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The Bots Sots Remount Horse Sale is a new annual event that is coming to Sheridan. The event is being organized by Ike Sankey. The sale will be conducted from the porch of the Historic Sheridan Inn, the place from which Buffalo Bill Cody watched riders perform for his Wild West show in the 1890s. It’s scheduled for June 3, 2017, with a preview the day before.
Ike and Roberta Sankey, and their son Wade, and daughter, Ryan, own Sankey Pro Rodeo that provides stock for the Sheridan WYO Rodeo. They have been valued members of the Sheridan WYO Rodeo family since their first performance in 1994. While they still have ranches in Cody and Joliet, Montana, Ike and Roberta recently moved from Joliet and vested themselves in the Sheridan family when they bought a place on Meade Creek. They are now official Sheridan County folks and we’re glad they are here.
The concept of the Bots Sots Remount horse sale is to showcase horses from every aspect of the horse industry — polo, showjumping, racing, rodeo etc. The sale may include draft horses and even a couple of bucking horses. It’s going to be a really interesting mixed bag of quality horseflesh and should bring a healthy cross section of sellers, buyers and spectators to Sheridan. Ike plans to have a maximum of 40 horses. The horses will be of high quality in their equine niche.
Why will the horse sale be called “Bots Sots Remount?” To begin with “Bots Sots” is a Crow Indian term which generally means “very nice” or “very good” or “heap good.” It has historical roots in the Sheridan rodeo world. In 1914-1916 there was a three-year series of rodeos. The rodeo was called the Sheridan Stampede. In the advertising for the rodeo, the phrase “It’s Bots Sots, Do You Get It?” was used.
Fast forward to 1944. The Sheridan WYO Rodeo (established in 1931) emerged from a two-year layoff due to World War II. The rodeo committee had to restart the rodeo on a more modest basis and knew in the beginning they couldn’t put on a rodeo of the size and quality of the prewar rodeo. It was changed from a professional rodeo to a supposedly amateur working cowboy rodeo. They didn’t want to sully the name of the Sheridan WYO Rodeo so they searched back in history to find a new moniker. They adopted the name “Bots Sots Stampede” That was the name used for the rodeo until 1951 when, because of public acclaim in the form of a poll sponsored by The Sheridan Press, the name was changed back to the Sheridan WYO Rodeo.
As for “Remount? “ By 1918, when the first World War was over, the quality of horseflesh in the United States had reached a rather deplorable state because of the attrition of horses used in the war. To rectify the situation, and provide quality horses for the United States Cavalry, the U.S. government started the Remount Program. This program farmed out high-quality (mostly thoroughbred) studs to farmers and ranchers to breed to their stock. Some mares were involved in the program as well. Suitable progeny was bought by the Army for their purposes. There were several Remount studs in the Sheridan area. The program lasted until about 1948 and proved to be a success in that it did, indeed, improve the quality of horseflesh in the United States.
So, do you get it? Bots Sots? Historical term in Sheridan which means very good. And Remount? Quality horseflesh. Very good horses of all kinds. Seems like a natural fit for a horse sale in Sheridan, Wyoming.
Information about the event can be found at the website botssotsremount.com. Watch for further information as the Bots Sots Remount Horse Sale gathers momentum. Ike Sankey is a successful promoter and has done wonders for the Sheridan WYO Rodeo. He understands entertainment and gets results. He wants to put on an event that will be an annual big deal in Sheridan — one that will draw visitors and dollars, not to mention the sale of quality horseflesh. We’re all for that, and we’re all for having the Sankey’s as members of our community. Welcome aboard.
Tom Ringley is a Sheridan County commissioner and an emeritus member of the Sheridan WYO Rodeo board.