Because no horses have reportedly died during the Omak Suicide Race in the past few years, it has been put on the back burner while horse activists focus on what appear to be more threatening issues. Please read this post and take action.
K C Mahaffey reporting for Wenatchee World writes:
OMAK, Wash. — (Aug. 6, 2012) A horse trying to qualify for the Omak Stampede’s World Famous Suicide Race died Friday when it was unable to get out of the Okanogan River after injuring its leg at the bottom of Suicide Hill.
The horse, Little Big Man, was owned by Jerry Ford and ridden by Jason Meusy, both of the Spokane Indian Reservation.
It’s the first time in several years that a horse has died during an official Suicide Race practice or competition, said Pete Palmer, spokeswoman for the Suicide Race Owners and Jockeys Association.
Palmer said the Okanogan River is a foot higher than it was last year, so when Little Big Man fractured his front leg and then hit the water, he had difficulty in the current. Continue reading >>
CULTURE AND TRADITION
The Omak Suicide Race is not about culture or tradition, Native American or otherwise.
The race was devised in 1935 by an Omak furniture saleswoman — who also happened to be the Publicity Chairman for the Omak Stampede rodeo — to bring tourist dollars to the flagging event.
The 12 local tribes comprising the Colville Confederated Tribes have never in their long history held a race in Omak running a group of horses repeatedly over several days and nights in perilous conditions down a treacherously steep hill across a river then up a steep bank and into the arena for the finish.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
There’s little point registering your disapproval with the City of Omak or Suicide Race sponsors.
The Omak Suicide Race had a number of high profile national corporate sponsors who cut their ties with the event following a grassroots campaign led by the Int’l Fund for Horses in 2007, leaving only local unions and businesses to keep it going.
However, the State of Washington prides itself on offering wonderful experiences for tourists. Let them know that the Omak Suicide Race is murder for horses and a black spot on their State’s reputation.
USE SOCIAL MEDIA!
1. Register your disapproval (especially Americans and Canadians) on their Facebook page.
2. If you are on Twitter tweet something like: @ExperienceWA Horse killed in Omak Suicide Race practice. Please end this murderous event. #WAstate #HorseAbuse
3. Send a strong but politely worded message to them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While this may sound simple. It is … and quick too. But it is effective especially if we do it in huge numbers. Be sure to share.
– The Race Where Horses Die; Tuesday’s Horse; Aug. 14, 2007
– See video on YouTube >>