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April 09, 2013 8:19 am

All joking (aside): Time for West to change perspective on rodeo

Written by Dante Geoffrey

The resumption of Northwest College’s rodeo season and my close proximity to the self-proclaimed rodeo capital of the world got me thinking, humans rely an alarming amount on animals for entertainment.

This was true to an extent in California (yes, I’m back to this hack gimmick), where rodeos and horse races exist as niche sports. But it’s much more prominent here in Park County, where by traveling east, I’ve found myself to be living in a place much more in the true spirit of the West.

That would seem like a point of pride for the area. And in most ways, it is. But some traditions of the wild west should have gone the way of the buffalo (except without the regret of decimating one of the most awesome and American of species).

The degree to which animals are used as forms of amusement is one of the few aspects of Park County that I cannot, as a resident, take pride in.

I’m going to do my best to not come off as a hippie. You should know I don’t play hacky sack, wear tye-dye or smell like patchouli oil. And I’m not a full-on animal-lover. I eat meat and am jealous of guys who can pull off leather jackets.

So at the very least, I’ve thought about this rationally.

Isn’t it strange that in 2013 we can’t find something better to do than sit around and watch someone try to remain upright on an angry bull?

Sure, it’s just a sport. And unlike some other animal-centric sports, the animals in rodeo aren’t grossly mistreated. From what I’ve gathered, rodeo respects the bull as a necessary and valuable element of the sport, and provides it with generally good care.

Then why I am speaking out against rodeo? Why not an activity that routinely ends in the death of animals, like hunting?

Because I don’t have nearly as much of a problem with hunting as I do with rodeo.

Hunting, at the very least, can serve a purpose. Personally, I don’t hunt nor have the desire to ever do so, but I do believe hunting can be justified relatively effectively in some cases. Sometimes hunting is necessary for population control, and it can provide food and other animal products to those with the know-how and to those in need.

But rodeo seems to supply little more than cheap thrills.

In fact, I’d say rodeos (and horse racing, while I’m at it) are glorified displays of high stakes animal cruelty.

(Make sure to pick up Thursday’s Tribune for the story about the incredulous gasp that I just heard echo throughout the county.)

Cruel? Seems mighty strong, right? That depends on your perception of cruel.

Rodeo is cruel because it subjects animals to a physically distressing activity they would obviously not be engaged in without human provocation.

Most subjugation of animals is cruel to some extent, but there’s clearly many different degrees and intents of subjugation and cruelty. Leashing a dog during a walk or caging it on the way to the vet is on the lowest end. Skinning that same dog alive is at the high end.

That spectrum indicates cruelty isn’t always obvious. Animal cruelty can be something more subtle we don’t notice – often because we’ve grown so used to it.

Professional football player Michael Vick claimed he didn’t know running a dog fighting ring in which dogs were routinely killed – at times by his own hands – was wrong, because he was raised in a community where it was a generally accepted activity.

Rodeo is clearly less cruel than dog fighting. It’s not even close, and I’m not comparing what occurs in rodeo with the egregious and overwhelming brutality of pitting two dogs against each other in a ring. What I am doing is comparing the mindset of thinking dog fighting is OK with the mindset of thinking rodeo is OK.

So is rodeo OK? You tell me.

The burden of proof should fall upon those engaging in the practice causing undeniable harm. Prove to me it isn’t cruel. Good luck proving to me that lassoing a calf, flipping it over and tying its legs together is not cruel.

Bonding experiences between animals and humans shouldn’t actually involve physical bondage.

If you still haven’t reconsidered your stance on rodeo, let me ask you something. Have you considered the feelings of the animals?

I know, I know. I will provide aspirin to those of you who just rolled your eyes so hard it gave you a migraine.

It’s completely understandable. Most people in this world don’t even like to consider the feelings of other humans, let alone those of an animal.

Personality and feelings are two things humans like to project on to animals. Humans like to think they know what an animal is thinking. And people generally like to think an animal shares their same dumb human thoughts. Human-animal communication is a strictly enforced one-way street.

