Clark County commissioners say no to rodeo horse tripping


Las Vegas Review-Journal, Aug 6, 2013, Ben Botkin


A horse struggles as he is caught from his front legs during the 3rd State Charro Championship in Mexico City on Jan. 27, 2007. The “Charreria” or Mexican rodeo, is one of Mexico’s most famous symbols, displaying a style and macho bravery romanticized in the nation’s folk songs, paintings and movies.

The Clark County law against the Mexican rodeo sport of “horse roping” stands.

County commissioners on Tuesday scrapped a proposal that would have allowed roping events that include the lassoing of horses by their legs.

The commission’s 6-1 vote followed an outpouring of testimony from people who work with horses or consider themselves animal rights advocates and came despite concerns voiced by the Mexican Federation of Charreria.

The decision means that the county’s ordinance outlawing the practice will remain in place, even if an event’s goal is to not trip them and instead use a catch-and-release method.

Horse tripping, or roping the legs, can bring the same penalties as other animal-related violations of county code. A violator could be found guilty of a misdemeanor and fined or imprisoned, or pay a civil penalty, with fines ranging from $100 for the first offense to $500 for a third offense.

Commissioner Tom Collins cast the lone dissenting vote. He stressed that horse tripping isn’t part of charreada events, which reflect the cultural heritage of rodeos in Mexico and roping horses by their legs.

“I have attended some of the Mexican rodeos. They have very expensive horses,” he said, adding that the owners wouldn’t want to hurt these horses.

The proposal would have mirrored a new state law that bans horse tripping, but allows local government entities to issue permits for events with horse roping.

Critics told commissioners that allowing charreada events would open the door for tripping, even if it’s unintentional.

While not supportive of the changing the county’s ordinance, Commissioner Chris Guinchigliani had introduced the measure as a possible compromise in light of the new state law and an upcoming event.

The World Series of Charreria Las Vegas 2013 is scheduled for Sept. 25-29 at South Point. The series has nine events, three that would have featured horse roping that cannot happen now. Legally, the rodeo can go on with the six other events that don’t involve horse roping.

Alejandro Galindo Jimenez, the Nevada president of the Mexican Federation of Charreria, stressed that its own rules keep animal safety and welfare at the forefront. The events have welfare committees and rules against horse tripping.

It’s unclear what the county’s move will do to the event, which was estimated to draw some 10,000 to 20,000 people. But Galindo Jimenez said it won’t be good.

“That means Las Vegas suffers a huge blow,” he said. CONTINUED…. Read the rest of the article at the Los Vegas Review-Jounal


Habitat for Horses is a 501.c.3 nonprofit equine protection organization supported solely by your donations. As of today, we have 185 donkeys and horses under our care, plus two ornery, old mules. Most of them are here because law enforcement removed them from their previous owner. Our ability to rehabilitate and rehome them comes from the financial support of people like you. Please support us by making a donation for the horses we all serve. Click HERE to donate


AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • Sue

    As always, its about the MONEY.

    August 8, 2013
  • Mary Anne Gardner

    This is something that should be stopped here and in Mexico!!! Don’t let this come into the U.S. We have enough cruelity here and don’t need any more! He can say it doesn’t hurt the horses, wake up these people don’t care it’s a sport to them. For people that love horses have nothing to do with this, I am asking you to help keep this our of the U.S. PLEASE!!

    August 8, 2013
  • JanSchultz

    Good for them! Standing up against macho tradition takes a simple and good heart. I wonder how many will not attend because they won’t be able to see horses thrashing and crashing to the ground. And I wonder how many of the rodeo horses are horses that Davis sold to them? There really is no place for rodeo.

    August 8, 2013
  • karen

    I love when animal abusers who make money off their abuse threaten that any actions to stop the abuse means the city the abuse is happening in is going to lose money.
    Like this event makes any difference to Las Vegas.

    August 8, 2013
  • sherriey

    macho? bravery?
    get real!!!!!!

    what a disgusting event! an event for wusses!
    what a bunch of wussy jerks!!!!!

    August 8, 2013
  • Jean

    Tom Collins is also in favor of horse slaughter which he mentioned as an announcer for the Helldorado Rodeo a couple of years ago. He is a cattleman, long time commissioner and, in general, seems to be an ornery, hard headed, good ole boy.

    August 8, 2013
  • Judy Wendt

    Instead of horse tripping, I suggest they institute an event called “human tripping” and do precisely the same thing to those who would abuse animals. I guarantee the crowds would be much larger!

    August 8, 2013
  • Debbie Tracy

    Good for them indeed, thank god…. And yes we have enough cruelty to our animals, no excuses for it, NONE….. If we as a country cannot even think or care about the welfare of our animals, how in gods name are we suppose to care about each other, it’s the basic’s of a living breathing creature JUST like US…..

    August 8, 2013