A disturbing video of horses at a rodeo in Oregon being roped by the legs in a practice called horse tripping and one bucking horse breaking its leg has been posted on YouTube. The Big Loop Rodeo in Jordon Valley, Ore. took place in May. The events were posted by SHowing Animals Respect & Kindness (SHARK).
The rodeo was apparently sponsored by Les Schwab Tire Centers and Idaho Power Company. Les Schwab's Facebook page is already full of criticism.
SHARK writes: "In this video we focus on the horses roped, slammed to the ground, and sometimes dragged by the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo's signature event, Big Loop horse roping."
The animal cruelty group says on its YouTube page that it has not received a response to its video and criticism by the Big Loop Rodeo.
Warning the video is graphic, especially in the first few minutes where the horse's broken leg is shown in slow motion, and again later when galloping horses are roped by the neck and legs and fall to the ground.
The rules for the Big Loop Event are posted here and say that
Stock must not be handled roughly at any time,
and ropers may be disqualified if in the opinion of the field judge
they have intentionally done so.
Any stock injury will result in immediate disqualification.
The Humane Society of the United States tried to ban the practice of horse tripping in the 2011 Oregon Legislature but the bill, Senate Bill 613, was killed in committee. At the time, bill opponent Dave Duquette of United Horsemen said:
"No rodeo event in Oregon condones, or conducts, horse tripping. Oregon has comprehensive laws in place to protect animals. This bill was totally unnecessary. It was nothing more than a first step by HSUS to ban all roping of all animals in our state," Dave Duquette, United Horsemen CEO and President, said.
"Horses are livestock, and if this bill had become law, it would have set the precedent for making it illegal to rope a cow. After all, they're both livestock - what's the difference between horses' legs and cows' legs?" he added.
However, the Big Loop Rodeo's signature event has long been the horse roping. Duquette is also known for his attempts to bring a horse slaughter plant back to Oregon.