And I think that’s what irks me about rodeo more than other, more violent sports like football and boxing. The participants suffering injuries (from minor to career and life-threatening) in the latter sports are consenting human adults.

Animals have no vocal say in the violent and chaotic activities they participate in during a rodeo.

Rodeo isn’t evil. Nor are the people who participate in it. In the grand scheme of things, rodeo isn’t high on the list of things demanding major reform. But its elevated status in Park County makes it an inescapable issue.

Is the entertainment value provided by a bucking bull worth the potential suffering and distress it causes to animals and overly sensitive writers?

Buck no.

52 comments

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 1:38 pm posted by P-Od

    You're awfully brave, living in an area where Rodeo and Ranching are a way of life. People from California and the East coast shouldn't live in states LIKE Wyoming, if they don't condone what goes on there - Plain and simple. Move here to gripe about the culture? LEAVE!

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 1:54 pm posted by Justin Schrage

    If you don't like the way we live then get your candy ass on the next train and get the hell out of town.We don't need people like you trying to CHANGE our way of life.Try Chicago.

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 2:00 pm posted by hailey Vieira

    Not sure you can even be taken seriously if you truly believe that rodeo and horse racing are only "niche" sports in California. Do you have any idea of the standards to which rodeo livestock are kept? Do you have any idea how many people go to college on rodeo scholarships?? do you have any idea how much charitable work the PRCA does? probably NO on all accounts.

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 2:46 pm posted by Wacey Triplett

    There are a lot of errors in your judgement on rodeo. The animals in this sport are taken care of better than most pets. I can say this having Rodeo-ed for most of my life. My horses went to chiropractors,got their feet done every six weeks, feed the best feed and joint supplements- my point is to preform well they have to be in great shape! If you are going to own an animal, horse or dog what is the point if they don't have a job? Just to lay around? That is not productive. Most rodeo events also stem from the ranching way of life and doctoring calves; so it has a purpose. Nature is FAR more CRUEL than the sport of rodeo. Personally, I think you should have gone behind the scenes and witnessed this so called cruelty for yourself before you wrote a misguided article about it.

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 3:01 pm posted by Brenda

    Rodeo has long been part of the culture here in the West. We love where we live and that is why ee have stayed here. We have raised horses and cattle, rodeod and trained horses for a living and love and respect each and every animal we have had the opportunity to enter into partnerships with. We love our animals more than anything and treat them with the utmost respect. If I wanted to live the life of a city dweller I would move to California or back East and live on asphalt but I choose to live were the western culture is still alive and kickin to exist despite the negative influences of those who move here and try to change our culture. People like you are probably drawn to the beauty of Wyoming and the West but what makes it beautiful are the people and what makes them beautiful are the animals that teach us to love, trust, respect and care! Take that away and we may as well live in asphalt cities and where they avoid eye contact eith others, learn to distrust and lock their doors 24/7. In the cities people lock their animals in rooms all day long and they are expected to hold their bowels and bladders. Horses are stalled in a 12 foot stall without regular exercise.....that,s inhumane! Talk about cruel! If you want to go on a rampage.....pick on those who starve their animals because believe me that is going on all over the US because of those who feel that slaughter plants are inhumane. I ask you this....What is inhumane...... watching horses wither away to skin and bones behind barbwire fences, dogs tied to chains that are wrapoed around a pole so tight that they choke or so short they can't get to food and water For days or rodeo livestock that are well fed and cared ? What is more humane? At least slaughter is over with quickly......starvation takes months! Rodeo animals are taken good care of. Go put your efforts to good use and help out the starving animals and leave rodeo alone or go back to California!

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 3:26 pm posted by Dave Rose

    Are you serious man?! The vast majority of readers are sure to disagree with your opinions on rodeo. Have you ever been to a rodeo? I don't own livestock nor do I participate in rodeo, but I've attended my fair share. Yes, bad accidents occur, but they're rare and from what I can see, the animals are very well cared for and treated humanely.

