To: Rep. McKell, M.,
Subject: The Great State of UTAH - Fact or Fiction?
I am writing to you with regard to the Jan 17, 2014 video and short article in the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE regarding the abuses at a recent "horse roping" competition held at the Box Elder County Fairgrounds. I believe a similar article appeared in the Jan 15 issue of the Ogden TIMES-STANDARD. The video has sparked outrage from horse lovers in Utah and around the country (see the comments), and rightly so. Reportedly, some of these yearlings were roped and felled multiple times that day. Some were injured -- all were abused.
A dozen states have banned "horse tripping." Only last year Oregon outlawed both "horse tripping" and "big loop roping," both of which involve roping horses by the legs. BE AWARE THAT THE MEXICAN-STYLE RODEO CALLED "CHARREADA" IS ALSO PRACTICED IN UTAH, generally out of the public eye. Charreada features three events in which horses are roped by the legs, either front ("manganas"), or rear ("piales"), which some veterinarians say is even more dangerous for the horses than the two "manganas" events.
Although I am "out of state", I believe I represent a major portion of the U.S. population. Others like me are watching the great state of Utah to see how its legislators react and what they will do to prevent this sub-human abuse in the future. What will be our opinion of Utah? Will we want to take our families there to vacation? How do the children view the cruelty of their parents who either condone this, or worse, turn a blind eye. Will we have respect for the citizens of Utah as we meet them throughout life? YOU have a part to play in answering these questions. This is not an issue about a few rogue groups of prtetend "cowboys" (many ACTUAL cowboys have spoken against this absurd practice) --- this is an issue about how Utah is percieved in the public eye across this nation and the world, as well as a deliberate animal abuse issue. It is NOT an issue that can be ignored and swept away with everyone pretending it doesn't exit. It WILL resurface again and again.
I am pleading with you to introduce LEGISLATION TO BAN ALL THESE ABUSES. A dozen states have banned intentional "horse tripping," including Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Oregon, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. OF THESE, ONLY NEBRASKA (2009) GOT THE LANGUAGE RIGHT, SPECIFICALLY BANNING ROPING OR LASSOING HORSES BY THE LEGS. This language makes moot any argument about "intentional" or "accidental" felling of the horses. Utah should follow suit. (The California legislation passed this almost unanimously. It had the support of the State Horsemen's Association, the Deputy Sheriffs, the California Veterinary Medical Association, Cesar Chavez's United Farm Workers, the majority of the Latino Caucus, and nearly every animal welfare organization in the state.)
Nebraska (2009) also banned the even more brutal "steer tailing" event ("colas," or "coleadero"), in which steers may have their tails stripped to the bone ("degloved"), even torn off. And horses sometimes suffer broken legs when the steers run the wrong way.
We all hope that the Utah Legislature will also outlaw this cruelty. Neither "horse tripping" nor "steer tailing" is a standard ranching practice anywhere in the U.S., nor is either sanctioned by any American-style rodeo associations.
Letty M. Grayson
68 Partridge Lane,
Pawleys Island, SC 29585
"Animal Cruelty Know No State Boundaries."
Subject:Box Elder officials reconsider policy after Utah horse roping backlash | The Salt Lake Tribune