Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Cowboy Turfed from Calgary Stampede for Whipping Horse during Event

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Cowboy Turfed from Calgary Stampede for Whipping Horse during Event

Article excerpt

Cowboy turfed from Stampede for whipping horse

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CALGARY - Calgary Stampede officials have made the unprecedented move of eliminating a competitor because of the alleged mistreatment of his horse.

Judges say cowboy Tuf Cooper, who is from Decatur, Texas, aggressively whipped his horse with a rope during the tie-down event Wednesday afternoon.

Stampede spokeswoman Kristina Barnes says it's believed to be the first ruling of its kind at the competition.

She says using a rope as punishment or correction is unacceptable under the Stampede's animal care protocols.

Cooper's agent, Shawn Wiese, says his client accepts the Stampede's decision and doesn't question it.

Wiese says Cooper has high regard for his horses and would never intentionally hurt an animal.

CTV Calgary said it received a statement Thursday from a member of Cooper's team defending the cowboy's actions.

"Tuf's horse was late coming out of the box," said the statement. "Just like a barrel racer whips her horse home to the finish line or a chuck racer whips their horses to the finish line, Tuf had to get his horse to catch up to the calf.

"The decision of the Calgary judges comes from a long fight with animal activists that want to get rid of calf roping altogether. …

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