A member of Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) was arrested at the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo in Oregon for videotaping “horse tripping,” an event that involves roping horses by the neck and legs while they’re running and forcing them to violently fall face-first to the ground.
According to the AP, a deputy asked SHARK volunteer Adam Fahnestock to stop videotaping, and when he refused, the deputy took the camera and proceeded to try and handcuff him. Fahnestock pulled away and tried to grab his camera.
SHARK saw it go down a little differently and stated in a press release that “after a brief conversation, the deputy suddenly grabbed Fahnestock and threw him violently to the ground where rodeo personnel then also set upon him.”
Either way, Fahnestock was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and held on $1000 bail for doing nothing more than videotaping an event that, despite its cruelty, is perfectly legal. This is some of what he taped:
While filming is allowed, because the rodeo is held on private property owned by the Jordan Valley Rodeo Association, it had the right to ask people to stop, but SHARK believes that Fahnestock was specifically targeted.
“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,” said SHARK president, Steve Hindi in a statement.
It’s not really surprising that rodeo supporters wouldn’t want anyone, especially an animal advocate, videotaping what goes on there considering the outrage footage from Big Loop caused last year after it made its way around showing graphic and cruel acts. In one gut-wrenching scene, a bucking horse is shown wildly swinging a broken leg that’s being held on by nothing but skin as he continues to try and run with it to escape his tormenters, while another one miraculously escapes a broken neck in a fall.
Previous attempts to ban this practice in the state have failed, thanks to rodeo advocates putting pressure on legislators in a fight for their right to continue to abuse animals for entertainment, arguing that a ban on horse tripping could eventually lead to a ban on other roping events and may adversely affect what owners are allowed to do with their animals.
Fortunately, lawmakers are back on this issue. Last month the Senate passed a bill, SB 835, that would make horse tripping a Class B misdemeanor, which could leave violators facing six months in jail, a $2,500 fine, or both. The bill is still waiting to be heard by the House.
Please sign and share the petition asking Oregon’s lawmakers to ban this barbaric event.
Photo credit: Thinkstock