Stop Spread of Rodeos Promoting Culture of Cruelty

Target: Joe LaCava, Council President Pro Tem of San Diego City Council

Goal: Advocate for ban on rodeos taking place within city limits.

San Diego recently held its first major rodeo. The event was not notable for its “athletic” exploits but was instead marred by an incident involving a horse who crashed into a fence. Officials claimed that the horse, Waco Kid, was uninjured despite running into the fence at full speed after throwing off his rider. Yet this horse reportedly wasn’t even treated at a local facility but instead transplanted hundreds of miles away. And after his supposed clean bill of health, the horse then was apparently transported thousands more miles for another show.

The incident validated the concerns of animal welfare advocates who never wanted a rodeo in the city. In fact, a council member had proposed a measure that would have banned rodeos within San Diego city limits. Yet influential special interests ultimately stalled and strangled the proposal, leaning heavily into the alleged “cultural heritage” of such events. But rodeos of today have little to do with culture and everything to do with maximum profit at the expense of vulnerable animals.

Sign the petition below to urge a revisiting of a policy that could help stop the spread of unchecked exploitation.


Dear Mr. LaCava,

The San Diego Rodeo Coalition used the heritage of historically underrepresented and overlooked populations to paint its own interests in the best possible light while killing an effort to protect at-risk animals. If the rodeo is so integral to the culture of Latinx communities, then why have the massive majority of Latin American nations enacted full bans on rodeo events? And if indigenous peoples are so important to the rodeo legacy, then why are the numbers of indigenous riders so sparse?

These misleading claims of culture are the last gasp of a dying “sport” that makes its trade in the suffering and abuse of captive animals. The incident that became the highlight of San Diego’s inaugural rodeo only proves the point. Your council member had the right idea when he proposed a ban on rodeos within San Diego.

Please stop prioritizing special interests over the best interest of the community. Give this proposal the kind of fighting chance that the animals it seeks to protect are sadly lacking.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Betty Wills

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