Re "Box Elder officials reconsider policy after Utah horse roping backlash," Tribune, Jan. 17: Your story describing the recent abuse of yearling horses at the Box Elder Fairgrounds has outraged horse lovers nationwide.
State legislation is in order to prevent such cruelty. Now’s the time: The deadline for introducing new bills is Feb. 6. Contact your representatives.
"Horse roping" (roping the horse by both neck and front legs) should not be confused with the Mexican charreada’s "horse tripping" event (which also takes place in Utah). Three of the charreada’s nine events involve roping the legs of running horses, either front ("manganas") or rear ("piales), all inhumane.
"Horse tripping" has been banned in more than a dozen states, including California (the first, 1994), Arizona, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas and New Mexico. Of these, only Nebraska got the language right. Its 2009 law specifically bans "roping the legs of any equine for the purpose of entertainment, sport, practice, or contest."
This language, by definition, bans "horse roping," "big loop roping," and "horse tripping," making moot any argument about "intent" or "accidental."
Utah should follow suit.
Coordinator, Action for Animals
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