Readers should be aware that Randy Janssen (above) is a charreada promoter and horse tripper himself, from San Antonio, Texas. And a lawyer, if you can believe it.
Mindy is right, of course. The mere fact that the animals are fearful and stressed out should be enough for them not to be abused in this fashion.
Mr. Janssen hosts a website: www.legalizehorsetripping.com. (I'm not making this up!) Well worth a look.
As for the two videos he promotes, it's quite easy to cherry-pick and make everything look rosy. The same could be done for any "sporting" event. I received an e-mail from Mr. Janssen last year making mock of the 11 steers injured at the Jefferson Co. Fairgrounds near Denver (broken pelvis and broken leg--both euthanized; 7 others with their tails stripped off). As Mr. Janssen wrote to me, "So what? The fun the charros had, and the time spent training their horses made it all worth while. And it keeps kids out of gangs and away from drugs." (I'm not making THIS up either.) So much for compassion.
Nor does Mr. Janssen believe that animals (other than the human kind) have emotions, flying in the face of overwhelming scientific documentation to the contrary.
At least the PRCA requires veterinarians on-site to care for injured animals. The professional charro associations do not. Their rules also allow a steer to be "tailed" three times a day, whereas in American rodeo (which has its own share of problems), the animals can be used only once per day. (And "anything goes" at the nonsanctioned events.)
Again, neither horse tripping (3 events) nor steer tailing is a standard ranching practice anywhere in the U.S., nor are they sanctioned by any American-style rodeo association. These four events should be banned nationwide (and soon will be, methinks). Even Cesar Chavez would agree.
Eric Mills, coordinator
ACTION FOR ANIMALS — January 30, 2011 11 p.m.