Victory! Oregon Votes to Ban Horse Tripping at Rodeos

Oregon lawmakers have voted to pass legislation that will ban the cruel rodeo event otherwise known as horse tripping.

The bill, SB 835, which was sponsored by Senators Mark Hass and Bill Hansell, and Representative David Gomberg, passed the Senate with the House’s amendments by a vote of 24-6 and now goes to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber for a signature.

The event in question is exactly what it sounds like and involves roping horses by the legs while they’re running and causing them to fall. For a fast-moving large animal, the crash is as violent as you can imagine and often leaves horses with serious injuries ranging from rope burns and internal damage to broken bones and death, never mind the psychological trauma it inflicts on them.

Advocacy organizations including Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the Animal Law Coalition have been fighting to end this cruel event, along with caring members of the public — a Care2 petition supporting a ban gathered more than 20,000 signatures.

A previous attempt to ban it failed because rodeo supporters had legislators convinced this wasn’t going on and also argued 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.

Last year, SHARK released footage from the Valley Big Loop Rodeo in southeastern Oregon that infuriated the public and reignited the call for a ban. This May, Adam Fahnestock, a member of SHARK, was arrested for videotaping one of these events in the state. This is what he saw:

Clearly there’s evidence and this time around, legislators were presented with it at committee hearings by the Animal Law Coalition so they could see that even though it may not occur at events sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, it clearly still goes on.

Said Scott Beckstead, senior Oregon state director for The HSUS:

Horse tripping events are traumatizing for the animals and can cause catastrophic injuries such as broken legs, necks and backs. Watching a horse fall to the ground and suffer is not entertainment―it’s inhumane and has no place in Oregon. We are grateful to Senator Mark Hass and Representatives David Gomberg and Val Hoyle for their strong and principled leadership in moving this bill through the legislative process, and we urge Gov. Kitzhaber to swiftly sign this measure into law.

The bill will make horse tripping for entertainment or sport, or as practice for entertainment or sport, a Class B misdemeanor, leaving violators subject to up to six months in jail, a $2,500 fine, or both.


Photo credit: Thinkstock


john durkin
john d4 years ago

From what i have read in all the petitions to date. I am begining to worry about the fate of humanity. All the cruelty,violence,uncaring attitudes towards others.Not to mention the Earth itself. IS mankind regressing,and going crazy.

Sheri D.
Sheri D4 years ago

Thank goodness this is banned. Penalties should be harsher.

Penny R.
Penelope Ryan4 years ago

Thank you Oregon!!!!! And all petitioners

Carol de Wijs
Carol Torrance4 years ago

Thank you for banning this cruel and barbaric practise but sorry the penalty is not enough for the death or injury of an animal

Cynthia B.
cynthia l4 years ago

Amen to that thanks for posting this good news

Judy T.
Judy T4 years ago

Yayyyyy! I loved to hear about this victory for the horsies!!!! :)

Grace K.
Grace Kennedy4 years ago

Hoorah! Hopefully, judges will give the harshest punishments for the offenders!

william n.
will n4 years ago

It is good that this "event" has been banned . what are these guys trying to prove ? apart from what we alredy know that they are cruel sadistic thugs who enjoy inflicting pain and suffering on defenceless animals . It is time that these people who do this are treated as thugs and sentenced for cruelty . and as for the spectators they are no better .

Lyn Romaine
Lyn Romaine4 years ago

They need to raise the fine to 5000.00 AND the time. This is just a slap on the wrist for what the animals have to endure.

Lyn Romaine
Lyn Romaine4 years ago

So glad to hear that this abuse labeled as "fun" is illegal now. It has been going on for years and the poor animals have had to suffer. It's amazing as to how they can take such beautiful horses and mistreat them. The poor steer who broke his leg, what did they do with him? Nothing good, that you can imagine. Many, Many, Thanks!