    That's all for now. I need to "subjugate" my dogs and take them for a walk. They love it. :-)

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 3:42 pm posted by Cayde Terry

    Dante - you are a brave soul, and I applaud you for your courage to write such an article. You HAD to have known you would get an uproar and harsh responses. However, you REALLY should have done more research before publishing. You give a simple brush stroke look at the sport of Rodeo. You are attacking the very fabric that makes up this great Country. The events you so simply describe are transgressions of actual working tasks that still take place on ranches today... Modifications of course, I am not sure anyone voluntarily jumps on their breeding stock (bull) to see if they last eight seconds... however, you must consider these animals you deem as being treated cruelly, live better than most humans... Would you purchase a $25,000 truck and not put oil in it? The rules and regulations of the humane treatment of these animals are strict and lets face it.. they are tough. A bovine's skin is 5-6 times thicker than a humans. They were made to withstand freezing temperatures and scorching sun. And if you did your homework, you would find that the PRCA was the original animal rights activist group. If you visit their website, they are very well versed in your exact topic. Why is Rodeo such a big deal? It is our heritage, our history, what shapes us... mocking it to those who believe and grew up watching and learning then competing is as bad as mocking the Pledge of Allegiance. May God Bless you, and someday I pray you see the senselessness of your article.

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 3:54 pm posted by Bryan

    Honestly I didn't read past the line, "The degree to which animals are used as forms of amusement is one of the few aspects of Park County that I cannot, as a resident, take pride in...." But I didn't have to. Who do you think you are coming to a small town, out West and voicing an opinion different to the geographic norm. We live out here because the country is beautiful and we can have our own opinions without being bothered about other people's opinions. Rodeo's are just plain fun, have you ever even attended one? There's nothing like seeing a one ton behemoth strenuously contorting in response to 5,000 volt prod. Trust me you start to sympathize for the Cowboy who has to be tied down to it, with that kind of anger and frustration being displayed in a domesticated animal it can only mean one thing, he's having a helluva good time. And don't get me started about whether or not the animals are hurt, this stupid website:(http://www.sharkonline.org/?P=0000000349) Has the gal to make a list of the few times its ever happened ever, and its not even that many considering there are 1000's of rodeos a year. Rodeo's are one of the West's last vestiges of freedom, its a place where we can gather the family, get a corn-dog (or nachos), sit in the stands and watch animals as they were meant to be seen, obeying the whims of man.

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 4:10 pm posted by Steve Brown

    If you define cruelty as "...subjects animals to a physically distressing activity they would obviously not be engaged in without human provocation." Then you should never:
    1. walk in a park with squirrels, (much less bring your dog along)
    2. bathe your cat
    3. let your toddler chase ducks/pigeons
    4. run the vacuum around your dog
    I hope these examples are familiar to you, given your cultural background. And another thing - it's pronounced RO'-dee-oh, not ro-DAY-oh.

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 4:31 pm posted by An Upset Reader

    I cannot believe that you are paid to write this garbage. Why do people feel so inclined to try to change history? Seems like since its inception rodeo has been a sustainable sport and one that has a wide fan base. How do you know that those animals dont enjoy what they do? Have you asked them? Personally I hope you get fired for this write up, Wyoming is a place of tradition and 'ol west' feeling, we like the things we have and dont want them taken away or criticized. Go back to hippie land and voice your opinions, not here. How do you think people traveled before cars? Animals were used for work and entertainment all the way back to B.C. times. How do you think a sick calf or cow is captured out on the range so that it can be doctored? Im pretty sure a cowboy doesn't tell it to sit and expect it to cooperate. You need to talk to some old timers and listen to their stories about the good ole days and take notes. People like you these days have no respect where their products come from, especially food. Why would you try to change an industry and sport that you clearly know nothing about. If you had an interest that had no harm like rodeo, i would not try to put an end to it or even change someones minds. You probably support gun control too, i look forward to your next article.

