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Old 07-15-2019, 10:29 AM   #81
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I always hear the rationale that the owners "love their horses like pets". I don't know any pet owner who would consistently put their pets at risk like this.

I get the tradition of the rodeo is keeping the event and it's a big money draw both for attendance and the teams but there's no way I can justify attending anymore. We have to move past these kind of events.
The horses they use in the chuckwagons are literally the same being auctioned off for the slaughterhouse.

So cancel the chuckwagons and you're just sending all those horses to slaughter.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:32 AM   #82
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The horses they use in the chuckwagons are literally the same being auctioned off for the slaughterhouse.

So cancel the chuckwagons and you're just sending all those horses to slaughter.
I keep hearing that they are unwanted race horses, but no one ever mentions that, uh, maybe we shouldn't be racing horses either. Then their won't be "excess" horses going to slaughter.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:36 AM   #83
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I keep hearing that they are unwanted race horses, but no one ever mentions that, uh, maybe we shouldn't be racing horses either. Then their won't be "excess" horses going to slaughter.
Sure, but you'll have to cancel the races first. And given the draw and millions upon millions those bring in, there is not much appetite to get rid of those.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:36 AM   #84
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Radical idea. Mechanical horses. Hear me out. You wouldn't be limited by 4 legs, you could modify these horses into abetter configuration. You could consolidate the mechanical horses into the wagon itself, and give the driver somewhere safe to sit, lower to the ground. And because they are mechanical you could boost the number of horses to make the race more exciting, and the wagons could be rated by the number of mechanical horse equivalents, or "horsepower" they have. Then you could race them around the track, no horses endangered, and drivers in a safe cage. Outriders could ride single mechanical horses, perhaps with 2 wheels instead of 4 legs. I don't know why no one has come up with this before.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:48 AM   #85
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Even better radical idea. They should just cancel the chuckwagons for a season and play video of a slaughterhouse. Watch the horses that didn't get picked up to live for another ten years with a caring family. They can even add some sport commentary.

"Oh and here you can see Silver Charm entering the slaughterhouse. It hasn't eaten in days as it's journeyed in a hot truck, it's extremely dehydrated and it's showing. Watch as it fearfully walks up the belt, you really get the sense it knows its fate. Just remarkable. And there goes the bolt. Wow, Silver Charm's still twitching, something we really didn't expect to see today. And here comes the butcher. If you look closely you can see Silver Charm isn't quite dead as it begins to be skinned. What a showing by this magnificent horse."

That way even the most ferocious of PETA supporters will be praying to have the chucks back.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:54 AM   #86
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I keep hearing that they are unwanted race horses, but no one ever mentions that, uh, maybe we shouldn't be racing horses either. Then their won't be "excess" horses going to slaughter.
You're arguing that it's better for the horses to be never born at all?

Interesting take.

I've had the fortune of seeing some of these horses up-close in training and I firmly believe that they absolutely love racing. The crashes are a tragedy but I don't see a better outcome for these horses somewhere else.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:02 AM   #87
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You're arguing that it's better for the horses to be never born at all?

Interesting take.

I've had the fortune of seeing some of these horses up-close in training and I firmly believe that they absolutely love racing. The crashes are a tragedy but I don't see a better outcome for these horses somewhere else.
Well if they are only being bred for racing, then is it such a radical idea?
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:08 AM   #88
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Well if they are only being bred for racing, then is it such a radical idea?
Maybe not radical, but I don't think a very convincing argument.

Life. This is including a small chance of catastrophic death in race. Higher chance of living a long comfortable life on a ranch after professional racing.

Or never being born.

If you could choose... which would you?
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:09 AM   #89
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I agree with Fuzz in a theoretical sense. Breeding and training horses purely for racing, often times being sent to slaughter a couple years after they are boring because they fail to make the cut, is pretty barbaric.

But on a practical level, the Kentucky Derby brings in 20M viewers in the US alone, horse racing isn't going anywhere. So I don't see how the slaughterhouse is a better option than chuckwagons for these horses. I do think they should continue to reevaluate to make it safer, fine and get rid of reckless drivers and the like, but it's a faux-solution for these horses if you get rid of the chucks. It won't do any good.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:22 AM   #90
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True story...I spent three summers outriding and several years before that as a groom, hotwalker and exercise rider on the track. And more recently I've spent more time and money as an animal lover. nothing upsets me more than animal cruelty. But like a lot of people here seem to understand, the chucks aren't cruel. There were 2400 trips around that track in 10 days plus training, warm ups and team work. One horse had a heart attack. One stupid and avoidable crash. And one single broken leg. That is amazing. The vets are amazing, the care is amazing, the track is amazing. It's all out of this world great. There's no way I'd be willing to give up 500 horses for a misunderstanding of reality.



