suicide race in omak, wa (warning: animal welfare issue. animal death mentioned) - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-29-2009, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Reguarding a traditional horse race appropriatly called "suicide race" that takes place every year at the rodeo in Omak, WA.

Wondering what the views of others are on this issue. After inquiry of people that live in WA and are already a bit desensitized I was still pretty surprised to hear what some think about this event.... very surprised actually. I attended the rodeo (front row seats right behind the bull chutes) and wittnessed the evening heat of the suicide race back in 2004. After seeing what happened that year (same thing that has happen many years prior) I can easily say that I would never take my kids to see the race! Don't get me wrong, I dig a good redeo but, wow... that was too much for me! (my dad grew up in Omak and I still have family living there. My aunt and uncle invited my dad and I to the rodeo that year)

I believe the main reason the race has survived over the years is due to the "tradition" issue. Both for the rodeo itself and the tribe local to that area. I'm pretty amazed either of those reasons have swayed animal welfare enforcement this long!

warning: death and debatable/alleged abuse of horses mentioned in the following links.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_Race

http://www.omakstampede.org/?page=suicide

http://www.paws.org/outreach/campaigns/omak.php

if you are curious about how the course actually looks just type in "suicide race omak" into the search bar at youtube.com. You'll find both pro and anti videos. Some contain actual video of death of horses during the race so don't watch if you aren't prepared to see that.

~TRACY, wife to loving dh, mommy to dd (10/05), ds(12/08), 3 kitties, & 2 pups.
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:15 PM
 
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I'm going to move this to Activism. This topic isn't really about household pets.

Please keep the Activism Guidelines in mind when posting.

Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.)0(
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:16 PM
 
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I think it's awful...the trouble is that the tribe is a sovereign nation, and there's nothing we can do about it, besides boycott their rodeos. I've seen videos of the event and it makes my bile rise.

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Old 03-30-2009, 02:07 AM
 
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I think it's disgusting and I almost cried watching that. I cannot believe that it isn't banned. And to think that someone could just film that without feeling anything.......

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Old 03-30-2009, 11:21 PM
 
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My brother and his family live in Omak. The race is a huge deal there and brings in a lot of money... It's a poor, struggling, small town and a very depressed area in general. I've seen pictures but I could never, ever go when it's happening. It is heartbreaking.

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Old 03-31-2009, 04:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mesa View Post
I think it's awful...the trouble is that the tribe is a sovereign nation, and there's nothing we can do about it, besides boycott their rodeos. I've seen videos of the event and it makes my bile rise.
i didn't realize it was as bad as it was until I saw it firsthand. I'd never seen any videos or photos so I really didn't know what to expect. All the locals just said it's a "good race".

The year I attended, front row mind you, was the year 3 horses were lost. The one I wittnessed just happened to be the horse that died IN the rodeo arena right in plain sight of everyone attending. The horse lost it's rider (like many do) in the water portion of the course then ran frantic with all of the other horses into the arena. It was so overexerted that it collapsed in the middle of the arena and died . The poor thing was so paniced, so scared, flaring it's nostrils, then I imagine it had a heart attack. They has to tie a rope around it's legs and drag it out with a truck. I was in shock along with others in the crowd. I think it was the first time one of the horses actually died IN the arena. I was so surprised to hear them advertising for the race the next summer. I thought sure that would end it. Makes me wonder, if that doesn't put a stop to it, what does? I believe there was also a rider lost that year. He sustained a head injury, slipped into a coma, then died days later. So, so, sad.

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Old 03-31-2009, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it's disgusting and I almost cried watching that. I cannot believe that it isn't banned. And to think that someone could just film that without feeling anything.......
I watched a couple of the youtube videos and so sickened to hear people happy, cheering, and having ZERO care for the horses. Some of the youtube comments are even worse. Just seeing those horses make that blind jump over the top of the hill makes me want to cry. I don't want to judge the people that do it but, wow, how could you do that knowingly to an animal. And the fact that most of the horses are rasied JUST for that race is even worse. Their whole life they are destined to jump to their possible demise.

When I saw it in person, not knowing anything about the race, I looked up toward the lit-up hill and asked my aunt, "where do they come down?" not believing they could possibly come down that hill. She pointed right to the hill and said, "right there." I still didn't really comprehend how they could get down that hill until I actually saw them fly over the edge. I almost jumped out of my seat. I wasn't right the rest of the night. I don't even think I could sleep that night.

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Old 03-31-2009, 04:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My brother and his family live in Omak. The race is a huge deal there and brings in a lot of money... It's a poor, struggling, small town and a very depressed area in general. I've seen pictures but I could never, ever go when it's happening. It is heartbreaking.
I understand that it brings in money but, geez couldn't they just stick to the rodeo?! At least rodeo stock (bulls and broncs) are fed well, vetted, and only have to work about 1 minute combined, per weekend.

My dads side of the fam has been in the Omak area since the early 1900's and they all seem very desensitized to it. Seems like if you grew up there it's just no-biggie... I don't get it. Plenty of other low income, small towns, make it just fine without torturing horses in the name of summer entertainment.

~TRACY, wife to loving dh, mommy to dd (10/05), ds(12/08), 3 kitties, & 2 pups.
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:08 AM
 
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:cry:

the video of someone purposely drowning a horse (rather then try to get them to shore) was the worst... why not jsut bring him in to shore

~Kris mama to Alexis (15), Elizabeth (10), Andrew (7), and 1 angel
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Old 03-31-2009, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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:cry:

the video of someone purposely drowning a horse (rather then try to get them to shore) was the worst... why not jsut bring him in to shore
I didn't see that video The horse probably sustained an injury on the hill and the owner probably didn't want to have to pay to have the horse put down... what an aweful way to put a horse out of the misery they put it in.

~TRACY, wife to loving dh, mommy to dd (10/05), ds(12/08), 3 kitties, & 2 pups.
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Old 03-31-2009, 04:20 PM
 
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I live very near here-as another post said it is a very depressed economy in Omak. This debate has been going on for DECADES.....Have I seen the race-yes I have. I have to say that many of those horses are crazy, snorting stomping and raring to go....Do I agree with it, not really. It does bring a lot of money to the area, but it's the whole Stampede that does that.

This race is a traditional race of this area, it's been part of their culture for a long time. I don't like it, but I don't really think it is going to change, especially if you had any idea about this county. In the area I live of this county we are very progressive and it's completely different if you go to other parts of the county.

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Old 04-03-2009, 05:54 PM
 
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Does the Calgary Stampede, being one of the most successful in North America, purposely kill their animals? I will have to do some research but as far as I know they do not. The Calgary Stampede brings in so much money it's not even funny. Maybe Omak should take a look at how they could better bring in money to their little town of horrors. I am still so disgusted at that place. I will make a point to pass on through without stopping now. I know that may seem childish but I will not give my support in any way to a place that supports mass killing and brutality to animals. And as far as I see it, the riders are stupid enough to do it knowing the risks to themselves and the animals, I have no sympathy for them.

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Old 04-03-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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Ok apparently calf roping at the Calgary Stampede is referred to as animal cruelty so I cannot say that they are truly any better. My apologies for referring to that.

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