SALEM — The Oregon Senate on Tuesday voted to ban the practice of horse trippingwhile affirming the right to rodeo in the state.

Senate Bill 835 passed 22-6. The bill now heads to the House.

A horse goes end-over-end in May at the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo after thrown lariats catch it by the neck and forelegs.

Horse tripping occurs at a small number of rodeos and involves the roping of a horse’s feet, forcing it to trip and fall. Bill co-sponsor Sen. Mark Hass, D-Beaverton, called the practice “shocking and cruel.”

“It’s indefensible and should be outlawed in Oregon,” Hass said.

The bill would create the Class B misdemeanor of equine tripping. Violators could face six months in jail, a $2,500 fine, or both.

Several lawmakers said they were concerned the bill’s language would also ban horse tripping on private farms and ranches, not just in rodeos.

Sen. Doug Whitsett, R-Klamath Falls, said the practice was common in equine husbandry and is a more humane way to restrain a horse than to rope it around its neck. Whitsett also said the ban would outlaw the primary attraction of the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo.

“This bill is truly a solution in search of a problem,” said Whitsett, who is a veterinarian.

— Yuxing Zheng

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