SHowing Animals Respect and KindnessSHARK
A Former CFD Volunteer and Participant Sends a Plea to Cheyenne
Since SHARK began exposing the cruelty and corruption at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in 2005, we have had many, many good people from Cheyenne and around the world contact us with supportive thoughts. Below is one example, but a very powerful one.
Stephanie Beeken is a "hometown girl". She was her class Valedictorian, and is now a loving mother of four. The Cheyenne Frontier Days was a big part of her life and Stephanie was a participant and volunteer. Her respect for the CFD Rodeo has been eroded and replaced by disgust, regret, and sadness for her town.
In contrast to Ms. Beeken's well-articulated and intelligent comments, please take a look at what a very different sort of "hometown rodeo boy" has to say in defense of CFD.
To: City of Cheyenne, Wyoming
It is with great regret that I cannot visit my hometown of Cheyenne to deliver this very important message personally. I was raised in Wyoming and consequently raised with Frontier Days. It is part of who I am. I participated in CFD for years as a spectator, a volunteer and a participant, and I will be the first to tell you that our rodeo and rodeo in general, has changed dramatically over the last 20 years.
Rodeo was once a competition of wranglers and it was a test of skill. That is the CFD I remember. Now 25 years later, this legacy of rodeo is gone. It’s not about skill or talent. It’s about money - yes, money! These ‘cowboys’ will do anything to get a piece of the prize money – shocking horses – calf jerkdowns – who cares? Just get paid! No regard for the rules, just win, and at whose expense? The animals, and consequently the City of Cheyenne’s, as less and less people choose to expose themselves to this horror.
The reality is the people of Cheyenne should be offended as well, because what we love has been turned into a commercialized feast for cash.
As angry as many of you might want to be with the SHARK organization for exposing this, the truth is we should thank them for opening our eyes to what our rodeo has become before it’s too late.
We only have ourselves to blame for allowing this to happen. Many of you say you want to save your heritage. The rodeo that you are trying to save is not the rodeo of your heritage. It is the rodeo of the 21st Century, and it’s not worth saving.
If you truly want to save your heritage, and your rodeo, then you need to use Mr. Hindi and the SHARK organization’s recommendations to your advantage. Believe it or not, they are here to help you.
CFD could choose to be a leader in rodeo and comply with the PRCA standards and enforce the rules. Or CFD could choose not to, and the rodeo continues down its current path - continually decreasing attendance year after year.
Truly what you have before you is an opportunity. The loyal following of Mr. Hindi and his organization is extensive. An endorsement by Mr. Hindi for the CFD rodeo as the ‘Rodeo with Animal Compassion’, committed to the welfare and safety of the livestock will bring you a tremendous following nationwide. It will bring back your sell-out crowds and record attendance.
If you truly are the ‘Daddy of ‘em All’ then act like it. Lead the way for rodeo to return to its roots. End the malicious disregard for animal cruelty that’s been displayed the last three years. Start a crusade, if you will, for a humane rodeo. No hand-held shocking devices, substantial penalties for calf jerkdowns, an end to steer roping, and anything else the SHARK organization deems appropriate for the welfare of the livestock.
The truth is the fate of CFD is here and now. You are at a crossroads. Cheyenne could choose to be a leader in rodeo and work with SHARK. Make it a strength of your rodeo and appeal to a broader base of people by showing that you do give a damn about the animals – as opposed to fighting this. Restore your rodeo to what it was meant to be. CFD has a chance to be a leader. Really show you are the ‘Daddy of ‘em All’. Truly the time is now.
Stephanie L. Beeken
About Stephanie Beeken:
I graduated from Cheyenne's Central High in 1989, class Valedictorian. I received a fullride academic scholarship to attend Creighton University where I got my Bachelor's in Math and Statistics. I then received a Master's in Statistics from Arizona State University.
My husband and I currently run our own consulting company, are self-employed, and the parents to four small children which are our lives. We are the kind of people that work hard, and play hard, and spend lots of money on family vacations. We would have spent lots of money at CFD had I not found SHARK's website.
SHARK is a US registered 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit charity, which means your donation is tax deductible!
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