Regarding: The Rodeo Protest
When you state, “Rodeo is Animal Abuse,” what animals exactly do you mean? Are you referring to the animals the Stock Contractors bring to the Rodeo Performances? Are you referring to the Equine Athletes that the competitors are trailering to the Rodeo Performances? When you state, “Rodeo is Animal Abuse,” are you stating that every aspect of a Professional Sport called the Rodeo is causing abuse and concern for the Welfare of the Livestock used? Did you know that the Rodeo series does NOT own the livestock used?
The Rodeo is a Professional Sport that has sanctioned events and series. This sport is no different than any other Professional Sport such as Rugby, which allows humans to attack each other in an aggressive manner over a ball. Like every other Professional Sport, Rodeo has rules and regulations that must be followed for the Welfare of all livestock used in the Performances as well as the contenders. Each Rodeo series may also have their own rules and regulations that they follow and have a section for the Welfare of Livestock. These rules and regulations are required to be enforced at every event.
The Stock Contractors are expert stockmen, that are hired by the rodeo to provide sufficient and adequate livestock in both quantity and quality to put on a proper and acceptable rodeo performance. These Stock Contractors take pride in the livestock they raise and provide to the rodeos. The Stock Contractors take gratification in the conditioning and athletic ability of their livestock because they need to be in top health and physical condition to be able to perform to the best of their ability. They make sure steers horns are trimmed, livestock maintain proper weight and work diligently to alleviate stress on livestock while traveling. Stock Contractors can receive fines if requirements are not met.
In some of the events in the Rodeo, competitors are required to bring their own Equine Athlete to use in the timed events. For example; Team/Break-Away Ropers, Steer Wrestlers, Barrel Racers and Pole Benders. These Equine Athletes need to be conditioned and trained in the event they are being participating in. The competitor’s work all year around to practice and improve with their Equine Athlete to perform to the best of their ability together. Again these animals are not owned by the Rodeo. The competitors take great pride and accomplishment in their Equine Athlete’s ability, training and performance.
Each Rodeo event has different Equipment requirement that must met rules and regulations for the safety and protection of livestock. For the Bareback Bronc riding, riggins are to have sheepskin or sponge rubber underneath to cover the bars, pads need to extend at least 2” behind riggin, and NO loose ropes. Pads can be 1” thick hair pads or 1 ¼ “ thick foam pads. Saddle Bronc riding includes a plain halter with one rein that the Contestant holds onto and a saddle that is not allowed to have any sharp objects in the cinch. Bull riding uses a loose rope that the Contestant holds onto that has no knots or hitches to prevent the rope from coming off. Riding horses must be proper Required tack for the event. All spurs must be dulled, steers must be protected by horn wraps and a neck rope must be used on Roping Equine Athletes. These Equipment regulations are set in place for the safety of all livestock and contestants.
The Rodeo, is a Professional sport that has Rodeo series that are based in specified areas. The Ram Rodeo follows the Ontario Rodeo Association Rules and Regulations but also has their own rule book called Central Rodeo League. In this Rules and Regulations book they require the facility to be constructed properly and inspected to ensure the safety of livestock and contestants. Each livestock is inspected prior to being put in for the performance, if any livestock appears to be sick, injured or unfit to perform than that livestock will be pulled from the performance, and a Veterinarian is present and available for any emergencies. The Rodeo also has requirements in regards to the equipment used on livestock as well.