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 4:38 pm posted by Ginny DeLeon

    Given the fact that these bulls often compete until they are six and then retire to the breeding pen living well into their late teens, and are worth thousands of dollars, and you profess to eat meat ....... exactly how long do you think the average meat producing breeding bull lives, and where at the end of his service do you think he ends up? I would suggest that you might check on your facts a little more and read this article http://www.bonsallbuckingbulls.com/articles/20070524111012.html

    I have lived here since 1971 and my husband is a native. I moved here to get away from opinions like yours. We raise horses and cows but because of current economics and people like you our way of life is soon coming to an end. Your article just gives fuel to the fire to those idiots who think cattle should be "pets", and it's kinder to let an animal starve, (which is what's happening to a lot of horses) then use them to feed starving people.

    Tell me something, when automation runs out of fuel, who's going to gather cattle and how exactly are they going to do it and will anyone be left that KNOWS HOW TO? YOU?

    Rodeo is the backbone sport of this country but evidently you think it's better for our kids to sit in front of a computer playing war games or watch killing, violence, nudity, sex etc. on T.V. then go outdoors and see a rodeo. One last question, why would anyone move here if they didn't LIKE RODEO? Especially when they know IT IS the Rodeo Capitol of the world?

    And by the way I AM A FULL-ON ANIMAL LOVER AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN. Our cattle and horses, are respected, well fed and well taken care of just like our dogs and cats.

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 4:45 pm posted by Cyndi Barski

    Yes you were brave! I believe your view was very valid, but people that were raised on ranches/ with rodeo will be very unlikely to listen to it. Many will not even consider your points, it's much easier for them to say, " go back to California!", etc. I apologize for so many in this area with a closed mind to other's opinions.

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 4:51 pm posted by Matt Prindle

    Obviously you have some sense of the care these animals get I think. But I do not think you understand the pride a bull takes in dumping the cowboy on his face as fast as he can and I promise you the care of these animals equals or probably exceeds the care you take of yourself. These animals far exceed our pain level therefore us on their backs applies little to no pain. And in all events in rodeo when an injury has occurred it is taken care of quickly and professionally.

    But if you were personally close enough to these animals you would understand the pride each one takes in their competition in rodeo.

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 5:34 pm posted by yolanda

    You need to go to a rodeo and then write a follow-up column on the subject. Talk to some of the people participating. This will give you a better understanding. Looking forward to reading it.

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 6:16 pm posted by Colby Gines

    Every article I've read of yours seems like you are undercutting our way of life and this wholesome place we live in. I personally am disappointed with the tribune for hiring someone that takes part in such an activity or even allowing these articles to be published. If your life here is so terrible then this is not the place for you.

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 7:49 pm posted by Ken

    The article was particularly amusing with so many caveats revealing why the sport is cruel, but not the sportsmen or spectators, that I could only be left with the assumption that the author thinks that rodeo is cruel, but not as cruel as it could be. The author's attemp to avoid offence was so volumnous that I hardly regarded it worthy of journalism at all.

    My comments do not concern the article, but rather the responses to it. I agree fully that Mr. Geoffery's assessment of rodeo is a mixture of ignorance and over simplification and should rightly be criticized. The readers of this article should rather be concerned about the mixture of ignorance and over simplification by many of respondents to this article..."Who do you think you are coming to a small town, out West and voicing an opinion different to the geographic norm." or "People from California and the East coast shouldn't live in states LIKE Wyoming, if they don't condone what goes on there - Plain and simple. Move here to gripe about the culture? LEAVE!"

    Would the people of Powell or the West really not welcome a man for having concern for the welfare of animals? I don't feel that rodeo is the issue at all. What the West could really stand to lose is the FEAR of dissent and difference.

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 8:03 pm posted by Brad Erickson

    One thing I didn't see covered in the comments yet. The part about the animals not being "willing" participants as consenting adults are in violent sports. I can assure you that a bucking horse or bull can quit bucking any time they want to. I don't force them to buck, however I do tell them in plain English that if they choose not too then the next option for them is that cheeseburger you cherish. Some of them choose to buck and some of them probably end up feeding fighting dogs.

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 8:19 pm posted by Chaz Arthur

    Go back to California we don't need you writing for the tribune shame on you both.

