by Eric Mills, founder, Action for Animals
Surely “single steer roping” (aka “steer tripping” and, more aptly, “steer busting”) is the most egregious event in all of rodeo, worse even than calf roping (babies!) or the Mexican charreada’s “horse tripping” and “steer tailing” events. Anyone in doubt need only view the many YouTube videos. Contusions, broken horns, broken bones and death are routine.
Though steer tripping is one of the PRCA’s sanctioned events, it is NEVER part of the annual National Finals Rodeo (NFR) held in Las Vegas, and for good reason: the public wouldn’t stand for it.
Even PRCA Hall of Famers oppose “steer busting”
According to the 2/26/14 issue of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (“Former rodeo organizer objects to proposed ‘steer tripping’ event in Las Vegas,” by reporter Alan Snel), Reno rodeo promoter Bob Thain (a PRCA Hall of Famer) wrote to the Las Vegas Boyd Gaming Corporation (owner of the Orleans Arena), protesting a proposed steer tripping event to be held there in conjunction with the 2014 NFR. Mr. Thain described the event as “awful.” He knows whereof he speaks.
He’s not alone. Stock contractor Cotton Rosser (another PRCA Hall of Famer, whose own questionable record Showing Animals Respect & Kindness has extensively exposed) states in the article, “The rodeo committees don’t want the event. They feel sorry for the animals.” As well they should. I also know of a college rodeo coach who referred to steer tripping as a “chickenshit” event….which it decidedly is. The coach was forced into early retirement for his honesty.
Reportedly, steer tripping is currently featured at rodeos in only 10 states: Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico and Texas.
I would urge activists in those states to contact their representatives, urging them to introduce bills to outlaw this blatant cruelty. Now’s the time. Most legislatures reconvene in January.
––Eric Mills, coordinator
ACTION FOR ANIMALS