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May-30-2013 17:57printcomments

Animal Welfare Expert, Dr. Temple Grandin Calls Horse Tripping Abusive

Other horse and animal experts have also added strong statements in defense of the bill and against horse tripping which can cause severe injuries such as broken necks, injured spines and broken legs to the animals.

Dr. Temple Grandin
Dr. Temple Grandin photo courtesy:

(JORDAN VALLEY, OR) - World renowned animal welfare expert and critically acclaimed author Temple Grandin, Ph.D., has issued a stinging statement against horse tripping, an event that is held at the Jordan Valley Rodeo in Oregon. Currently under consideration, Senate Bill 835 would ban tripping horses and roping horses' legs in the course of a rodeo event. Sen. Mark Hass, D-Beaverton, is sponsoring the bill with Sen. Brian Boquist, R-Dallas.

Well-known for her work to improve animal welfare, Dr. Grandin sent an email to SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) stating, “The horse tripping event you describe in your email dated May 20, 2013 is not acceptable.  Roping the front legs and causing the horse to fall is abusive. Compared to cattle, horses are more excitable and may be more likely to be injured.”

Dr. Grandin's books include Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human. Dr. Grandin presently works as a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University.

Other horse and animal experts have also added strong statements in defense of the bill and against horse tripping which can cause severe injuries such as broken necks, injured spines and broken legs to the animals.

Hillary Clark, Program Director, Hooved Animal Humane Society stated,” Horse tripping is NEVER a humane procedure and should not be tolerated in any way by the horse industry. The majority of horse professionals would never allow such a thing to happen to horses in their care. The Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act declares persons convicted in horse tripping to be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for the first violation, and a Class 4 felony after that. Something that is humane and accepted would not be against the law. Tripping injures many horses, many times fatally. Is this something that the horse industry stands behind? No way, and it never will.”

Sandy Johnson, Founder, Arizona Range Riders said, “Horse tripping has no U.S. historical significance and certainly has no place in civilized, family-oriented "rodeo" type events.

F. M. Allen. Founder. Equine Right To Life - “ We endorse and support the ban on horse tripping since it is our view that any attempt to suffocate, cripple or maim a horse does not qualify as sportsmanship, horsemanship or sport.”

The Standardbred Horse Fan Club, BC, Canada – “As knowledgeable horse people here in Canada, we are outraged and dismayed to see the horrific Horse Tripping ‘sport’. Horses are by nature domesticated to be trusting of humans and turning them lose in a pen and choking them with ropes and tripping their delicate long legs with ropes can only bring suffering, pain, injury and death to many of those horses. Since veterinary care for resulting injuries from horse tripping would amount to thousands of dollars (if they are treatable) which most people could not afford to pay for a horse that was used for ‘sport’ with life-enduring injury(s).”

Please ban the practice of horse tripping in rodeos. It is inhumane and dangerous and a determinant to horse sports everywhere.” Kaylene Johnson. Back Country Horsemen of Alaska

Shannon Morgan. Equestrian and former rancher of 45 years - “Growing up on a large ranch we used horses to herd the animals and NEVER, EVER would have done such a thing.  When proponents say, "our animals are treated better than we are", that is a bald faced lie.  To trip a horse is to likely lose a horse, and true "cowboys" wouldn't do this unless the animal was in a position to hurt himself more than the tripping.   Bottom line is it is NOT a wild west "tradition".  It is violent and potentially deadly for the horse.  Roping them by the neck then tripping them by lassoing their legs more often than not ends up in some injury, and many, many fatalities occur with this spectacle.  Broken necks and legs are fatal, of course.  And if the horse is merely lame from tripping, they are no longer of use to the rodeo and are sent to slaughter.” 

“I personally own a horse who was BRUTALIZED by horse tripping in Nevada in 2005. If my horse were human, he’d be in a mental institution. Horses like him who were lucky enough to survive horse tripping events have such dangerous fear issues of humans that any human who adopts them is in grave danger of being killed because horses are prey animals and they’ll do whatever they need to survive. My horse took FOUR YEARS to trust me because I belong to the ‘human race.’ He also has a broken C3 vertebrae in his neck and the side of his face is scarred from sliding face first in a dead run. Rodeo participants and competitors are NOT the majority of horse people. Far from.” – Catherine Revell, Equestrian.

This needs to be stopped immediately. It is cruel and barbaric. The pain these horses endure is beyond wrong.” Joan Burton. Consultant. Horse enthusiast.

See: Activist Violently Arrested For Filming At Oregon Rodeo

For video links of horse tripping please visit:




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Anonymous June 4, 2013 4:07 pm (Pacific time)

Sandy Johnson, Founder, Arizona Range Riders said it best! “Horse tripping has no U.S. historical significance and certainly has no place in civilized, family-oriented "rodeo" type events.” Our for-fathers would be horrifide to see what we have become!! This is animal abuse at its worst!!

Anonymous June 4, 2013 8:19 am (Pacific time)

Pretty sad state the human species has evolved to when we must point out the obvious of cruelty. I guess the injuries and mental trauma caused by this "sport" aren't obvious enough. Once again it proves stupid shouldn't breed.

Kim June 3, 2013 6:53 am (Pacific time)

How many participants in this event are willing to get off their own horse and allow it to be used for tripping/roping? Is that deafening silence I hear? Shame on everyone who supports this horrific abuse !!