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 8:28 pm posted by Thomas Kober

    This article is garbage. This trash may fly in many parts of the world that don't know any better, but here in the real west, we expect better of our journalists. First, the research is aweful. The writer obviously knows nothing about the sport which he is berating. If he did, he would know that those animals are cared for better than most people's pets. He seems to decry the violence of the sport, but I haven't seen anything from him abhoring the violence of professional footbal or Mixed Martial Arts. It is sad to see such drivel in a normally upstanding paper like the Powell Tribune.

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 9:36 pm posted by Brenda

    I'll say the same thing to you I say to those who move from other countries to seek a "better life" yet expect us taxpayers to support their happy asses....YOU came HERE seeking better than what you had...but expect us to support you AND learn your language or we're "prejudiced"??!!....YOU came to Wyoming...love it or go home!

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 10:38 pm posted by courtney bagnell

    Unfortunately, I feel that your opinion, like many others that feel so strongly about rodeo and horse racing, is an uneducated one. It's easy to stand back and see how cruel it is to rope a calf or cinch up a buckin' horse, but did you ever stop and think where all of these sports were derived from?

    Have you ever even considered how much time and care goes into the rope horses, barrel horses and bulls? I can guarantee that the top barrel horses in the country cost more than the average, mid-size sedan (brand new I might add) and anyone that spends that kind of money on a horse isn't going to throw it all away on mistreatment and poor care. Rodeo people aren't stupid, they know that if they want to be competitive, they will have to put in the effort.

    I would suggest following around a cowboy or cowgirl at the next Cody Nightly and see the amount of time that is spent with their animals. You will notice the difference between the people that are there to compete and the ones just taking up arena space.

    Obviously you don't follow horse racing very closely either, otherwise you might have heard of Los Alamitos, Santa Anita Park and Hollywood Park and realized that it is much more of a niche sport in states such as Wyoming and Montana.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with opinions, but if you're going to voice one, you may want to do your homework first. It appears that when it comes to horse racing and rodeos, you haven't found your "niche".

  • Comment Link April 09, 2013 10:54 pm posted by wynn

    Its good to live in a place where we can speak or write whats on our mind. Perhaps that could change in the future but as for rodeo and the livestock being treated cruel, i beg to differ. Rodeo livestock iswell cared for and have the easiest job for a working animal. For instance, most animals work a maximum of an hour a week, get fed quality feed and grain to perform and have all vet services reqired of a healthy animal that travels. Sounds like a job most people are looking for!

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 2:08 am posted by Pat Cremer

    I missed the part where you can "work" 8 seconds a week, or less and live like kings/queens--I want that job! Unfortunately for most humans (excluding certain journalists), most of us are unwillingly subjected to 40-80 hours of work for much less yield. For those that love their jobs "they kick the lights out" and don't get to "work" enough!

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 2:23 am posted by timber tuckness

    WOW! you have no Idea what your talking about not even just a little bit ether I am a third generation rodeo clown/bullfighter and my whole family have been in rodeo for over 100 years and have done very well with out abusing the animals because as we all know if they are not helthey and they can not go to work nether can we so they have to be great shape to keep running us over

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 7:10 am posted by Randi Reiter

    If I were you, I would get out of Powell, Park County, in fact to be safe, better move back East, or even out of the US.

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 7:40 am posted by Janet Erickson

    "Rodeo is cruel because it subjects animals to a physically distressing activity they would obviously not be engaged in without human provocation." Have you never watched a horse run & buck in a pasture? They run, they buck, & they ENJOY it. And they do it with NO provocation.

    "I think that’s what irks me about rodeo more than other, more violent sports like football and boxing. The participants suffering injuries (from minor to career and life-threatening) in the latter sports are consenting human adults." Tell that to the many human athletes that have been injured in rodeo...the ones who have gotten minor injuries, the ones who have gotten major life-threatening injuries & the ones who have DIED doing what they loved. Rodeo!!!

    You came to the West where Rodeo is a way of life, you obviously have not done your research or learned anything about our way of life yet you are paid to write this drivel? You are a very daring individual. My kids were raised traveling down the rodeo trail. I would much rather my children grow up in the family of rodeo than grow up playing computer games. They have learned respect for animals, they have learned respect for humans, & they have learned the Western Way of Life. Something you could obviously stand to learn.

