What’s better than walking upstairs and seeing a team of Clydesdales tromping up Polk Street just outside of HPPR’s Amarillo studio? The answer: not much! We were thrilled to witness the exhibition of the Budweiser Clydesdales, on parade for the WRCA World Championship Ranch Rodeo. Thanks to Beth Duke, Executive Director at Center City of Amarillo, for letting us know. On Nov. 6, we were able to catch a few great shots. We hope you enjoy them! 

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The American Quarter Horse Association is still considering moving its headquarters from Amarillo to Fort Worth.

As KAMR reports, the AQHA released a statement this week about the potential move.

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A virus confirmed in horses in New Mexico, Texas and Colorado has animal health officials in Kansas warning livestock owners to take precautions at places such as horse competitions.  

Vesicular stomatitis (VSV) can spread between horses, cattle and pigs … or even people. The virus is spread by direct contact or flies.

Thanks so much to Courtnie Stevenson for stopping by High Plains Morning today! She’s the Executive Director of 7 Star Therapeutic Riding Center in Amarillo, a nonprofit organization that provides equine-assisted therapy to physically- and mentally-challenged individuals since 2004. They’re having a fundraiser THIS FRIDAY NIGHT, April 26th called “A Night at the 7 Star Casino,” and at the Piehl Barn in Bushland, TX.

Bureau of Land Management

A sick horse from Weld County, Colorado is prompting a search for hundreds of other horses that may have been exposed to a viral disease.

As The Denver Post reports, Colorado officials think up to 240 horses sold to people in 20 states were on the premises with a male horse infected with Equine Infectious Anemia, a viral disease that has no cure.

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Nine southwest Kansas horses have tested positive for equine infectious anemia that requires euthanasia.

As The Garden City Telegram reports, equine infectious anemia or EIA is described by the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health as a an incurable, infectious viral disease that can be transmitted by blood-contaminated syringes, needles and surgical equipment, or by transfusion of infected blood, biting flies and mosquitoes. Symptoms include fever, anemia and edema.


The Colorado Department of Agriculture is reporting the state’s first confirmed case of equine West Nile Virus this year.

As The Prowers Journal reports, a horse in Larimer County was diagnosed with the virus earlier this month.


The western Kansas horse running in the Kentucky Derby is described as a “handful” but one that could very will win the coveted race.

As The Wichita Eagle repors, McCraken, named for the Kansas town of McCracken, belongs to Janis Whitham of Leoti. Her son, Clay Whitham, describes the 3-year-old horse as a closer.

“He’ll hang back in the pack – and then, after that second turn, he’ll make a move," he said.

Kentucky Derby hopeful has western Kansas ties

Apr 24, 2017
Courtesy / Coady Photography

*This story first appeared in High Plains Journal on April 23, 2017. 

Patience and racehorses do not necessarily coincide. But for a western Kansas family, patience has paid off.

Janis Whitham of Leoti, Kansas, has a horse headed for the Kentucky Derby—if he stays well and continues to train soundly, according to Whitham’s son Clay. Their 3-year-old colt, McCraken, is currently at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, with trainer Ian Wilkes training for a Derby start.

Sasha von Oldershausen / Texas Observer

The Texas border town of Presidio has an unusual problem. Last year, reports The Texas Observer, Presidio buried at least 300 horses at a loss of almost $200 per animal. The city charges $22.50 to bury a dead horse, though the actual task costs a good deal more. The council has discussed raising the fee to $150. But that notion alarmed the owners of local stockyard businesses.