“She came from San Diego Animal Control as part of a cruelty case,” ranch owner Gina Perrin said. “She was a tripping horse left tied to a tree. The rope on her nose was so tight it caused parts of her nose to collapse. She is completely healed now.”
Banned in most states, horse tripping is roping the animal’s legs to make her fall violently to the ground on purpose.
Called “mangana” in Spanish, it is defined as a throw with a lariat designed to catch a horse by the legs.
The cowboy, or charro, ropes the front or hind legs of the horse, causing the animal to come crashing to the ground. Charros prefer small, lightweight horses because they are easier to bring down.
Horse tripping was banned in California in 1994, when Gov. Pete Wilson signed a bill into law banning the intentional tripping of horses – for sport or entertainment – in the state.
When Topaz arrived at the rescue, her healing began, both physically and mentally. Slowly, Topaz learned to trust people and showed an amazing intelligence.
“We started riding her, having her gain confidence. She is doing very well. I do believe that if someone took the time she needs, she will be a very good horse,” Perrin said.
Topaz is in perfect health and very resilient, Perrin said, and having survived cruel conditions and neglect, what she needs now is someone to continue her journey to trust and relish her quality time with humans.
Heavenly Horse Haven is located at 58290 Marlis Lane in Anza, California, Riverside Country. Contact them at (951) 551-3561 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AMBUJA ROSEN, an independent journalist in California, writes the following eyewitness account:
“Your are in the front row. A bony Arabian mare stands so close you can see the scars on her flanks, and the terror in her eyes. Three men on horseback swoop down on the mare, chasing her with swinging lariats, until she’s galloping 25 miles an hour. Each time the mare races round the ring, a fourth man aims a rope at the mare’s forelegs. The goal: to topple her to the ground, and win points.
This mare has already been lassoed several times – those scars you saw were rope burns that carved away inches of her flesh. But this time the mare won’t get up again. She crashes head over heels, breaks her leg, and is euthanized.”
Charreadas (or Charreria) are Mexican-style rodeos — a national sport in its home country. However, this cruel “sport” has now spread to the U.S., mostly in western states.
There are ten individual competitions, six of which involve horses, and all are highly abusive.
The second, seventh and eighth events are the ones most often targeted by horse welfare advocates. These events involve what is commonly referred to in the U.S. as “horse tripping.”
Competing cowboys are called charros.
Points are awarded for literally tripping horses, and how quickly the charro can do it.
First they release a horse from a chute – often shocking the horse with an electric prod. A group of waiting charros on horseback force the horse into a full gallop.
The competing charro – either on horseback or on the ground – lassos the front or hind legs of the horse, causing the animal to come crashing down to the ground.
Charros prefer small, lightweight horses because they are easier to bring down.
Witnesses report that the charros continue to trip horses during charreadas until they are lame or can no longer run.
Horses sustain multiple serious injuries, including broken legs and necks, and spinal damage. Horses who try to escape by jumping over fences or walls are only captured and brought back to the arena for more torture to the cheers of the crowd.
There are no statistics available on the number of horses used in charro rodeos. They are not typically privately owned, but instead leased as they do not normally survive.
One source of horses for leasing to charro rodeos are feedlots.
Killer buyers employed by slaughterhouses lease out horses for the charreada circuit to make extra money from them before selling the horses to horse slaughter plants.
Before horse tripping was banned in California, a source at a Riverside feedlot reported they leased 25 horses per weekend to two different charro rodeos.
Upon their return, approximately 2 to 5 horses per week displayed injuries serious enough that the animals were sent to slaughter. For each horse that went to slaughter, another from the feedlot replaced her on the charro circuit.
During that particular season, 75 to 100 horses were leased from that particular lot to the two charro rodeos, but only 2 of the original horses survived until the season’s end. (Source: Ambuja Rosen, Independent Journalist. Rosen’s work has appeared in more than 60 publications.)
OUTLAWING HORSE TRIPPING
In 1994, Governor Pete Wilson signed a bill into law banning the intentional tripping of horses for sport or entertainment in California.
The bill was supported by numerous groups including the California Veterinary Medical Association, the American Horse Protection Association, the California Council of Police and Sheriffs, the California District Attorney’s Association, the Great American Cowboy Association, and breeding and racing associations.
Hispanic organizations also endorsed the California legislation including the Mexican American Chamber of Commerce.
Horse tripping has been banned in the following U.S. states:
Oregon’s law against horse tripping is the latest and went into effect January 1, 2014.
Horse tripping is still done in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado (where it has become a part of their State Fair rodeo program) and the eastern region of Washington state. The US Bureau of Land Management conducts helicopter round ups wild horses in those states. Wild horses have been spotted in charro rodeos.