    I wonder if the Powell tribune can withstand the fall out from hiring & publishing something like this?? I know plenty of Ag producers & Rodeo Enthusiasts that are already talking about pulling advertising.

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 8:15 am posted by Melissa McAlmond

    Once again we have an individual move into our great state because of it's beauty and history. Yet that same person, who did not grow up here, feels the need to try and change it, making it more like the place they left to get away from. I find this amusing and troubling. Too bad more people just don't stay where they're from, ie California, so then we don't have to deal with their misperceptions and ignorance of where we grew up, WY! I dare you, move back home and gripe about real animal abuse there, please!!

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 9:08 am posted by S.A.

    With all due respect, stock contractors take great pride in their animals; it is their well-being, so they take care of their animals. I personally raise bucking bulls and you would be amazed at how smart these animals really are. They aren't pissed off at the world and hate what they are doing contrary to popular belief. These bulls love their job, as they know what they are doing and it is not being forced upon them. Some bulls buck without a flank strap even being put on them, that is how well they know what to do (however, it is required at events to have a flank strap on them, so they don't even snug them down and keep it loose, not agitating them at all). Calves will be out at pasture bucking and playing on their own since it is in their nature. It is clear to me you need to become more informed and educated how rodeo people, or all livestock owners for that matter, treasure their animals and this way of life before you become that judgmental.

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 10:35 am posted by Brant

    I commend Mr. Geoffrey on having the gumption to write this article and voice his OPINION on, what is apparently, a completely one sided issue in Wyoming. It's is rather amusing to me that so many commentators on this article OBVIOUSLY did not even read the entire piece, which is mildly disturbing when you're voicing such strong rebuttals.
    Could the author have possibly gone to greater lengths when researching the topic? Maybe. Does he make some very valid points? Maybe. But you find me a perfectly written opinion article, and I'll show you a close minded, uniformed person.
    You are attacking a personal opinion based on your own personal opinion. Double edge sword anyone?
    Ok, so rodeo and agriculture are a way of life in Wyoming, I get that. It’s also a way of life in California. The misconception that Mr. Geoffrey is from California, ergo, he lives in the “city” is a tired and extremely unformed argument.
    California is a bunch of concrete jungles and smoke stacks is as ignorant as you’re claiming the author is. Having done a little research yourself you would know that, according to the USDA, California is the largest exporter of agricultural goods and products as well as one of the largest employers of agriculturally related jobs in the country. California will also be hosting thousands of rodeos in 2013. Funny they have room and time for any of that with all those paved roads…
    Mr. Geoffrey is not trying to change your way of life with this piece, he is merely offering an opinion on what it's like for an "outsider" to come to Wyoming and get one of those first zaps of culture shock. It is something different from his norm, and his piece clearly is written from an outsider’s perspective. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact I again commend the writer for having the bravery to do so.
    Many of you are selling the "sport" of rodeo as a family affair. A heritage. A way of life. Well, by that token shouldn't you be welcoming Mr. Geoffrey an opportunity to, perhaps, change his views? It’s disappointing that you claim to love Wyoming and your freedoms so much, yet you’re not willing to share. Kind of goes against all the core values you are claiming rodeo brings to the table…
    And to all of you who are of the mind that "Outsiders ain't welcome here", well maybe you're the ones that shouldn't be welcome.

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 10:41 am posted by Scott

    Hey I'm not one of the 99.9% who disagree with you but don't blame California for your views. Just own them. California is home to a long rodeo tradition, great rodeos and some Hall of Fame PRCA athletes.

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 11:13 am posted by Meredith Tribble

    Dante's article is good.
    Why?
    Because it shakes up things.
    That's why all of his op-ed articles are good.
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with voicing a different opinion. EVER. Is it not one of the great things about the Freedom of Speech and of America as a whole, that people are able to speak freely and voice different opinions? George Orwell once stated that, " Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." Dante is simply exercising his freedom. Which is good, plain and simple.