The question is should thoroughbreds be used as racehorses. Should breeders be mandated to get broader bone structure in their lines. It's ridiculous seeing these 2 year olds running around on bird bones. Luckily our industry is not that lucrative and we don't see the freaks they run at Santa Anita.



As a rider I know the reaction I get walking into the barn in the morning. Every single horse wants to go when I show up. When the vet shows up they all turn their backs to the door ready to kick the crap out of someone. They love being racehorses and the ones that don't, never make it to the track. They're all a bit crabby as the season progresses. September is time to go home. They train for 3 months, race for three months and spend six months being horses. Don't take that away.


I think it would be cool to make it less of a race and more of a true chuckwagon haul. Use grade horses with think bones. Make it more maneuvering and less flat out running. Add some more people to the element...break up a real camp. Or don't change anything. Keep vets working to make healthy horses. It's not broken here.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:37 AM   #91
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The chucks are neat, but overall I wouldn't be sad to see them go. They're nowhere close in interest for me compared to the rodeo.

That said, horses are animals. And while there are some moral considerations over whether we should subject them to an event where they may die, they also spend much of their time living pretty phenomenal lives for bred animals.

I think people target the Stampede because it's easy, and it's a small thing that they feel they could change and feel better about themselves. These same people buy cheap meat that comes from abused factory-bred animals, they own dogs that at most get a turn at the off-leash area but otherwise end up as bored docile shells of what an animal should be, they don't even blink at the idea of leather shoes or jackets that come from the skin of heavily abused animals (and treated in chemicals that increase cancer rates of workers by an enormous amount).

So, sorry, but watching hypocrites complain about the Stampede once a year gets pretty tiring. Yes, it's rough that we breed these horses to run and race and take amazing care of them, because they may die. But I'd expect the complaints to come from a vegan as the next logical step in protecting all animal life, not some random person getting fat off cheap factory protein and saying "gosh we oughtta treat animals better! I can't even watch!"

The Stampede is so far down the list of animal "abuses" people should be worried about. Pretty easy to separate the real idealists like PETA from the lazy people just looking for an easy moral position to pat themselves on the back for. Sometimes though, you actually have to walk the walk if you want to pretend like you care about animals.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:54 AM   #92
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The stampede is just one disaster waiting to happen after another for me. I was in line for a lemonade and a marching band took out four people right in front of me.



There are going to be kid deaths pretty soon when someone falls off that slippery, hard, sharp giant bronze horse sculpture that has turned into a killer playground from the 1970's.



Just walking around the barns and watching 6 year olds stick their little carrot like fingers through the bars to pet a horse gives me the geebies. I think that's what's kind of cool about it too though. It is a bit of a wild west show.



Also, the mini chuckwagon races were pretty cool. The tourists in the front row of the bleachers were expecting to see a few ponies running about. Instead they got a face full of mad little horses trying to bite each other as they crashed their way past with nothing but a Hihog fence between them and the crowds. It was so cool to see and not what the people from Frezno expected when interviewed afterwards.


In my world, every ride is one bolt away from shooting people off down Macleod trail. Every single thing sold on a stick is minutes away from expiring. I love it down there but it's scary as hell.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:58 AM   #93
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I don't like the argument that you're a hypocrite if you're not against every form of animal "abuse". I eat meat and go to zoos.

I just don't like using animals for our entertainment. Especially in situations where they can be hurt performing for us. Everyone has their own line they don't like to cross. It can't be an all or nothing argument.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:12 PM   #94
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I don't like the argument that you're a hypocrite if you're not against every form of animal "abuse". I eat meat and go to zoos.

I just don't like using animals for our entertainment. Especially in situations where they can be hurt performing for us. Everyone has their own line they don't like to cross. It can't be an all or nothing argument.

Well that's pretty hypocritical. Zoos should make you very upset. I can't spend five minutes at a zoo without getting bummed out. There are far worse fates then getting killed on a race track at 14.



But overall I agree with you. You don't have to eat shadows to have an opinion on animal abuse.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:16 PM   #95
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I don't like the argument that you're a hypocrite if you're not against every form of animal "abuse". I eat meat and go to zoos.

I just don't like using animals for our entertainment. Especially in situations where they can be hurt performing for us. Everyone has their own line they don't like to cross. It can't be an all or nothing argument.
So what’s your alternative? Horses are immensely more expensive then a simple house pet such as a dog or cat to care for. Not to mention time consuming. So as mentioned by prior posters in how this event saves a majority of horses lives and they get to continue to do something they love. Would you welcome one into your house to “save” it from the chucks? Do you believe there is a magical horse sanctuary somewhere with endless land and money for them to run free?

I don’t mean to single you out but I hear this all the time. But I never hear what people think should then be done with these animals that is actually a plausible scenario and not something from a feel good movie. Because I never hear part 2 of the plan to cancel the chucks.

