Will and Kate Roped into Rodeo
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as the U.K.’s royal newlyweds are now known, have decided to attend the Calgary Stampede, a rodeo event that most humane groups call inhumane and dangerous.
The Vancouver Humane Society was one of the organizations that wrote to St James’s Palace asking the couple to cancel the visit to the Stampede, describing rodeo as “a brutal spectacle of cruelty that subjects animals to unnecessary pain, stress and fear.”
Eighty animals have died in the Stampede in the last 24 years. Last year, six horses were killed in the Stampede.
This year, as part of an effort to clean up the cruelty, horses competing in the chuck wagon races will be microchipped, so veterinarians can keep track of their medical and race histories in an attempt to ensure that weaker horses don’t take part.
For their part, the royals have ducked out of taking any responsibility for the fact that they’ll be putting their stamp of approval on this spectacle.
“Ultimately, the itinerary is a matter for the Albertan Government,” a royal spokesperson said. “However, there is no doubting that the Stampede is an iconic and hugely popular festival, which celebrates so much of what is special about Alberta.”
Our View: It’s technically true that the royal schedule is in the hands of the local government. But if putting the protection of animals were the slightest bit more important to the royals than pleasing a provincial tourist lobby, there’s no doubt they could make their views known and not just behave like puppets.
More at the Vancouver Sun.
Posted June 23, 2011, by Michael Mountain
You people are pathetic. Have any of you actually been to a rodeo in Canada or the US?? I think not. Speaking of things you know nothing about shows how credible your statements are. Grow up.
Sad to say, after all the protestations about how safety is the #1 priority at the Stampede, and how procedures were "overhauled" after the deaths last year, and with the world watching this year, yet another horse is dead.
On the Canadian Press: "Despite an extensive overhaul to its animal care standards, the Calgary Stampede got off to a rocky start Friday night when a horse had to be euthanized after breaking its leg during the chuckwagon races."
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2011/07/09/sp-stampede-horse.html#ixzz1Rl4MMIWV
Diana was pretty brave also. To protest land mines, she was filmed walking across a field of land them. There was a problem with the film and she had to do it all over again. She did, with no complaint. She was hoping the US would stop using land mines in times of war. She was a brave lady.
I have always hated rodeos. I find them disgusting. I feel the same about bullfighting--bloodless or otherwise. These types of sports are cruel, and they represent a way of life that has long since passed. I hate the spectacle of fox-hunting as well. The royal family has long supported these barbaric excuses for blood-letting. Shame on them.
Yes, and while Will's mother, Diana, tried to stop the kids from getting into hunting, Kate is fully into it.
There is certainly a long association between the Royal Family and horse racing (both steeplechasing and on the flat); neither of those pursuits is particularly humane either.
Yes, indeed. And not only to the horses in the actual races but to the many others who become discards.
I agree, Michael. As a horse lover I'm horrified by what these animals go through at this "hugely popular festival." No animal deserves to die at the hands of human entertainment. It's depressing that the royals are simply going "because they're told" by the Albertan Government, though I have to wonder if their refusal might have stirred up an unwanted political sandstorm. Who knows, with politics these days...
If they had any true sensitivity to the matter, it would have been a red flag long before any public schedule was announced, and they could have avoided the bad press. At least the whole issue is getting some publicity. And when you hear that six horses were killed at the event last year, i think that this makes people sit up.