Its practice is even dumber than its name. "Horse tripping," a "sport" where "cowboys" track and literally trip a running horse, is expected to be outlawed by Governor Jan Brewer today.
"Few horses survive, and it usually results in broken legs, internal damage, and death," Phoenix Councilwoman Thelda Williams tells the Arizona Republic. "Arizona's allowing horse tripping was of great concern to animal-rescue and care agencies."
Williams says horse tripping (pictured), which has been outlawed in neighboring states, is popular in Mexican-style rodeos outside of the mainstream rodeo circuit, and it is happening across Arizona.
The cruel game, also known as "Piales en Lienzo," was started by Mexican ranchers and consists of people forcing a feeble horse into a full gallop by shocking the animal with electric prods. Once the horse is in a full sprint, a chicken-hearted charro mounts up on a much nobler steed and chases down the infirmed equine. The wrangler then lassos the horses back two legs and the horse comes crashing to the ground; then everyone in the arena cheers as if they just witnessed David beat Goliath.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
"Horses break legs, necks, and teeth," says the animal-rights advocacy group "In Defense of Animals U.S.A." "They fracture their shoulders and batter their knees and hocks. You can see deep gashes on their faces, shoulders, hips, legs and heels. The ropes often burn their flesh down to the bone."
With Brewer's signature, those who partake in horse tripping could be charged with a Class one misdemeanor, face two days in jail, and get smacked with a $1,000 fine.
For anyone interested in other idiotic Mexican ranch games, this just in: Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Get yourself south of the border and see Mexico's youngest bullfighter! That's right, an 11-year-old boy will be fighting a real live bull in Tijuana this weekend If this event is as fair as horse-tripping, the boy will have not eaten for five days, have a broken ankle, and have just been electricuted. Ol'e!