Update April 17, 2008: The Nebraska legislature passed and the governor has approved LB 764, a ban on horse tripping and steer tailing. Click here for a copy of the final bill.
The Nebraska legislative session has now ended.
Original report: Both the Arizona and Nebraska legislative sessions end soon. The Arizona session convenes on the 2nd Monday in January for 100 days. The Nebraska legislature is scheduled to end April 17, 2008.
But there is still time to end the cruel practice of horse tripping in both states.
Horse tripping is done during Mexican rodeos called charreadas, and involves two cowboys on horseback chasing a horse and causing the animal to flee. When the horse has reached full speed, a third horseman lassoes one of the horse’s front legs, then stops and pulls back on the rope, causing the horse to trip forward and smash full-force into the ground.
Most western states have already outlawed horse tripping, but the practice remains legal in Arizona and Nebraska because these states define it as a rodeo event, making it exempt from animal cruelty statutes.
Tripped horses typically suffer serious injuries, from broken bones to spinal damage, sometimes dying as a result. Those who survive are usually so psychologically traumatized that they cannot even look at a rope without becoming terrified.
HB 2539, a bill spearheaded by Phoenix City Councilwoman Thelda Williams wouldÂ ban the cruel practice of horse tripping in Arizona.
HB 2539 is sponsored in the Arizona State Legislature by Representatives Kyrsten Sinema, Ed Ableser, and Tom Prezelski, but it will need the support of more legislators to pass. Please do your part to ensure that it does by taking action in the following ways.
Click here for a copy of the Nebraska bill, LB 764. An amendment to the bill makes clear that "intentional tripping or causing to fall, or lassoing or roping the legs of, any equine for the purpose of entertainment, sport, practice, or contest" is not a commonly accepted practice in sanctioned rodeos, animal racing or pulling.
For further information on this issue, read Fund For Horses Fact Sheet.
Nebraska’s proposed bill would also ban steer tailing in which someone on horseback chases a steer, grabs his tail and forces the poor animal to the ground. The steer is often pulled violently to the ground. This activity is also a feature of Mexican rodeos or charreadas.