This is NOT horsemanship! Here is an explanation of what this event is: Wild Horse Taming is where three cowboys will show the crowd how a bronc is tamed. First, a horse is loaded into a bucking chute where it is haltered. Next, a team of three cowboys ready themselves for the release of the horse into the arena. These cowboys are known as the shankman, the mugger and the rider. The shankman's responsibility is to tightly hold to the lead rope and apply leverage to allow the mugger safe access to the withers, which are the horse's shoulders. The mugger, once safely to the withers, attempts to hold the halter and prevent or slow down all forward motion of the horse. The rider's goal is to effectively secure the saddle to mount and ride the horse with the ultimate goal of crossing a designated finish line. All of this happens within two minutes.
Adam Trenk, Vice Mayor of Cave Creek stated on his Facebook page that the Merchants and Events Association puts on the Wild West Days event, not the town of Cave Creek, although it is held in Cave Creek. He is in favor of this event, and supports it because the horses being used are rodeo bucking stock, not wild or untamed horses.
Regardless of whether the horses are rodeo bucking stock, or wild, untamed horses this is wrong. These poor horses are terrified. Some traditions and ways of doing things are best left in the past. A very respected & talented horse trainer in the Cave Creek area puts it best, "Lots of things that were okay before--aren't now, i.e. drinking and driving, slavery to name a couple. This should fall into that 'not okay now' category."
The Sonoran News states "A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit local non-profit and horse-related organizations, which help to preserve the community’s Western heritage". Wow! what a bunch of hypocrites!
For several years, Wild West Days in Cave Creek, AZ & the Cave Creek Merchants & Events Association supported the Luv Shack Ranch Trainers Challenge. This event worked like this: before a panel of judges, professional horse trainers demonstrated how they have taken a horse that no one wanted - an untrained and inexperienced horse that they had only 90 days to train then showcase their progress at the Challenge in hopes of winning the prize money (which was all donated) and of course the esteemed recognition of having their trained equine adopted into a forever home. Each trainer received recognition for their participation in the challenge and had the opportunity to showcase their talents to growing their business long after the challenge is over. “This event is such an amazing opportunity to bring together Rescued Horses, Trainers, and people who would like to adopt a horse. When I organized the first Challenge I wanted it to be a WIN-WIN for all who got involved” says Joey Ogburn President/Founder of the LUV Shack. “In so many ways it boosts the economy and signifies that Cave Creek is truly the most western town in Arizona!" This event was very enjoyable to watch & the stands were packed with people! Luv Shack Ranch & Horse Rescue is now Triple R Horse Rescue; Joey Ogburn is no longer associated with this rescue.
I am a firm believer that we, the humans, must be the voice for these animals. So many horses are ruined by ego-driven events such as these. This event is dangerous to both horse and human.
Please sign this petition to stop this event from happening. I would also encourage everyone to boycott Wild West Days in Cave Creek, AZ & all the members of the Cave Creek Merchants & Events Association unless this event is cancelled. I was shocked to find that Triple R Horse Rescue (formerly the Luv Shack Ranch Horse Rescue) & Animal Health Services were members of this association.
Here is a link to the Cave Creek Merchants & Events Association website:
Here are some YouTube videos of this event --