About that "wild horse" event
Letter to the Editor
I would like to address the concerns expressed in three letters in The Star last week regarding the “Wild Horse Race” event to be held over Memorial Weekend.
There seems to be some confusion in our community about what a “Wild” Horse Race really is. The horses are not really “wild”; they are raised on a ranch in Nespelem and are in contact with humans on a daily basis. Not only do I know the family very well who raises these horses, I also know the care and compassion they have for them as well. They are fed well on a daily basis, given supplements to make sure they are healthy and vaccinated regularly. The horses are in a pasture with plenty of acreage on which to graze and allowed to be free under the supervision of their owners. Also keep in mind that this is not the first time these horses have performed in an event like this and neither these owners nor the Ridge Riders would ever sponsor an event that would be cruel or inhumane to any animals. The name “Wild” Horse Race is just a title of an event that lends more excitement by calling it a “Wild” Horse Race.
Please be educated before you post negative comments in the paper regarding these horses and the Ridge Riders. Not only are you affecting the reputation of a family who loves and cares for their horses, you are also casting a negative perception about the Ridge Riders, who have made huge strides in the rodeo community over the last few years, which has also been a positive thing for our local community.
I would like to clear up any confusion about what actually happens at a “Wild” Horse Race. There are teams made up of three people. The first person has the lead rope which is attached to the halter. (When a halter is used, there is no bit in the mouth of the horse, so I want to emphasize that one of the letter writers made a mistake in their letter to the editor saying that the horses have a bit.) The second person has the saddle, and this person is waiting for the first person with the lead rope to try and get the horse to hold somewhat still so they can put on the saddle. Now while all of this is happening, there is a third person who is helping out in whatever way he or she can. Once the saddle is on, the third person gets in the saddle and rides the horse through the barrels set up in the arena. Now doesn’t that sound pretty harmless? Also, have you ever thought about how horses are “broke” to ride today or even back when horses were the main mode of transportation? This event is not cruel in any way, and for anyone who has been around rodeo, the care of the stock is number one to everyone who participates and puts on any performance.
I’m simply asking for you to give this event a chance and to understand what really goes on. Not only could this be a profitable event for the Ridge Riders, but for the community as well. This Memorial weekend, we will be celebrating a local cowboy who made a huge impact on the local and rodeo community, Cleatis Lacy. I am a Ridge Rider member and I’m extremely proud of the organization that I represent, and everything we stand for. I personally would like to invite Patricia Hayes, Julia Somtherman and Berinda Van Cleave to get to know the owners of these horses and watch this event. I’m not saying we will change your mind on the subject, I’m just asking be sure of all facts before writing letters to the editors as they can have a negative impact on others involved. My name is Andrea Edwards, and I am looking forward to meeting the three of you at the Cleatis Lacy Memorial Bull Riding this weekend at the rodeo grounds.