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