During Wednesday's (July 10th 2013) steer wrestling event, Zane Hankel wrestled down a steer for an impressive 4.4-second time. But when he released the steer's horns, it didn't get up. Stampede officials quickly pulled out a black tarp to close off the scene to the crowd and euthanized the animal. It's neck had been snapped, and it would not survive the injury.The infamous black tarp that's trucked out whenever an animal is to be put down has become a familiar scene at the Stampede. Just last year, three horses were put down after a horrific chuckwagon accident that was caught on video. In 2010, six horses were put down. And in 2005, 12 horses were killed. Stampede officials say only two steers have died in steer wrestling events in the past decade.
Every year we read an article or two like this. Every year animals are puched to their limits and are killed in front of spectators, and countless are injured.
“The event starts with the calf contained in a steel-barred ‘chute’ at the side of the arena. The calf is goaded, prodded and often has its tail twisted to ensure it will burst out of the chute at full speed (up to 27 miles per hour). The terrified calf is then chased by a mounted rider who must lasso the calf, jump off his horse, pick up the calf, slam it to the ground and tie three of its feet together. The event is timed and the rider who does it fastest wins.”
Calves are sometimes injured and killed, which isn’t really surprising considering they clotheslined going full speed before being violently thrown to the ground and tied up.
Enough is enough. It is time to stop putting our sick entertainment needs ahead of the welfare of these animals.