Sunday, June 10, 2012

Donkey Roping

I was sent an email asking me to help get the word out about trying to stop this shameful "sport" that is becoming quite popular in Texas.  I don't normally post this kind of thing, but the growing popularity of donkey roping is frightening to me.  All I have to do is picture what this would do to my little Emma to know that this is a horrible thing to do to any donkey.  Emma would be absolutely devastated by this kind of treatment and she is exactly the kind of donkey these people are using.

Donkeys do not handle this kind of abuse well at all, especially when it is repeated over and over and over again.  Unlike calves, who are never roped more than a few times because they are too valuable to damage, donkeys in Texas have no monetary value.  Because of this, these donkeys are roped over and over again until they either shut down completely from terror and trauma or are too maimed to continue.

Please take a moment to contact the Van Horn Chamber of Commerce (one of the supporters) and ask them to put a stop to this.   Their contact info is:

P.O. Box 762
Van Horn, Texas 79855
(432) 283-2043, Monday - Friday
9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Please pass the word about this.  Most of the population has never heard of donkey roping, I know I hadn't until I bought Emma and started researching donkeys.  This is the kind of thing that won't last if enough light is shed on it so please spread the word.  Emma and I thank you for it.


  1. challenging for the big tough cowboy to rope a lil' donkey. So pathetic.

    And this is an authentic part of traditional cowboy life?


  2. Contact made! Thanks for helping get the word out and hopefully putting an end to this whatever - it certainly can't be called a sport.

  3. Thanks for spreading the word. I will be making contact ASAP. This is so sick.

  4. Sue from CaliforniaJune 12, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Thank you for posting this information. I am contacting them and will also spread the word. I have two standard donkeys of my own and have seen donkeys that were used for roping and the damage it causes. It is hard to believe the mentality that considers this a "sport." Thanks.

  5. I sent my letter to them on Monday. Here it is in case anyone else wants to use some or all of it, to help these folks understand how important this issues is:

    "To: ""
    Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 1:14 PM
    Subject: Donkey Roping in Van Horn

    Please don't support this barbaric, abusive, non-traditional sport of donkey roping. It's cruel and inhumane and is an embarassment to the authentic cowboy. What respectable, honorable, real cowboy would rope a little, defenseless burro? What is the challenge? What is the pride in abusing and humiliating such a small creature? It's not even an authentic western tradition. There was no use to rope a donkey as they don't provide meat or the possibility of income. Now they are just cheap, disposable entertainment. It's truly despicable! And noone should support such a pathetic and barbaric "sport" or entertainment.
    In case you aren't aware, Donkey roping is similar to team-roping steers. Donkeys are used over and over again for teams of ropers as "sport". The ropers consist of a "header" and a "heeler" which form a team. The header ropes the head/neck of a donkey, the heeler then ropes the back legs of the donkey. Once stretched out tight, the stopwatch is stopped and time recorded. Donkeys are not built physically to withstand roping, unlike cattle. Donkeys will suffer the long-term effects - both mental and physical scars. Chasing, roping and jerking these gentle, terrified creatures to the ground in front of cheering crowds is morally reprehensible.
    We are working on tougher laws to clearly spell out that roping ANY equine merely for sport is against the law. And we need law enforcement or animal control officers to enforce the law. What some people refer to as a lowly beast of burden which is often the brunt of most jokes, instead should be treated with the same respect and dignity as it’s cousin the horse. We also are working on educating ranchers and local donkey owners to encourage them to castrate their jacks which leads to indiscriminate breeding. A huge surplus of standard donkeys in Texas and nearby states has led to inexpensive donkeys used for practice roping. For a mere $10.00 per donkey at many livestock auctions, some of the less respectable cowboys can’t seem to resist cheap donkeys to practice their roping skills on. Once the donkey is so highly abused to the point it hunkers down in the practice pen, the donkeys are returned to the auction yard waiting for the next cowboy to bid on them. And the abuse continues.

    In many cases, ranchers don’t even bother to haul the spent donkeys back to the auction yards. Many simply drive a trailer load of donkeys to a remote location in Texas and turn them loose to fend for themselves. How many of these donkeys also suffer from physical injuries from being roped and fail to get veterinary care? The BLM doesn't even permit the burros that they adopt out, to be used as Team Roping Donkeys and will fine and jail anyone who breaks this law, if they are caught. We need more people at these events to report and help bring to justice these supposed 'real' cowboys who are abusing these gentle creatures.

    Please do not support Donkey Roping events!!!

    Lisa Westfall
    New Mexico"

    1. Lisa, Thank you for this letter. Please send this as a letter to the editor to the following local news papers: Pecos Enterprise, Pecos, Texas, the Davis Mountain Dispatch & the Alpine Avalanche:

      I am going to write one myself. These papers are distributed on Thursday in all the local towns in the Van Horn area.


  6. Bless you, Kris! I received Horse and Man's email this morning and I knew that heartfelt letter was from you :) I will be sending letters and emails in protest, you can bet on it. Thank you for your inspiration!

  7. Is this still done in 2021 or 2022? Thanks