Headline of the week: "Horse herpes outbreak forces rodeo queens to ride stick ponies"

From KSL, a broadcaster in Utah, comes the week's oddest story: A recent equine herpes outbreak has forced "rodeo queens" to resort to "stick ponies." How did the horses get herpes? Don't ask.


Because of the outbreak, contestants at the Davis County Sheriff's Mounted Posse Junior Queen Contest had to cowgirl up Thursday night without their mares. Instead of competing on horses, as is typically the case, contestants were asked to trot around the arena with stick horses as their show ponies.

"It's kind of weird, but you can't really help that the disease is going around," said former queen Savanna Steed. She said the stick horses will test the riders' knowledge of whether they know the routine, rather than letting the horse do all the work.

(Image via ksl.com, via Jesse Dylan)