Box Elder officials reconsider policy after Utah horse roping backlash

Horse roping contest salt lake city

To rope young horses again and again is abusive. The threats made to the woman video taping the event shows that the organizer knew how this would be perceived by the public. You can view the original video here. ~ HfH
Commissioners 435-734-3347 Fax 435-734-2038 Let us cry for the death of the real American Cowboy. This is what he has become. ~ Jerry

From: The Salt Lake City Tribune
By: Matthew Piper

Horse roping contest salt lake cityBox Elder County » USU student is asked to leave after recording event in Tremonton.

Part of the appeal of roping horses is that they present a fast-moving target for the roper, who is weighing down and slowing his own mount. It can be trickier than roping cattle.

But near the 2-minute point of a YouTube video posted by Utah State journalism student Robyn Van Valkenburg, that’s not evident.

A young horse stares out through the arena’s paddock bars while the roper heaves his wide loop and misses from a yard away. If there’s still fight in this animal, it’s deep in reserve.

Yet dozens look on and wait to rope its scruffy stablemates.

Four and a half hours after more than 160 registered teams began roping at the Box Elder County Fairgrounds on Nov. 23, organizer Shawn Judkins told Van Valkenburg to erase her video and leave, she said.

“He was very serious and threatening, kind of,” she said. “I’m just this little 5-foot blonde chick.”

She’s also a horse owner and a wild horse trainer — but a post on Van Valkenburg’s blog sparked an outcry that dissuaded Judkins from holding another horse roping event Saturday. And in light of her story, Box Elder County officials are now reconsidering fairground rental policies.

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AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
  • Ziggy Pope

    Can you imagine, that in the year 2,014, this is only how far, mentally and emotionally, developed these ropers are? Two thousand years after the birth of the Prince of Peace was born, these men need to be told breaking horses legs for entertainment and “fun” is not acceptable?

    January 23, 2014
  • Maggie Frazier

    Well, I’d say these “cowboys”?? certainly need to do a little practice on their roping “skills. Why not do what ACTUAL ropers do & practice on an automated steer?????
    My main question, tho, is where did this guy get these colts & fillies? Possibly foals from the roundups??? We’ve all wondered where the foals from the Rock Springs roundup disappeared to – could these be from the same source?

    January 23, 2014
  • Sue

    Good for her! She’s made them stop the event for Sat. and “reconsidering” use!

    January 23, 2014
  • Jean

    I stopped being a rodeo fan after watching a college goat tie down event. I don’t like goats but felt so sorry for them as a rider charged down the arena, picked up the goat, slammed it to the ground and tied its legs. The animal looked terrified as the horse galloped towards it. After that I started looking at the animals on the receiving end of the action.

    January 23, 2014
  • cindy

    that is so wrong .cowboys.. real cowboys have respect for the animals in their charge. what in the world is wrong with these jerks!!!! and where is the owner of the horses , did he feel like there was nothing wrong with how they were being treated???? those guys don’t deserve to breath the same air as those horses. do they not see the horses just wanted out!!!! they are just wrong the renters on down .!!!!

    January 24, 2014
  • Jocelyn

    I feel sick after watching this video. There is nothing about this so called “sport,” beyond cowards exercising power over animals with no fight response. How can this be legal!

    January 25, 2014