Sandy Culbertson June 1, 2013 8:45 pm (Pacific time)

Please sign and share my petition against Horse Tripping. Thank you.


Anonymous June 1, 2013 4:03 pm (Pacific time)

Totally Barbaric, what is the matter with you people, go get your jollies elsewhere.

Cynthia Tinsley Porter June 1, 2013 4:01 pm (Pacific time)

About Time

C Tinsley-Porter June 1, 2013 3:57 pm (Pacific time)

I am really just stunned. This takes for-ever for actual experts to "realize" this is abuse? I have trained my entire life to finally they claim that its abuse. It's always been abuse, why is everyone who's an "expert" just catching up? I trained walkers in the 90's and I just am hearing positive feedback that they are attempting to handle the serious soring abuses. I trained in Quarter horses and it took years to get Cleve Wells and trainers like him under the spot light for abusiveness. Ok-So where is Ms. Grandin saying that horse slaughter is horse abuse and it needs to stop? Where is she saying that not only do we stop the offenders but we incite industry change? What is it going to say that horse slaughter is ACTUALLY ABUSE? Stop the tripping, the horse roping, etc, stop soring, and many other crazy things like rockgrinders, and intense lights on in the barn day and night to make barrel horses run better. But someone needs to stop slaughter, period! I could just show her some things in the horse industry that would blow her mind on what trainers and people do with their horses they hide in the back of the barn in the middle of night. It kept me from a solid nights sleep for years-I like other people to open their eyes and be awake with me!

A.J. Smith June 1, 2013 9:57 am (Pacific time)

Simply racing horses (or the common practices attendant to horse racing) borders on, if not outright crosses the line to, animal cruelty. This event--horse tripping--is so far past that line you cannot even see the line. Anyone who engages in, supports, or enjoys watching such abuse of human's truest best friend, should never be allowed within a furlong of a horse.

KathrynW June 1, 2013 8:57 am (Pacific time)

Thank you, Dr Grandin, and I encourage you to see that this brutal and indefensible practice is banned. There is no 'sport'or 'pleasure' in this unless the individual is deranged and wishes harm to others. To delight in cruelty: sadism.

MWilson June 1, 2013 8:49 am (Pacific time)

Horse tripping, burro tripping, calf roping, ALL cruel, just watch the videos,. NO ranchers ever treat their animals this way!

Sunset June 1, 2013 7:39 am (Pacific time)

Hey Randy Jannsen- at least with the other horse activities there is a willing human partner involved, with a willing horse. That's called a "sport". Horse tripping obviously causes great fear, much damage in the horse, and the human involved barely gets their hands dirty. Not a sport! Whoopee - It's a real manly thing, chasing, roping, terrorizing, and more than occasionally, the crippling and death of a horse, isn't it? You go, Mister Rodeo.

Lucy June 1, 2013 2:53 am (Pacific time)

I just can't believe how sick this practice is. Intentionally making a horse trip and fall. It's bad enough that these assholes do it, there's also an audience cheering when the horse falls. That level of sickness is too much for me to wrap my mind around. Even if a horse is not injured, it is still emotionally traumatized from being tripped and falling. I would be too. Who wouldn't be?

Kaye Killgore May 31, 2013 8:06 pm (Pacific time)

Horse tripping is unbelievably cruel and the horses they use for this "sport" are NOT well taken care of. The horses I saw in Jordan Valley were either underfed or so stressed that they were unable to keep on weight.

Frosty May 31, 2013 1:51 pm (Pacific time)

Horse tripping is so cruel and inhumane it needs to stop. Doing a face plant is not something any human or animals should have to endure. How could this possible be something people want to watch or take part of in a rodeo its sick! Stop it now!

KATHRYN May 31, 2013 12:18 pm (Pacific time)

Great to see Temple Grandin making a stand against horse roping or tripping. As an Oregonian I can say the majority of us are against it and are ashamed that the Jordan Valley Rodeo has this event still going on. It's a minority of good ole boys and charros that support this barbaric ''sport''. Even if the horses are lucky enough to not get physically injured it certainly torments them, making them untrainable and only good as bucking horses and then to the slaughter plant. How can anyone call themselves horsemen when they knowingly inflict cruelty?

Deedie May 31, 2013 11:47 am (Pacific time)

It is common sense that roping a horse around the front legs and tripping him is abusive. It is also frightening and appalling that someone would do this for fun. Just because horses are injured and killed in jumping and racing accidents doesn't mean that it should be legal to trip them and MAKE them fall. That is pure cruelty for man's entertainment.

Randy Janssen May 31, 2013 3:42 am (Pacific time)

How many animals has this "expert" ever seen injured in Horse Roping? For that matter, has she ever seen horse roping up close? Has she ever meet the people involved? Is she testifying from what she really knows, or what she has been told? In over 20 years I have seen over 1000 horses caught in horse roping. I have seen one killed and have heard of two others. In one steeplechase I saw twelve horses start and four finish. Three had to be put down. Twenty top level horses alone die every year in jumping. Does this expert want to stop horse jumping? The whole purpose in horse roping is to catch the animal without hurting it. That is because Charros and Charras are good people who would never intentionally hurt an animal.

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