Distressed Horses at Earl Warren Showgrounds

By Tanny Taylor, RN

Traffic was horrendous coming home from Thousand Oaks where I saw a patient today. It was so slow going by Earl Warren that I could actually see several horses in distress as I drove by (not to mention all those in hot trailers on the backed up freeway after today’s parade). I went right into the fairgrounds to investigate and found a particularly troublesome scene where a black horse was tied up to a trailer with no shade (with temp. above 80F) and no water.  It was whinnying so loudly that you could hear it from far away. It was pawing the ground and heaving itself against the trailer in distress.  It was so white with lather that you could have mistaken it for a gray horse rather than black, but there was no owner in sight.  There was, however, just 2 trailers away, a representative of the mounted law enforcement unit, who was ignoring the entire thing. 

I went immediately to the ticket office and demanded action. A rep. there did walk over and see the dangerous situation and promised to contact medical and/or the owner (a very slow process). Someone in a 4 wheeler type vehicle came by, and would have driven right by had I not essentially jumped out in front of him seeking help for the poor creature. His only response….”I think I know who the owner is” as he drove off. He came back with someone who clearly was not the owner, and they just drove on by. I had asked the first rep. to at least give the horse some water, but she did not, citing safety concerns. Finally, I found a random, young cowboy and pleaded with him to help. He kindly and calmly walked over and untied the horse and led it to a stall for shade and water. Just then a woman who I assume was the owner came walking up with the original rep. from the ticketing office.  I asked the random cowboy to please attend to the other horses (at least 6) who I saw with similar plights, and he seemed to indicate he would. 

It is sad enough that these magnificent creatures are forced to participate in rodeo events that cause even more distress to other livestock for our entertainment, but to not have the brains or compassion to care for them properly is inexcusable. I did not have confidence that anything would be done in a timely manner, so I called Hector again seeking advice. He advised that I call SB City Animal Control, which I did. I certainly hope that the rest of those suffering horses were rescued as the first one was by the kind cowboy.

I was wondering if someone from the Indy staff might want to write an article about this as well as the cormorants in the future as I know I have probably exceeded my letter quota for the month!

Thanks for listening and caring.


Written by Anonymous

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  1. God bless you for making sure that those horses did not die in the hot sun. I spoke with a couple of “random cowboys” a few years back at Earl Warren, and they assured me that their horses were very well taken care of (even though they had all that “froth” going on). Sometimes things are not as they seem. For example, about 15 years ago I saw my father tightly tied down to his hospital bed by his wrists and he was in obvious distress….I mean he was REALLY upset. I angrily told the nurse to untie him, but she refused! I immediately untied him after she left the room, and that’s when I found out WHY they had to tie him down. He grabbed me by the hair and wouldn’t let go until that same nurse “saved” me from my plight. Thank goodness for nurses. Lesson learned.

  2. The Earl Warren parking lot is elevated from the height of the freeway, making it extremely difficult to see from your vantage point while crawling in traffic, not to mention the the amount of trailers parked along the perimeter fence would completely block your view of any activity in the lot.
    Because of this, I find your story very hard to believe, and suspect it was written purely for the sake of making a negative statement about the rodeo.
    Regardless of your views on the event, it is unfair to those participating and caring for the animals (and “caring” is all that I viewed from the animals owners in the stables, parking lot, and arena on several visits to the event over the last few days with my family) to fabricate such a story as though you were driving by and saved the day.

  3. Rodeos are AWFUL. Just cruel cruel cruel. WHEN will people EVOLVE? Roping, whipping, hitting, kicking and banding the genitals of animals so they will buck is cruel and heinous. I cannot understand why people still attend these events. Clearly the animals suffer. It is obvious to anyone with eyes and a heart. Shameful. Thank you to the letter writer for stopping. And to the person saying she fabricated this story, you sound like a rodeo clown.

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