I read with disgust the Aug. 23 article on the local fair/rodeo. The accompanying picture of a roped calf being flipped over backwards was particularly disturbing. It completely escapes me how these "macho" rodeo performers enjoy such a brutal act of cruelty. The steer roping event (prohibited in some venues) is even more sadistic.
Several years ago my wife and I witnessed a calf's neck broken in the roping event. They hauled the poor dead animal out in a front end loader. It was a shocking thing to watch. All done for the "sport" of it. We have never been back to any rodeo since.
Back in the day, real cowboys had to rope calves out in the prairie to get them branded (another heartwarming activity). At least they had a valid reason to do that in order to identify their stock. Even then it wasn't necessary to jerk them down, just pull them to the branding area.
I don't have a problem with the riding events because the horses and bulls have the advantage and are not killed in the process. More likely the rodeo performer will get hurt in these events. Their choice.
All roping events, prohibit them.
DALE HAYES, Richland