And on a second note the zoo too me is far more cruel. Caged up animals never getting to do what they are meant to do while people poop along and stare at them for their amusement. I don’t know how you could be anti chucks and yet pro zoo. I think it’s because viewing the wagons forces you to see the harsh facts that some times things don’t go as planned and life isn’t a cushy bubble. When things go wrong they go wrong immediately and in front of your face and a lot of people can’t handle that as they’d rather feign ignorance.

You should go to a slaughterhouse and take a peek. If you think the chucks are cruel then I’d be interested to know the word you describe when you find out where your meat comes from. But hey, it’s a lot easier to just ignore that and pretend that’s not what’s going on.

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Old 07-15-2019, 12:20 PM   #96
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Zoos are a fine line for me. If they're animals who were injured and wouldn't survive in the wild or born in captivity I'm ok with it. Also, animals who are given enough space to thrive. I'm not good with large, intelligent mammals in small spaces though.

Zoos need to have a conservation component to their operations.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:26 PM   #97
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I don't like the argument that you're a hypocrite if you're not against every form of animal "abuse". I eat meat and go to zoos.

I just don't like using animals for our entertainment. Especially in situations where they can be hurt performing for us. Everyone has their own line they don't like to cross. It can't be an all or nothing argument.
You can definitely have your own line, but what's on either side of that line can definitely make you a hypocrite.

You enjoy zoos, where wild animals are held in relatively tiny spaces and some just resort to pacing back and forth? Do you think a lion belongs in Calgary? It's for your entertainment, no doubt about it, and a perfect example of the type of hypocrisy I'm talking about.

The meat thing is trickier, we all gotta eat, but most people don't GAF about where their meat comes from and what the animals go through. You don't need that meat, and you certainly don't need it for the price of animals getting abused for it, but people are just happy as clams browsing through flyers for a great deal on chicken breasts.

If you don't like animals being used for entertainment, that makes sense.
Goodbye rodeos, zoos, dog shows, etc.

If you don't like animal abuse, that makes sense.
Goodbye factory farming, puppy mills, even our right to keep pets to some extent, etc.

If you don't like animals dying?
Hello vegan!

I think a lot of people say "I don't want animals used for entertainment where they might die." The issue there is that there are fates much worse than death. Do I like the risk of death rodeo or zoo animals have, just for entertaining us? Of course not, it's tragic. But when the alternative are the animals being abused or killed on purpose, species being wiped out, or animals never even living in the first place, I think the reward greatly outweighs the risk for these animals.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:31 PM   #98
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Yeah I think the biggest gap in the “anti stampede” conversation is what happens to the animals then.

So often I hear the argument “well they can just not race”. Well, that’s not really the answer you think it is. Who’s going to care for them? They are very expensive to house, feed, and maintain. “Just let them live in a field” isn’t an option.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:33 PM   #99
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All for making the Chucks safer. Some ideas.

1) have lanes same as Olympics
2) start half the horses on one side and half on the other like in speed skating
3) eliminate the barrel turn at the start
4) reduce number of chucks at one time
5) this is my far out idea, but re-design the chucks so that in the case of an accident the driver can release the horses to prevent injury to the other runners

Just a few ideas that still make it exciting but less dangerous
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:35 PM   #100
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So what’s your alternative? Horses are immensely more expensive then a simple house pet such as a dog or cat to care for. Not to mention time consuming. So as mentioned by prior posters in how this event saves a majority of horses lives and they get to continue to do something they love. Would you welcome one into your house to “save” it from the chucks? Do you believe there is a magical horse sanctuary somewhere with endless land and money for them to run free?

I don’t mean to single you out but I hear this all the time. But I never hear what people think should then be done with these animals that is actually a plausible scenario and not something from a feel good movie. Because I never hear part 2 of the plan to cancel the chucks.

And on a second note the zoo too me is far more cruel. Caged up animals never getting to do what they are meant to do while people poop along and stare at them for their amusement. I don’t know how you could be anti chucks and yet pro zoo. I think it’s because viewing the wagons forces you to see the harsh facts that some times things don’t go as planned and life isn’t a cushy bubble. When things go wrong they go wrong immediately and in front of your face and a lot of people can’t handle that as they’d rather feign ignorance.

You should go to a slaughterhouse and take a peek. If you think the chucks are cruel then I’d be interested to know the word you describe when you find out where your meat comes from. But hey, it’s a lot easier to just ignore that and pretend that’s not what’s going on.
I have no doubts about my hypocrisy.

The visible challenges are the easier ones to take on than digging up others. It's the same with any stance though. The idea that you have to take on all aspects of a cause or none at all is stupid. No one has time for that and nothing would get done if you did.

As for step 2 on the chucks: fewer horses being used for races should mean fewer are being born/raised to race. Slowly phase out the event.
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