Tie-down roper disqualified from Calgary Stampede over alleged mistreatment of horse
Published Thursday, July 9, 2015 5:11PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 9, 2015 7:47PM MDT
A cowboy from Texas has been eliminated from contention at the 2015 Calgary Stampede following an incident during Wednesday afternoon’s rodeo action.
Tuf Cooper, a member of the famous Cooper family of tie-down ropers, allegedly whipped a horse during the tie-down event.
“He was disqualified for mistreatment of animals, of livestock, for how the judges felt he treated his horse during his run in tie-down roping,” said Kristina Barnes, Calgary Stampede spokesperson. “The judges felt that he repeatedly and aggressively struck his horse with the rope during his tie-down run.”
According to Barnes, Cooper’s disqualification is believed to be the first of its kind in the history of the Calgary Stampede rodeo.
Tiffany, a member of Tuf Cooper's rodeo team, says Rio was the best horse that Tuf owns and has been a prized member of the Cooper family for years.
"Rio is not just a horse that he competes on, he is part of our family and we love him."
Tiffany adds Cooper would never mistreat Rio or do anything to cause pain to any of his horses, and the great care the tie-down roper provides for his animals is well known in the rodeo community.
Cooper's agent Shawn Wiese says his client accepts the Calgary Stampede's decision. Wiese adds the tie-down roper 'treats his horses like kinds and would never intentionally hurt an animal'.
Following the disqualification, Cooper left Calgary.
The 25-year-old from Decatur, Texas was the 2011 Calgary Stampede Tie-Down Roping Champion.