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Mexican Rodeo continues without steer tailing event

8:09 PM, Aug 8, 2010   |    comments
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Promoters of the "steer-tailing" event called it off Friday after a public outcry about a July rodeo where sheriff's deputies found the tails had been ripped off some cows and many had broken bones.

"Steer-tailing" takes place when a cowboy rides alongside a steer and tries to trip it to the ground using the steer's tail.

About ten protestors showed up to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds Sunday, even after the steer tailing portion of the rodeo was cancelled.

The protestors said they disagreed with the way animals are treated at Mexican Rodeos.

"They tend to buy these animals very cheaply. They're expendable, and at the end of the season they're dead," said rodeo protestor Jane Jones.

Jones and others from the Animal Rights Action Network spent about four hours outside the gates of the fairgrounds, as many families and children passed by in their cars.

"Children should not be taught that cruelty is OK," she said.

The event's promoter, David Martinez, said he was abiding by the rules of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

Jefferson County Administrators made Martinez sign a new contract Friday to follow those rules.

"We certainly do not plan to hurt the animals," Martinez said. "I think it's been a lot of misunderstanding."

Martinez also explained why he pulled the steer-tailing event.

"It's so controversial right now," he said. "I would like to sit down with directors and see where the line is and see why my event might be different from others and see what we can do to make this better for everyone."

On Friday 9News, observed bull riding, but no steer-tailing or horse tripping, two events which animal rights groups protested.

Jefferson County Sheriff's officials spent time at the Rodeo event Sunday, but left after they felt confident animals would not be harmed, Jacki Kelley, spokesperson for Jefferson County, said.

Martinez and his father still face charges of animal cruelty for the July event at the fairgrounds.

Deputies executed a search warrant at their Adams County property earlier this month.

They found seven steers with skin pulled from their tails, called "de-gloving."

They also found two lame steers, and two with broken bones. Those animals with broken bones had to be put down, Jefferson County Sheriff's officials said.

Martinez and his father will have to fight those charges in court near the end of August.

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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