California. I recently attended one of her lectures at a veterinary conference. The subject was Pigeon Fever, a rapidly spreading disease of horses caused a bacteria, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis.
I never heard of this disease when I was in veterinary school in Colorado, nor when I practiced in Arizona.
However, after I moved to Southern California in 1957 I saw many hundreds of cases. Known as “Dryland Distemper” a majority of cases involved abscessation in the pectoral muscles of the chest. The huge swellings led to the term “Pigeon Fever”.
Nearly all of these cases survived, but in some cases the abscesses developed elsewhere as in the belly wall, the sheath of males, or the udder of mares. Still, most cases survived, with or without treatment. However, sometimes the abscesses were internal, as in the abdomen. If such an abscess ruptured, the patient usually died.
Back then, how the disease was spread and why it was so regional (mostly in Southern California, but some in the North) was a mystery.
I was aware of several factors:
1. Those ranches and stables that used fly repellants on their horses rarely got the disease. Most of the cases I saw were at places that did not regularly use repellants on the horses even though many of them used insecticides on the premises.
Similarly, once Fly Predators (Spalding Laboratories) became available, the users very rarely experienced the disease. So, for example, because I have always used repellants on my equines, and Fly Predators on the premises since 1979, I have never had a case of the disease in my stock.
This led me to believe that the bacteria were spread by biting flies, now a proven fact. House Flies, Stable Flies and Horn Flies have been incriminated.
2. I often saw cases in the same horse year after year. This suggested a poor immune response and it explains why, after half a century, a simple effective vaccine is not yet available. Research continues.
3. The disease has spread slowly, but progressively all over the U.S.A. and elsewhere. It is more common in warmer climates (probably because of a longer fly season) but now is seen in all climate zones.
Although not a highly fatal disease, it is a nasty, painful, and debilitating problem. For now the best preventative seems to be fly control, including the regular use of repellants on the horses, plus proper use of Fly Predators. On small properties, like mine, this necessitates convincing neighbors to use Fly Predators. I was able to do this. Many horse properties are small enough so that even if Fly Predators are used, the flies from neighboring properties negate the effectiveness of the program.
I have often thought that subdivisions zoned for horses and horse clubs would do well to adopt a Fly Predator program as a communal effort.
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