Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rodeos, Cowboys and Americans

Rodeos, Cowboys and Americans


To many Non-Americans, they equate Rodeos with Cowboys with Americans, thanks to the Western movies they watch from a young age.

Thousands of miles away in the middle of Pacific Ocean, are a cluster of small islands known as New Zealand. The Mayor of Auckland city, John Banks claims that the sports Rodeo is cruel to animals.

Rodeo enthusiasts are riding roughshod over his claims. Banks admits he has never been to a rodeo. He wants the "teasing and distressing of these sentient animals for entertainment" banned.

The newly elected John Banks has ruffled a few feathers with his long fight against what he sees as cruelty to animals, including the eating of live crayfish in Japanese restaurants, and was nearly arrested in Spain while fighting the promoters of bullfighting.

Banks has the support of SPCA chief executive Bob Kerridge, who spearheaded a successful move to end rodeos at Auckland's Easter Show.

I have never been to a Rodeo show and have no comment.

This report is from the Rodeo enthusiasts as reported by the New Zealand herald:

But New Zealand Rodeo Association national secretary Kalym Lipsey said there were no welfare issues and all the organisation's animals were looked after "like part of the family".

Speaking to the Herald after yesterday's rodeo at Rerewhakaaitu, near Rotorua, Mr Lipsey said less than 1 per cent of the animals suffered injuries - he said they were very minor - and the numbers were similar for the riders brave enough to jump on board.

Part of the national rodeo circuit, yesterday's event saw eight-time world rodeo champion Joe Beaver wow the 5000-strong denim and cowboy hat-wearing crowd with his dazzling rope skills and horsemanship.

Mr Lipsey said having the 42-year-old Texan, who has earned more prize money than any other rodeo rider in the history of the sport, was the rodeo equivalent of British soccer star David Beckham's recent visit to Wellington.

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