Outlawing horse slaughter would not only protect horses from entering the slaughter pipeline, but also remove them as a major source of horses for charreada events, striking a significant blow to this cruel and barbaric “sport”.
SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness) PRESS RELEASE
Graphic Footage of Animal Cruelty Released
Jordan Valley, OR (May 21, 2013) — SHARK has uncovered disturbing ties between the Malheur County Sheriff’s Department and the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo. These ties may explain why Malheur County Sheriff officers not only violently arrested SHARK volunteer Adam Fahnestock who was filming the 2013 Big Loop Rodeo, but forced another SHARK volunteer to leave the arena.
On Friday, May 17, 2013, the first day of the rodeo, Fahnestock filmed horrific acts of cruelty, including one animal with a severely broken leg and two horses that were slammed to the ground. SHARK is now releasing that video, which can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGi5wbXVkIs
Fearing that this new footage would cause similar outrage, on Saturday, May 18, Malheur County Sheriff’s officers swept in, arrested Fahnestock and ordered another activist to leave. On Sunday, May 19, they repeated their misconduct by ordering SHARK President Steve Hindi to leave the rodeo as well.
SHARK has initiated an investigation into the existing connections between the rodeo and the Malheur County Sheriff’s Department who the group accuses of violations of free speech, and using intimidation tactics. The following is part of the report. The full report is available upon request.
The Malheur County Sheriff’s Department also has direct ties to the Big Loop Rodeo through their deputies. In his testimony before the above-mentioned Senate committee, Jordan Valley Mayor Jake Roe stated, “The Sheriff’s posse sells food at the park to raise money…” Jerry Raburn, an official with the Jordan Valley Rodeo Association, told the Senate Committee that “Not only is the rodeo a boost for the businesses here, but also for volunteer groups, service organizations, schools and churches,” including the “Malheur County Sheriff’s Deputies.”
According to Malheur County Sheriff Sergeant Richard Harriman, who, along with Bob Wroten forced one of SHARK’s activists to leave the rodeo, that Wroten himself was not only a Malheur County Deputy, but also held a dual position on the “rodeo board.”
Malheur County Sheriff Brian E. Wolfe defended the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo and horse tripping in a letter sent to the Oregon State Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, which recently held a hearing on a bill to ban “horse tripping.” Wolfe misused his official county stationary and position as Sheriff to made a political statement when he said “I personally oppose any and all legislation, laws, or rules prohibiting Rodeo events including Horse Roping.”
“We now know that the Malheur County Sheriff Officers, the same men who violated the rights of our activists, have deep ties to the rodeo,” states SHARK President Steve Hindi. “When they saw the cruelty that was documented on the first day, they abused their power on the second and third day to make sure that no more video would make it to public view. That’s outrageous, and the Sheriff’s office needs to be held accountable for acting like thugs protecting a good old boys network of animal abuse and cruelty.”
SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness) PRESS RELEASE
Jordan Valley, OR – On Saturday May 18th, 2013, SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) volunteer Adam Fahnestock was peacefully sitting monitoring the Big Loop Rodeo when rodeo personnel and a Malheur County Sheriff’s Deputy approached him. After a very brief conversation, the deputy suddenly grabbed Fahnestock and threw him violently to the ground where rodeo personnel then also set upon him. Fahnestock was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He is currently being held in Malheur County Jail, Vale, OR on a $1000 bail.
Big Loop Rodeo has been under fire from SHARK recently after documentation of a bucking horse breaking its leg in the arena and numerous horses were filmed crashing to the ground was released after the 2012 rodeo. Filming is permitted at the rodeo and many spectators film the events. It is believed Fahnestock was singled out for attack because Big Loop Rodeo officials are upset over the video of a horse breaking its leg being released, and disturbing footage of the horse-tripping event went viral creating massive public outcry to ban the event.
SHARK president, Steve Hindi said, “This is clearly an abuse of the law and an example of the “good old-boy network” that exists in the rodeo world. We will fight these false and retaliatory charges vigorously and continue to expose animal abuse at rodeos.”
SHARK’S video of horse tripping at the 2012 Big Loop Rodeo inspired Sen. Mark Hass, D-Beaverton to introduce a horse-tripping ban. Senate Bill 835 is currently being considered after a public hearing was held on Monday May 13th, 2013.
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Graphic footage of the incident of the horse breaking his leg can be seen here:
Video of horse tripping at the 2012 Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo, which inspired SB 835, can be seen here:
CALLING ALL TUESDAY HORSE’ERS AND HORSE ADVOCATES: TAKE ACTION!