Ask Dave and Luke: After another horse dies, should Omak suicide race continue?August 7, 2012 @ 12:52 pm (Updated: 12:54 pm - 8/7/12 )
After another horse died in the Suicide Race at the Omak Stampede, many are asking whether this annual race should continue.
"It was a big controversy every year as long as I've been here, whether this is a proper thing to do or not. Because they have the horses race over this very steep hill into the Okanogan River and it's very steep. It's very dangerous for the jockeys as well as the horses," says Dave Ross.
Watch video of Suicide Race at Omak Stampede:
The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle says the horse Little Big Man stumbled at the bottom of the race hill Friday as it entered the Okanogan River. The horse, owned by Jerry Ford of Wellpinit, was attempting to complete the final qualifying test for the races later this week.
Members of the community say the race is tradition.
"It's part of who we are, we're horse people, we're horse warriors," says Jason Palmer, a race judge.
"Do we as non-Native Americans have any standing to tell Native Americans, who can trace their lineage back farther than any of us can, that they can't maintain what they claim to be an important tradition in their culture?" asks Dave.
Luke says he has no problem telling them this is a ridiculous thing to do.
"You're running down something that is almost vertical. It is remarkable to me that every horse and every rider in this don't die every time they do this."
Ross and Burbank listeners seem mostly against the race, but there are a few hold outs.
Lynn in Seattle writes:
Re the suicide race, I heard a spokes person for the race say "this is our tradition; it is the rider becoming one with the horse." Ok - here's a compromise - ok, so if the rider is truly one with the horse, how about if a horse gets injured and needs to be put down, the rider be put down as well. That would be sorta fair. And yes, we have a right to change any tradition that is cruel. Slavery was a tradition in our country.
JWilson in Port Orchard writes:
Dave & Luke,
Horses are NOT part of Native American culture, horses were brought here by Europeans.
John in Issaquah writes:
Any chance of having slaughter talk earlier in day or further away from lunch time?...
Ron in Bonney Lake writes:
When it comes to the Omak race. Liberal Seattle BUTT OUT!
Listen to all Tuesday's Ross and Burbank Magic Message responses:
By MyNorthwest.com staff
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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