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.
"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!
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.