    When we hear other people's opinions on things, our minds are opened up and we grow as humans.This conversation that Dante started is good because it pushes us to evaluate our culture. Yes he approached it differently than most of us would, but that's why we read his op-ed pieces, because he looks at life differently than most of us.

    Dante, thanks for having to the courage to write something that people don't want to hear (wether or not it is right or wrong).

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 12:09 pm posted by Morgan Tyree

    The belligerent comments left here by some of "Powell's finest" is the most telling (and saddening) of the community we live in. Park County's motto should be: "You can state your opinion as long as it is in agreement with ours."

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 4:51 pm posted by Scott Allen

    Dante a "Brave Soul"? Not so much. It's a fine line between brave and stupid. Ask Johnny Knoxville.

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 5:24 pm posted by Chad Nicholson

    Media hacks like you used to surprise me until I realized that you are all out of touch and should ask for a refund on college. You need to be in SF writing for the liberal toilet paper that is the Chronicle. Stop watching life go by and get yourself a real education about life. Where you live you won't have to go very far, just change coffee shops.

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 5:57 pm posted by Molly K

    I think it's sad when misinformed (I desperately want to call you "uneducated", but you are undoubtedly a proud alumni of some fine liberal institute of higher learning in Califonia) people like you have a platform like this with which to influence other misinformed people. I honestly don't even get the point of your article. You don't seem to take a stance one way or another, rather prattle on about the fact that you disagree with people enjoying the sport of rodeo. My advice is this: if you don't enjoy rodeo, simply stay home. Watch Will & Grace reruns, drink your pretentious drink of choice, and feel superior to the thousands of folks who spent money on a rodeo ticket. Doesn't that sound like more fun?

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 6:08 pm posted by Jeremy Willis

    I hope nobody is stupid enough to pay you to write this crap.

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 6:14 pm posted by Susan B. Carreras

    You may not have a job after this ignorant piece of writing. Folks up here don't tolerate folks like you because of this sort of nonsense.. Are you a PETA spy? You sound like one. Please do your reseach next time you write about a topic you know nothing about. Have a nice day.

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 6:24 pm posted by Alex Bush

    I found this very interesting, if you think rodeo is so cruel, then explain to me this. When I go out to catch my horse in a 70 acre pasture why does he walk up to me without any grain? It is because the animal loves the sport just as much as the human riding the animal.

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 7:17 pm posted by John

    I find it interesting that many people leave overly regulated states like California because they long for the pure and simple lifestyle that Wyoming offers, only to try and change their new home into exactly what they left.

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 7:18 pm posted by Anthony P.

    Dante, I will truly be impressed if your next article appears in the Napa Valley Register condemning the evils of alcohol, partcularly wine. Your journalism "Purple Heart" will be well earned.....

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 8:10 pm posted by Rusty

    Perhaps you've grossly overlooked your market AND surroundings in Powell. While you may truly believe you have an intelligent argument your article is full of incorrect, false, or misrepresented facts. You may just want to consider moving to a market or job more suiting your own personal taste. Ie: Back to California

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 8:12 pm posted by Sharon D.

    You sir, are the biggest idiot that was ever published in a Wyoming newpaper. Please remove yourself from our state.

  • Comment Link April 10, 2013 8:41 pm posted by Cindy Glaser

    Well, I was going to lecture you on your ignorance, but I see that many others before me have taken care of that! Even those of us that live east of Wyoming (Ohio), know more than you about rodeos and how well they take care of their livestock. Niche sport? Just Google how much money equine sports pump into our economy. That would fill a lot of "niches". You're an idiot!

  • Comment Link April 11, 2013 9:35 am posted by Mr. B

    HAHA. Just google how much revenue a team like..oh how about any Division A college football team makes in jersey sales alone. It dwarfs revenues created by rodeo.

    Rodeo is a niche sport at best.

    It's improper to accuse the other of being an idiot when you "ma'am" are wearing the blinders meant for you're horse.

