The Wild Horse Race, run every year as the last event at the annual St. Paul Rodeo in Oregon, is an event that most people enjoy. It showcases cowboys showing their skills by having them saddle a wild horse and ride it across the finish line and through a chute on the other end of the arena.
However, this year's WHR was NOT enjoyable by any definition of the word.
This year, one horse was killed and another was seriously injured when the two collided. Both an appaloosa and chestnut horse were running towards each other, both had riders on their backs, but before anything could be done, the horses collided head-on, at full gallop. The appaloosa trotted away, seeming to be fine. However, the chestnut immediately dropped to the ground, going into convulsions and gasping desperately for air. The man who was riding the chestnut then proceeded to hurry over and attempt to keep the horse calm. He wiped something from the horse's nose, and held it up for the rodeo personnel to see as they rode up, and it was blood. The appaloosa was then seen, unable to walk properly, and practically tripping over it's own two front feet.
Ultimately, the chestnut suffered severe head and neck injuries and was euthanized. The appaloosa, however, is currently back at the Warm Springs Ranch recovering from injuries to it's shoulder.
The fact is, this event in the rodeo has never been enjoyable for some. Seeing a dozen petrified horses released into an arena, and fighting against men who are yanking and pulling on their leads, while attempting to saddle them and ride them. These horses truly are wild as well, taken right from the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. Not used to human contact by any method, and the only thing they know is that strange men are attempting to hold them, put an odd looking contraption on their back, while then proceeding to mount them and ride them across the finish line and through that chute at the other side of the arena. The men in this event know full well what they have gotten themselves into. These horses do not. They are looking for a way out of the arena, but are, again, so scared they're not paying attention to where they're running, only on finding that one exit.
This particular event needs to be stopped permanently. Horses are known to never run into each other, not even in the darkness regardless of whether or not they are wild. The fact these horses were so petrified that they were not paying attention and collided at full speed is enough to make one want to vomit.
Please sign this petition and make the St. Paul Rodeo Committee realize that this event is too dangerous!