By MICHAEL FERRARESI – The Arizona Republic – Oct. 22, 2008
The Phoenix City Council will soon vote on a proposed ordinance that would impose jail time or fines for those involved in the underground rodeo event of horse-tripping.
Animal rights advocates compare the equestrian subculture, where participants are awarded points for intentionally for roping a galloping horse or donkey to the ground, to the bloody games of dog fighting or cockfighting.
On Tuesday, the Phoenix Public Safety and Veterans subcommittee voted 2-1 to recommend an updated version of Councilwoman Thelda Williams’ horse-tripping ordinance to the council.
Sen. Chuck Gray, R-Mesa, unsuccessfully pushed for a statewide horse-tripping law, which would have made horse-tripping a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Williams, an animal rights advocate who once supervised the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office animal cruelty unit, said she would like to see the Phoenix city ordinance “on the books” before a statewide expansion.
“This is a first step,” said Williams, one of four Phoenix Public Safety subcommittee members. “I want to see it banned statewide.”
If approved by the city council, horse-tripping would be investigated by the one or two Phoenix police animal cruelty detectives focused primarily on more common types of animal neglect.
Horse-tripping originated in Spain in the 16th century and later became a sort of national sport in Mexico. AZCentral.com, see 28 comments.