Congrats to Australia for stopping the cruelty that is the misnamed "Wild Horse Race"!
Sadly though, here in America, rodeos such as the Cheyenne Frontier Days still insist on continuing to abuse and kill horses all in the name of entertainment by terrifying young horses and then pretending they are "wild". Thanks for making Americans look like uncaring idiots Cheyenne! Read the entire story below.
By Paula Doneman
July 15, 2009
ORGANISERS of Queensland's largest rodeo have canceled their wild horse racing event amid warnings they could be prosecuted for animal cruelty.
The Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo, to be held next month, withdrew the event following a letter from the RSPCA and inquiries by The Sunday Mail.
The RSPCA told organisers they and participants in the event - in which untamed horses are placed into the arena with a team of riders on foot who lasso and then race the horses - could be charged with animal cruelty.
Rodeo manager Patricia Esdaile contacted The Sunday Mail on Thursday and said the race had been withdrawn after running for two decades.
However she refused to comment on the reasons for canceling the event, which has featured at the northwest Queensland rodeo for the past 20 years.
Only 24 hours earlier, rodeo spokesman Steve Hilton said the rodeo's committee would seek legal advice but wild horse racing would not go ahead.
RSPCA senior inspector Tracey Jackson welcomed the news, saying wild horse racing was "barbaric and inhumane" to the animals who were deliberately frightened by riders.
"It is absolutely terrifying for them and their terror and fear is what drives the event," she said.
Ms Jackson said participants and event organisers could be charged with animal cruelty, which carries a jail sentence of up to two years.
Most of the horses had not been handled by humans and all had not been broken in for riding, she said.
"Often when ropes are placed round their necks, the horses rear and lose their balance and crash on to their backs."
Ms Jackson said the RSPCA also sent a copy of the letter to the mining giant Xstrata, which sponsors the rodeo.
"It is the first year we have conducted an investigation and we will take a wider look at animal welfare at rodeos," she said. RSPCA inspectors would attend the rodeo and gather evidence for future prosecutions.
The Australian Professional Rodeo Association said it did not have a policy position on wild horse racing as it was not a competitive event under its charter.
Mr Hilton, who is also the APRA's general manager, said the horses used in the event were not wild and were used in rodeo bucking events.
"They are from a registered stock contractor so, while they are not broken in to ride, they have had contact with humans. If there was anything barbaric happening we would stop it. There are conditions in place," he said.