  • Comment Link April 11, 2013 1:58 pm posted by lisa

    Whether it was you wanting your 15 minutes of fame or the paper wanting a large public reaction, it's too bad you had to do it at the expense of coming across as a moron. The only exception would be if there is a ficton section to the paper. Next time do your research. Find out how much they pay for each of these animals you claim are being abused. What an outrageously expensive sport it would be if they had to replace them regularly due to abuse! While you're at it, research the regulations protecting these animals and find out what their actual daily care consists of. Then explain to the public why some bucking bulls let small children ride them around the ranch back home. Why don't you stick to your own field of expertise...whatever it is.

  • Comment Link April 11, 2013 7:04 pm posted by Logan

    I guess anyone who has an opinion other than the accepted norm must leave the state of Wyoming. Do I agree with Dante's position? No. But I do think he has every right to publish his opionion in the OPIONION section of the paper.

  • Comment Link April 11, 2013 9:39 pm posted by Eric Fleming

    My name is Eric Fleming I am a former Northwest College rodeo team member. I have competed in junior rodeos, high school rodeos, college rodeos, and attend the cody night rodeo every summer sense iI have moved to Park County. I read your entire article and you have a few good arguments for someone with not much knowledge about the sport. But I believe that your points are misleading and false. These animals do know what they are doing and love their jobs. If you do some reaserch on a bucking bull named little yellow jacket and watch some of his highlight reels you will find my statement to be true. When a rider failed to make a qualified ride little yellow jacked would look to one side of the crowd with his head held high, then point towards the other side of the crowed. I would compair this to Arron Rodgers doing a touch down dance. Then if you watch a video of a bull rider making a qualified ride on little yellow jacket he dose not take his (victory lap). He takes after the rider or bull fitter to avendge his defeat. That sounds like a compeditier to me. Is it cruel for rodeo to showcase their animals as professional athletes and care for these professional athletes? To see them as athletes and not as angrey, man killing beasts as people such as yourself see them as? The reason you do not understand our sport is because you were raised in a society that believes the steak you eat comes from the Walmart meat section. Not from a seed that sprouts to grass consumend by a cow. Feed and taken care of by a man who works from the time the sun comes up tell it sets behind the north fork. The same man who's love for his animals and thier well being outways his greed for money, power, and a his brand new porch. Who puts every hungry stomach in America before himself. Who makes the sacrifice to work tell the day he dies because he has no retirement fund given to him by a higher power. You my friend where raised In a culture where the media tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I believe our country is turned up side down because of people like you preaching to uninformed readers reading your articles, and believing every word of it. America is the greatest country in the world where we as Americans have the right to speak freely just as you have. Just as I have. But we also do not have to believe every word writing in an article. You may be able to fool yourself but you can not fool me.

  • Comment Link April 12, 2013 7:09 am posted by Mel

    I support you Dante Geoffrey!

  • Comment Link April 12, 2013 7:26 am posted by Douglas Blough

    I'm a columnist from foreign turf also, and I once stayed on a bucking bull for the required 8 seconds, plus a full minute afterwards. And it was turned up to almost the highest setting too. I can only say "YIKES!" to some of the vicious comments about someone's opinion. I'm thinking if they see how long my hair has gotten, I might be ordered back to Pa. before I get taken outside of town and dunked in the galldang sheep dip. (That's what a tough, old rodeo cowboy/bar owner friend tells me they did to long-hairs back in the day). My hat (headband) is off to those who maybe disagreed with Dante, but in a respectful, informative way. I agree his column took courage, and I thought courage and independent-thinking were respected Wyoming attributes. Right or wrong on the issue of rodeos, compassion for animals is never wrong.

  • Comment Link April 14, 2013 11:36 am posted by lee

    Wow! Did Dante get the reaction he wanted you bet. It's called freedom of speech. Do we agree No! Did it get people talking Yes! I have been all around the world. Yet Wyoming is still to me the most beautiful place. The culture,people and spirit is why I visit. If it wasn't for my husband I would have never gone outside CA, but I did. You may not like what was said, but that's what makes America great. You have the voice to argue back. It should be respected both way's.I'm sure Dante will write many more articles that many of you wont agree with.The fact is he got people talking. Good or Bad!

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