Horse News

EWA Answers “United Horsemen” Anti-Rodeo Propaganda

Update from Vicki Tobin of the Equine Welfare Alliance

Pro-Slaughter Group Leaks Misinformation to Press, Again!

Horse Tripping in Sacramento - photo by Karen Tapia-Andsersen

The first reading of the horse tripping was held yesterday and went well. Several of our advocates have been working hard and I want to send a special thanks to Willis Lamm, Eric Mills, Carrol Abel, Beverly McGrath and especially to ASPCA for sponsoring the bill. My apologies if I missed anyone but I don’t have the names of everyone that has been working this. Our opponents are still trying to pull the HSUS rhetoric and did so at the meeting and were corrected. No doubt, they’ll continue to say HSUS is behind this and out to ban rodeos.

Willis sent a spectacular email to correcting an inaccurate AP story that someone must have fed to them. He has given me permission to share it with you. Below his email is information on what you can do to help to ensure passage of this legislation and notes from the meeting.


I usually don’t quarrel with news stories however a story that appears on your site, Animal Activists Going After Rodeo Horse Events, is grossly incorrect.  The one true fact in the story is that the Legislature is considering a state wide ban on horse tripping.  However the charrerias (Mexican rodeos) outlawed horse tripping in the US many years ago.  In researching this issue for the Animal Services Advisory Board, Mr. Ramiro Rodriguez , President of the ACA, wrote me, “The charros in the US do not trip the horses when they do manganas in any competition, whoever trips a horse (intentionally) is suspended for a whole year.”

Horse tripping is not a recognized event in any form of sanctioned rodeo.  It is a shadow sport similar to dog fighting.  So the issue has absolutely no relationship to rodeos.

Two counties, Clark and Lyon, currently have bans on horse tripping and Washoe has such an ordinance under consideration.  The Lyon County ordinance was passed in 2008 after the Sheriff’s Dept. raised concerns about some incidents that took place.   After passage the world didn’t end and legitimate charrerias were not affected whatsoever.

This issue has absolutely nothing to do with rodeos nor is it some back door attempt to attack rodeo and livestock events.  I’m one of the first to tout Nevada‘s safety record when it comes to sanctioned rodeos and livestock events, but I certainly testified in favor of this bill.

My grave concern about this story, and it is grave, is that it discredits everyone involved.  The advocates, humane organizations and governmental entities involved are characterized as “animal rights activists” who appear to want to shut down rodeo activities.  The bill was actually advanced by the ASPCA with support of humane associations and animal services agencies.  The story’s characterizations make our legitimate rodeos look bad which is unfortunate since our rodeo associations take safety of animals and participants very seriously.

Finally, and worst of all, the story suggests that the Mexican charrerias in the United States conduct horse tripping events, something that only fuels prejudice and ethnic mistrust based on a completely false premise.  So let’s have a new reason for people to hate a specific ethnic segment of our population.

I realize your site merely presented an AP story.  However it is my belief that aside from its inaccuracies it is unreasonably harmful to all the parties involved in the story.  It consists of sensation, not accurate news.  I formally request that you remove the present story and replace it with a locally produced story that is accurate, and that you forward my concerns to AP.  A good start would be by contacting Senator Allison Copening, the bill’s sponsor, or Committee Chair Mark Manendo.

There are just so many ways that this story can create trouble.  If it were accurate then the chips should fall where they may.  Given that it is not accurate, a retraction or corrected tag story should be issued.

Respectfully submitted,

Willis Lamm, Vice Chair

Lyon County Animal Services Advisory Board


We encourage all of you to write to the committee in Nevada that will be hearing the bill, particularly Chairman Manendo (committee contact info is at the bottom of this email). Feel free to take comments from Willis’ email or the below bullet points summarizing points from the meeting. We want to ensure this legislation passes into law and want to thank everyone that wrote letters for the first reading. They were mentioned at the meeting. As with all correspondence, it is preferred you use your own words so the letters don’t appear to be form letters.

1.  Nobody seems to be willing to say that they support horse tripping.

2.  A ban on tripping will not impact any legitimate sanctioned events.

3.  A state wide ban on tripping will help local agencies police horse events.

4.  A ban on tripping will not affect any other rodeo or equine events.

5.  A ban on tripping will not affect normal ranching, veterinary or training activities.

6.  A ban on tripping will enhance Nevada’s image with respect to the fact that the state strives to run reasonable safe equine and livestock events that would be appropriate for families of all ages to attend.

