Friday, June 15, 2012

Stirring Things Up

I seem to have stirred up quite a bit of dust here about this donkey roping thing, which is OK by me:)  The response has been amazing and has spread farther and faster then I could have imagined.  I am trying to compile a list of contacts for people to get in touch with...politely please.   If you haven't seen it yet, here is a letter posted by Justina at Morning Bray Farm:

I just got off the phone with Patricia Golden at the Van Horn, Texas Chamber of Commerce. She's a very nice lady and we had a civilized conversation.
I suppose I was fortunate to get through. I've seen some comments online where folks are saying that their calls aren't being answered by the Van Horn Chamber of Commerce. When I asked Ms. Golden about this, she said that she's had to stop answering the phone because people are calling and screaming and cursing at her. If you called me and dropped the F-bomb on me, you'd better believe I wouldn't want to talk with you either.  :-)
It's possible to be angry and civil at the same time, folks. We're not going to get anywhere with this if we're screaming at the people with whom we're trying to communicate.  :-)
She's received about 550 emails so far and wishes that she could answer them all. She's quite grateful for the education she's receiving about donkey roping... like many people, she didn't realize that there are valid and explainable reasons for why donkeys shouldn't be roped. She reminded me that this (rodeo) is very culturally ingrained there - it's up to us to educate and to rationally show these folks why this is no longer (okay, it never should have been) culturally acceptable.
Ms. Golden wrote a letter to the Van Horn city administrator this morning warning him that the "donkey community" out there is gaining momentum and that this is not going away.  When she Googled "donkey roping Van Horn Rodeo" this morning, she saw first hand how much is going on out here on the Web... she's very aware!
She's not the decision maker here, but she is a key influencer. She requested that all phone calls go to Jason Owens; the promoter of the event. His phone number is 432-940-9051. Ms. Golden said that she spoke with Jason this morning and told him that she would be directing folks to him. Jason said that he would take all calls. Please call Jason Owens and tell him (civilly) why he needs to cancel the donkey roping competition in next Saturday's (June 23) Van Horn Rodeo. Ms. Golden pointed out that if Jason receives enough phone calls educating him about why this should not happen - he very well may decide to bow under pressure. But again, please be civil. Believe me, I'm angry too!
One additional request from Ms. Golden - she needs to show the city administrator public pressure from the media. When she checked the local papers yesterday evening, there were no letters to the editor about this subject. She said if she could show the city administrator letters to the editor, it would go a long way.
Please start by writing to Larry Simpson, editor at The Van Horn Advocate:

I see this donkey roping issue as a symptom of a larger problem. That being: too many unwanted donkeys and not enough public awareness regarding donkeys in general along with their lack of monetary value.  This last, combined with their numbers makes them easy targets for abuse and neglect.  I haven't figured out how to address this larger problem beyond what I am already doing.  For now, I would be happy with ending the roping.  If anyone has any suggestions, I would be glad to hear them.

At the moment,  I think that targeting media sources and promoters like Jason Owens (politely) will be the most effective.  The link to the local paper is in the above letter.

Here is a link to one of the Van Horn radio stations:

There is also an online petition which you can sign here:

Since the response to this has been so overwhelming (in a good way) I will try to post updates as I can.  Don't worry though, if a baby donkey happens to show up here, everything else in the universe will come to a screeching halt and you will definitely hear about it:)


  1. Fantastic - and thank you so much for getting the contacts out there! I will spread the word too!

  2. What a tremendous response!

    I saw a poster for the event that listed sponsors whose names I copied down. But now I am unable to find the poster again! Any chance you have seen it and have a link to it? I've written to quite a few.

    I sent a letter to the editor of the Van Horn Advocate and hope it will be published.

    1. There was a poster included with a group of photos. However, I just tried to open the site so I could post the link here and it is now password protected. I guess we are getting to them.If I find anything, I will post it. Thanks for your efforts.