Bob Layton: Horse sense and the fate of the Rangeland Derby – Edmonton


When I was young, I enjoyed going to the circus and the rodeos.

First, it was into the big tent to see the elephants and tigers and other creatures doing tricks. Then it was on to the grandstand to watch the broncs and the bulls and the chuck wagons. And, yes, from time to time animals were injured.

As I grew older, I heard the allegations of circus animal cruelty. Eventually, the animals disappeared and now we have Cirque du Soleil, with its incredible acts with no animals.

Out of high school, I worked at the Calgary Stampede. I saw the owners with their horses and I know how much they care. What has happened this year, as in others, is tragic.

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As they study how to make the Rangeland Derby safer for the horses and the humans, one caller asks why they don’t just put designated lanes on the track. At least that person is trying to be helpful.

Others simply want to cancel the races altogether.

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That’s not going to happen. Wearing a horse mask in protest before the premier does nothing but draw publicity to yourself.

You might as well go after magicians with birds up their sleeve or try to save the water-skiing squirrel.

Let me know what you think would make the Derby safer.

Bob Layton is the news manager of the Corus Edmonton group of radio stations.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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