Here are Willis’ notes from the meeting:

It was an interesting afternoon at the Senate Natural Resources Committee.  The committee didn’t get under way until 4:00 (members were at other meetings that were running late) but the first issue was SB364.

The pro SB364 speakers were organized and brought in relevant supporting documents.  The Lyon County Animal Services Advisory Board was among the organizations and entities officially supporting the bill.

In contrast the anti SB364 speakers drifted all over the map citing all kinds of speculation, some of which the Committee Chair called them down on and made them admit that they had no data or documentation in which to back their claims.  Someone from the Reno Rodeo Association presented a rambling theory about how banning horse tripping was the next step in banning rodeos.  I personally thought that the Reno Rodeo Assn. was more savvy and “together” than that, and the Chairman summed things up by saying that this was a hearing on horse tripping, nothing more, and that nobody can predict what any future legislature is going to so so he’s not going to worry about it.

Even some of the public present for other bills who didn’t really care for a horse tripping ban were demonstrating body language supportive of the ban – rolling their eyes and looking across the room when someone presented a profoundly stupid argument against the bill.

The real show stopper was when one speaker argued that a horse tripping ban would lead to Texas taking away the National Finals Rodeo from Nevada.  The Chair asked the speaker on what data the argument was based?  The speaker had none.  Then the Chair asked how Nevada’s passing a horse tripping ban would affect the NFR.  After the speaker stumbled around expressing some circuitous logic the Chair pointed out that Texas already had a horse tripping ban, so what’s the difference?  The speaker excused himself and sat down.

The charreria folks all explained that their associations had banned horse tripping years ago and so they opposed a law banning horse tripping.  The ethnic card got played.  The Chair asked, “don’t you still have your events even though your own associations have banned horse tripping?”  The answer, of course, had to be “yes.”  Finally the Chair had enough.  He asked the standing room only crowd (including the video link from Las Vegas) for a show of hands.  Who here today actually approves of horse tripping?

“Let the record show that nobody raised their hands, so it looks like we’re all in agreement here.”

The committee moved on to hear SB299.

One complaint expressed by an anti-SB364 speaker was that passing the bill could be perceived by folks that we have a problem here in Nevada and that would project a negative image.  So after the hearing I made some calls and the responses I got was that they felt that SB364 actually shored up Nevada’s image in that the state was serious about events involving animals that are profoundly dangerous.  Some of them may contact the committee and indicate that this bill is a good thing as it reassures parents that equestrian and livestock events in Nevada should be appropriate places to go as families, avoiding the likelihood that young children would be exposed to a horrific activity.

I give Chairman Manendo high marks for liberally allowing public comment but bringing the issue back on focus when necessary.

This was just the first reading.  Hopefully the bill will move forward without interference and the Assembly Committee hearing will be just as rational.

Mark Manendo, Chair –

John Jay Lee –

David Parks –

Michael Roberson –

Dean Rhoads –

12 replies »

  1. Rodeo’s are one of the few sports left in our society that people pay to go and see animal abuse..The todays ” cowboy ” is all about the money; nothing about being a horse person.. The animals are only a big bucks for the winners event..a poor preforming animal is soon shipped to slaughter..If one kills a cowboy or should I say competitor..the public screams : kill that killer..but are back for the next event to see who else gets hurt.. Not much more than a peep if any animal gets killed or mangled..Rodeo groups are no different than the BLM.. only there for the bucks..If you disagree go and look at them bucking horses in the pens.. see what man’s cruelity has done to what they call a professional bucker..if the horse could talk he would much prefer to be packing your kids around.. EH???


  2. Thank you all for the insight on the NV situation. Thanks Willis for your excellent letter. Rodeos have more gory than glory – and after the horrific abuse of the Oklahoma prison’s rodeo coming to light, public pressure shut that one down. In a civilized culture like America, it is concerning, that much of the spectator sports involving animals border cruelty, because they are exploitative. It has nothing to do with romantic and mystic Wild West in my eyes. For some insight, go here:
    Rodeo Brutalizes Animals. Don’t Go .

    visit to help stop rodeo’s animal abuse.


