Stop Cruel Practice of Horse Tripping at Rodeos

Target: Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber

Goal: Put an end to the practice of horse tripping at Oregon rodeos

Adam Fahnestock, a member of the organization Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), was recently arrested for videotaping a horse tripping event at Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo in Oregon. The video has since gone viral, being posted on animal rights websites across the internet. His arrest was also unwarranted, abusive, and likely the result of the local deputy realizing the response the video might receive for its brazen cruelty. Regardless of the circumstances of the arrest, something must be done immediately to stop the incredibly cruel act of horse tripping in Oregon’s rodeos.

Horse tripping involves roping the front or hind legs of a galloping horse causing it to trip and fall for the purposes of entertainment. The act is intentional and more points are awarded for dropping the horse. There is no other purpose to the event than being entertained by watching a horse fall or be severely hurt. Roughly 25% of the horses involved in these acts receive injuries severe enough that they are sent to slaughter. Many more than that display persistent injuries throughout their lives. Horse-tripping is so cruel that it has been banned in other U.S. states, including California, Florida, Illinois, Maine, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, in film and TV production, by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), and by the American Quarter Horse Association. The practice is not only alive in Oregon, but has spread to Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado (where it has been a part of their state fair rodeo program) and the eastern region of Washington State.

Knowingly harming, embarrassing, or endangering any animal is cruel enough, but horses are large animals with a very high center of gravity and these falls have very serious consequences. Their slight legs make them susceptible to broken bones and severe joint injuries, and the hard impact when falling can cause equine colic because of their long intestines, which can be life threatening. Oregon has some of the most strict animal cruelty laws in the country and it is absurd that an act as cruel as this has been allowed to continue. Please sign the petition below to demand that horse tripping be made illegal in Oregon.


Dear Governor Kitzhaber,

Recently a member of the animal rights organization Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) was arrested for videotaping a horse tripping event at the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo. Since then horse tripping has been making headlines at news websites and animal rights organizations across the internet. Oregon’s reputation for respecting the lives of animals is to be admired, which makes it all the more disheartening that the state has allowed such an egregious act to be tolerated.

Horse tripping involves roping a galloping horse’s legs solely for the purpose of entertainment. These horses often endure serious injuries as the result of the fall that can be life threatening. Many are simply sent to slaughter because they can no longer perform. An act this cruel can’t be allowed to continue. Please do something immediately to ban horse tripping in Oregon.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: julie_g via Flickr

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  1. Ayako Uchino says:

    Stop Rodeos

  2. People get involved if you think this horse tripping at rodeos is considered animal abuse. Do so, by spreading the word on Facebook. Talk about it with your friends, sign petitions, protest or, send out fliers at rodeo shows. Get involved by spreading the word. I find this so called form of entertainment downright Cruel and Malicious towards these horses. It brings me to tears when I watch the videos on utube related to this sick and ungodly form of disgusting entertainment. Let’ s get the word out.

  3. this is messed up and i so badly want to say something about it, but i dont know who to tell and ik they wont listen but i wanna be a vet so this breaks my heart.

  4. people may think there manly because of winning rodeos but really there just loosers and uncarring of animals. Its always about the money.

  5. stop animal abuse

  6. Shanna Meissner says:

    Being Silent and, not speaking up for animal cruelty is the worse thing you can do for these animals in need. They need a voice, and people are there voice!!!

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