Tough on critters? |

Tough on critters?

Apparently rodeo in the U.S. is not alone in being attacked by animal rights groups. The prestigious Clover-dale Rodeo in Surrey, British Columbia (associated for 62 years with the 119-year-old Cloverdale Country Fair) dropped three events this year because of such harassment. This is an event boasting Canada’s second largest rodeo purse, trailing only the Calgary Stampede in money paid out.

Because the community chose not to hold steer wrestling, tie-down roping and team roping, they lost the approval of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association. Even so, they gave away $360,000 in prize money to barrel racers and roughstock riders over a long weekend in mid-May.

This huge payout with fewer to share it would seem to be a boon for bareback, bronc and bull riders as well as the distaff side of rodeo; and more than 20,000 fans attended the rodeo’s five performances. The question arises – does rodeo not need timed events to attract fans – or were these 20,000 in the stands merely because the Cloverdale Country Fair’s quality displays and midway attracted 100,000 people and it was normal for that five percent to include the rodeo in their celebration? The total rodeo attendance was up 2,500 from last year, even though there was one less performance this year.

Definitely some serious points to ponder… along with the fact that Texas bareback rider Zac Dishman of Beaumont, Texas was hospitalized during the rodeo… but no livestock were injured.

Those animal activists thinking rodeo is tough on critters ought’a skim through recent rodeo news… might change their tune a little. From right here in Tri-State Country, Clint Doll from Prairie City, South Dakota lost his right eye while bulldogging July 4th in a rodeo at Mandan, North Dakota. The ProRodeo Sports News says “…Doll’s steer threw its head back, the horn going in right below Doll’s right eye, tearing the eye open, crushing the eye socket and pushing bone fragments into his brain.”

Following 14-hours of surgery the doctors say he might get fitted with a prosthetic eye after three to six months of recovery; and he was hopin’ to get back to his home near Buffalo, South Dakota early this month.

Kansas bullrider, 33-year-old Ryan Mansfield suffered a spinal cord injury during a bull riding event in Oklahoma City on July 11th. His C4-C6 vertebrae have been fused to stabilize his neck, but at last report he was not able to move from his neck down.

A high school bullrider, 17-year-old Corbin Carpenter from Louisiana suffered injury to his C6 and C7 vertebrae during the recent National High School Finals Rodeo in New Mexico. Listed in “critical” condition, Corbin underwent back surgery the same day and has now been moved to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Participants and attendees at the NHSFR donated some $12,000 to help with Carpenter’s expenses and the exemplary young man has drawn the rodeo community together through his tragedy. He can move his arms and has feeling above his chest and some sensation from his chest to his stomach. It’s hoped that as the swelling goes down he’ll be able to feel more and more.

PBR bullriding great Chris Shivers called Corbin on the phone and told him to remember, “They can get us down, but they can’t get us all the way down.” Nine-time PRCA World Champion Ty Murray also phoned Carpenter to encourage him, and joked with him on the phone to cheer him up.

Speakin’ of that guy, Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association news sources report that Ty and musical entertainer Jewel, with whom he’s been associated for a decade, were married last week in the Bahamas. We congratulate the happy couple and wish them a joyful and successful future!

Closer to home, a group of gals who practice “natural horsemanship” are offering a Natural Equine Management workshop teaching “effective alternative natural” methods to maintain horse health in Lusk, Wyoming next week. The event opens at the Lusk Fairgrounds the morning of August 23rd and features certified equine massage therapists Jan Scott of Colorado and Barb Page of Laramie, along with their mentor, the well-known H. Don “Doc” Poling, DVM, CEMT, AHVA member from Texas.

The first day can be juried for $50 per person, and is planned to familiarize horse owners with the advantages of holistic health for equines. Participants can bring horses, which will be evaluated for soreness that day. The second day, August 24th, offers individual consultations and therapies for horses found to require it. For details, or to register, you can contact Alyce Carter at (307) 334-2625.

To learn more about the program and clinicians you can go to; email or phone (970) 568-9290.

If you don’t have the money or the time to attend that event, you may be interested in listening to or viewing world renowned horse chiropractor and equine vet Dr. Mark DePaolo via the website. The audio portion of “A Horse Owner’s Introduction to Equine Chiropractic” with Dr. DePaolo is available as an MP3 for 99 cents; or you can watch the DVD online for $1.99. Just go to the website to enjoy this opportunity; or contact Missy Wryn in Estacada, Oregon, at 1-866-821-0374.

Horse health is always uppermost in the minds of equine enthusiasts, and this time of year we see those bugs carried by bloodsucking insects popping up. Florida is hard hit with Eastern equine ehcephalitis (EEE), with 56 confirmed cases by early June, compared to 35 total cases over the past two years. Although vaccinations are encouraged and fairly inexpensive, Florida has a state law making it illegal for anyone other than a vet to administer the shots – which of course up’s the expense considerably.

Tennessee also has EEE confirmed this year, and it’s a disease with no effective treatment for horses. It can kill up to 90 percent of horses infected, usually within 48 to 72 hours of the first indications. While Western equine encephalitis is the common form in our region, today’s rapid coast-to-coast and border-to-border horse transportation makes distance almost insignificant. Signs of this disease include unsteadiness, erratic behavior and a marked loss of coordination.

If your horses have associated with horses from the south or if you’ve traveled in those regions you should probably have them vaccinated for EEE – or do it before you travel in that direction or mingle with southern horses in the future.

Looks like that’s the end of our ol’ lariat rope once more…

© 2008 Rhonda Stearns

Email Rhonda at

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