CANADA As Langley gears up for first rodeo, SPCA raises...

As Langley gears up for first rodeo, SPCA raises welfare issue

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The saddle armor featured on the Calgary Stampede will be one of the four major Valley West Stampede events. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

This Labor Day weekend, a new rodeo breaks into the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

Valley West Stampede is the first professional rodeo in Langley, British Columbia, which claims to be the “Horse Capital” of Canada.

The three-day event, which will take place September 3-5 at the Langley Riders Society, will feature barrel racing, horse riding, bull riding and bareback, with a top prize of $20,000 for each event.

“I think it’s crazy that Langley didn’t have its own professional rodeo,” stampede president Sheila Hicks told the CBC. On the coast. “Going through this industry and through this sport, I am very excited to share this with the next generations.”

Rodeos are often feared by animal advocates, citing fear and harm done to animals before and during events.

Hicks says rodeo animals are well cared for and that rope activities will not take place in Valley West Stampede.

“Animal safety is our top priority,” Hicks said. “I mean, our horses are like family to us. I grew up with rodeos and we treat them the same way we treat our kids.”

However, BC SPCA chief scientist and director Sarah Dubois says she expects the event to grow, in which case these types of events could be added.

She called the creation of the event “a step back” and said that the event was purely for people’s entertainment and not for animal care.

“There are many other ways to celebrate our relationship with animals that don’t inspire fear,” Dubois said.

But Hicks says there is no “bitter fear” associated with making bulls and mustangs riot.

“If there was some kind of strong fear, horses are very predatory animals and they would react badly to it. They wouldn’t buck, they wouldn’t come out,” she said.

Hicks said a veterinarian would be present at all events.

The event also includes a lamb hunt where children ride sheep and win trophies, as well as a cowboy breakfast, beer gardens, barn dances and other festival activities.

Valley West Stampede has announced the first Langley Pro Rodeo, taking place at the Langley Riders Society Arena from September 3-5. Joining us is Valley West Stampede President Sheila Hicks.

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