If you have witnessed “Big Loop” rodeo, you know this: horse tripping breaks horses’ legs, their necks, their backs. When a young horse running at full speed has its front legs ripped out from under it by a rope yanked tight, the horse tumbles end over end, its head driven into the dust of the arena with great force. The more violent the fall, the louder the crowd cheers. Like dogfighting, cockfighting, and other blood sports, the crowd is there to be entertained by violence toward animals.
“Big Loop” roping, such as that conducted at the Jordan Valley Rodeo, involves two ropers on horseback, who chase a yearling colt or filly into the arena from a chute.
The first roper throws a loop around the horse's neck. The crowd hears the horse's rasping breath as it is strangled by the taut rope around its neck. The second roper then throws a loop around the animal’s front legs, often while it is racing into the slack of the first rope in an effort to escape.
Horse tripping was banned in 2013 by overwhelming majorities in the Oregon legislature. Governor Kitzhaber signed the bill, declaring, “No more horse tripping!” The PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) does not feature horse tripping in rodeos that they sanction.
Thirteen other states have criminalized horse tripping - including the big cowboy states of Arizona, New Mexico, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, and even Texas.
But this year, at the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo held in Oregon close to the Idaho border, the sheriff of Malheur County says that he will interpret the new law in a way that protects illegal horse tripping.
Sign this petition to ask Governor Kitzhaber to make it clear that horse tripping is not ok in Oregon!
IF NOT YOU, WHO? IF NOT NOW, WHEN?
Dear Governor Kitzhaber:
Thank you for taking action to see that the ban on cruel horse tripping is aggressively and uniformly enforced. Attached are the signatures of thousands of people who oppose this cruelty, and who are urging you to remain vigilant in protecting horses, especially in events like the Jordan Valley "Big Loop" Rodeo.