Rodeo: Stevie participates in IFR after near-fatal allergy reaction

The 13-year-old bay quarter horse had lost nearly 500 pounds and was not getting better after suffering a snake bite. But medication mixed with applesauce, prescribed by the OSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, has helped Stevie return to rodeo competition.
by Ed Godfrey Published: January 17, 2014
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photo - Jason Stewart of Bristow, Okla., rides Stevie in the steer wrestling competition during the International Finals Rodeo at the State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014.  Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Jason Stewart of Bristow, Okla., rides Stevie in the steer wrestling competition during the International Finals Rodeo at the State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Jason Stewart was certain Stevie was going to die.

“He did everything but die, I tell you that,” said the Bristow bulldogger of his 13-year-old bay quarter horse.

Last summer, Stevie lost more than 500 pounds, the result of a snakebite and an allergic reaction to the medicine that was supposed to heal him.

Stewart had first thought Stevie's face was swollen because of an abscessed tooth, so he waited a couple of days before visiting a veterinarian. But Stevie's face kept swelling, and the horse almost stopped breathing.

A vet then gave Stevie medicine that resulted in intestinal complications.

“He had holes in his intestine and holes in his colon,” Stewart said. “He filled up with his own fluid and carried that fluid around for four to five weeks. His body was like ripples. If you touched him, it looked like you were pushing on a water bed.”

Stewart has won a lot of checks on Stevie in the six years he has owned him. So has Walt Sherry of Atwood, a fellow bulldogger who also rides Stevie in steer wrestling events.

Stevie was given to Stewart by a buddy who couldn't get along with the horse. Stevie kept bucking off his previous owner.

He didn't care much for Stewart either, in the beginning, but they eventually came to an understanding. Stewart figured out Stevie is like the guy who needs a good cup of coffee in the morning before getting the day started.

“We have kind of come to an agreement,” Stewart said. “You don't jump on him when he is fresh, and you just kind of ease him around for awhile, and then he is ready to go.”

Stewart said Stevie was bitten by the snake either in his pasture or at his pond.

“We don't know what kind of snake it was, whether it was a copperhead or a water moccasin,” he said.


by Ed Godfrey
Reporter Sr.
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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