  3. I’m gonna put my nickle in here, and have armored my ample backside to take the buckshot sure to follow:

    Bronc riding and bull riding are the only animal/man contact sports where the playing field is level. There are instances – far more than I’d like to admit – where horses and bulls are brutalized but in every bronc & bull riding event I’ve witnessed – cowboys get as good as they give.

    Rodeo events are not everyones cuppa tea; I can’t do calf roping or events of a similar nature for obvious reasons but one of my favorite bucking horse events took place about 10 years ago: Every bronc rider got tossed. And every bucking horse? A Mare. These were smart, unafraid mares in their teens and one, a roan named Blossom, was 23, though you would never have known it to watch her. During the ride, you could see it in her eyes – no fear, just absolute confidence. She was of outstanding conformation and after dumping her rider, trotted off happily, tossin’ her head in triumph, as only a horse can do.

    There are always exceptions in any sport that deals with animals, but I’ve been fortunate to never have witnessed deliberate cruelty in the events I’ve seen. Those are the rodeos I think most people will return to see.


    • I have to throw in one behind you Lisa…I am just amazed at the intelligence and agility displayed by horses during cutting…it’s the only equine sport where the rider actually becomes what we try to avoid becoming…a passenger. There is no cruelty to either the cows or the horses and I just can’t keep from watching the calculating eyes of the horse as he tries to out witt the cow.

      Believe it or not, while living in Brazil I actually had a AQHA cutting horse, that is what he was trained to do as well as barrels (barrel racing is a man sport in Brazil). Although I did neither as I was only interested in trail riding my horse never missed the opportunity to come to our aide when Terry and I would be confronted by packs of dogs gone wild while up in the coastal mountains. I wouldn’t have to do anything and I could tell that he enjoyed the hell out of it. He would trot right up to the pack, pick out the leader, cut him free of the pack and would kill him if I did not intervene but a few swift kicks usually got the leader to run and when he left so did the pack, in fact they usually bailed the minute my horse turned on them. Likewise, ole Bobby would love to roundup horses that would get lose from the corral and he would dance with them until he got them boxed into a corner somewhere where they could be retrieved. The locals thought the caballero from Texas was a kick ass cowboy but I was simply hanging out in the saddle, drinking cervasa and letting ole Bobby do all the work. I miss that boy and likewise, I digress.

      I love cutting….


  4. I’m not going to sign in on the rodeo issue–unarmor that backside Lisa LOL. The main point is that once again these people are using completely fictitious statements and scare tactics to stop any attempt at humane treatment of animals. And I’m glad that for once they were called on it. I might find them a little more credible if just once they would come out and say that at least one form of violence against an animal is not tolerable. At this point I swear if I drew up a bill that said it should be illegal to stone a horse in front of a barn that they would hysterically proclaim that I was trying to shut down Ag, shut down rodeo, stand in the way of property rights and that I was the reason the horse market is down.


    • And in doing so, further our radical ecoveganerrorist uberwealthy agenda by rendering the entire US Broccoli-holics.

      Yes, Morgan, this is but a small portion of our eee-ville plot to thwart the world’s meateries. Next up – MANE PULLING.


