Nov 13, 2012, 11:23 AM EDT
Animal right activists have protested at rodeos for years, claiming that the tradition causes significant pain, and sometimes death, to the animals. But a tragic event in Las Vegas shows the danger to human participants as well.
J.D. Jones (not pictured), 25, of Goodman, Mo., was killed in an accident during the saddle bronc riding competition at the Indian National Finals Rodeo on Saturday night. Jones’ foot got caught in a stirrup and he was struck in the head by one of the hooves of his horse, with the horse then falling on him, according to a rodeo spokesperson, via the Washington Post.
Last week’s competition was the 37th annual Indian National Finals Rodeo. Competitors must prove Native American heritage and typically win regional rodeos before advancing to the national event.
It was the first time in the event’s history that a competitor has died, Hooper said, adding that the organization is investigating whether changes can be made to make the rodeo safer.
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