  5. I will agree, some horses love the challenge and are excellent at the job they love..That what makes them that horse we all once owned or still own and can never get another one to quite measure up… I owned a grade paint who was that kinda horse..Took to working cows like his blood lines were nothing but Doc Bar on the poor side of the bloodlines.. BUT that is one in how many thousands that don’t ??? How many in thousands, in the rodeo stock world, that are maimed beyound use or don’t make the grade as a killer bronc.. EH ?? I know some stock suppliers.. I know where they buy that NEW candidate for bucking horse TRAINING..And I know where they go when done with or don’t turn out.. know as well as the rest of you’s..50 cents a pound and on the meat sales truck.. cause once they are treated that way during TRAINING.. they are totally destroyed..Get an invite to the Calgary Stampede ranch for VIP days.. watch when they turn them green horses loose in the corral and them tough COWBOYS rope them ,saddle them and try riding them to the finish line for a few bucks to the winning teams.. YEP some of them horses like their jobs and prove the genes are in them to do a great job..Cause they learn to hate real quick.. But go and explain that to them young horses screaming in terror in that corral as the crowd cheers for the team of their choice..And if you can still say the pro’s or cowboys; as some like to be called; taking it or getting it as well ?? Sorry; but they are supposedly intelligent humans able to make that decision to get on ” Board “…Then I have to say; you aren’t any better than the so called cowboy’s of today’s rodeo.. Maybe that cold back, out there in your paddock, could be trained in what he or she likes to do.. BUCK..And if they don’t make the grade for a NFRA champion bronc.. I’m sure you could take the horse to the auction sale yourself…There is no one out there that can honestly say that rodeo deosn’t destroy animals and it isn’t professional abuse at it best for spectators to get their moneys worth to watch and wait for someone or something get killed or maimed.. Then you got to admit you can’t even be honest with yourself..And that’s sad..EH ?? And then WE all say, Stop killing the mustangs, burros and shut down slaughter plants.. but there are those reading this rite now who are planning on going to the rodeo this summer and looking forward to it ..EH ?? I’m a Canadian, I welcome anyone to come after my backside buckshot and all..Rodeos are abuse..and legal yet..With crowds that really believe that’s how it was.. I came from the rural ranch or stick farms as we called them back then ..And a bucking horse in the morning was not the way to start a long day working cows or fencing..A bucker was a sure way of getting hurt, so that bucker was usually trained to pull stone boat or hay wagon…The horse of my younger days was a valuable asset to the work load on the place, so they always found a job for them where nobody was at risk with a bad actor..And there was no meat truck..But there was a breed of drug store cowboys starting to show up.. Fancy hats and shirts..And the meat trucks..


  6. Humans are dispicable!! Some equine & other animal-related events are ok, humane, & cause no harm or fear. Those that do, are simply barbaric & heartless, & have no place in today’s society, unless, as I suspect, these people are reverting back to cave-man days!! Imagine the trauma & fear those poor animals go through, whether it’s horse-tripping or calf-roping, DISGUSTING!! Why are humans so blood-thirsty!!?? I don’t see the point of enjoying another living creature’s suffering, &, I am so glad there are people like us & others, that try to stop the abuses & help these poor animals!!


  7. I would like to see the financials on how much money was generated by this so called “horse-tripping” campaign… I could imagine a lot of you put in many hard hours coming up with eye catching language to fuel this money maker… Its sad to see so many ignorant people give their money away to these lies…


  8. The over head definetly isn’t very high as I’m told by other blogs that they use BLM mustangs mostly.. at about 50$ a horse .. They sure don’t have to worry about losing one or two to broken bones ..Lots where they come from..Probably explains where some of those UN-ADOPTABLE ones go EH ??


  9. Rodeos – Some People Call This Sport!

    Imagine this: In another world where the animals ruled, they select a certain type of human with a special characteristic we would call epilepsy. The animals would use these epileptic humans to entertain themselves in a show called a rodeo.

    The animals had figured out a way of inducing a violent physical reaction, to certain stimuli, in the epileptic. Once the ‘right’ buttons on the epileptic were pushed, they would buck, jump, writhe, contort, thrash around and inflict wounds and injury upon themselves for a period of time.

    This was all done for the entertainment of the animals. They even developed a competition based on the ‘quality’ of the thrashing display of the epileptic. A horrible thought really.

    Making a horse (or bull) buck for our entertainment is like inducing an epileptic friend to have a seizure so we can watch, be entertained and have a laugh. According to my doctor, when an epileptic experiences an epileptic seizure, he or she expends a huge amount of energy and physical effort for a relatively short period of time. Post seizure they are totally exhausted. They need a period of deep rest for recovery. Compare this scenario with a horse or bull that is made to buck.

    And then there is calf roping. Here’s where the real men get their jollies off. First they chase a very young calf flat out across the arena, then they hurl a rope at it and jerk it off its feet (a very real jerk on both ends of the rope), they then wrap the rope around its baby hooves to disable it whether it is conscious, injured or not. A definite contest of skill, judgement and absolute cruelty. The injuries often inflicted upon the calves are horrendous.

    Some people call rodeos sport. The reality is that participants, spectators and sponsors are complicit in animal cruelty that makes the roughest Indonesian abattoir look like a picnic on the beach.

    Perhaps, what is known as ‘judgement day’ is when we humans reflect upon and take full responsibility for each and every one of our actions in this lifetime.


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