It all started with an April 7, 1998 letter from SHARK president Steve Hindi to Rodeo "champion" Ty Murray...
Ty Murray knows about rodeos, having won just about every prize, and a ton of money to boot. He is called the "King of the Cowboys" by his fans, and is also a rodeo television announcer.
SHARK knows about rodeo animal cruelty. Video documentation from our rodeo investigations have been used around the country and internationally. Publicity from SHARK investigations have shut down various rodeos across the US.
Rodeo people stopped debating SHARK people years ago, because our evidence of animal cruelty is so extensive, there is no debate. But SHARK President Steve Hindi figured Ty Murray, the "King of the Cowboys," wouldn't be able to refuse. So he invited the King to debate. Steve was wrong. Murray flatly refused.
Why would the "King" refuse to defend his livelihood? The possible reasons are many:
April 7, 1998
Dear Mr. Murray,
The Chicago Animal Rights Coalition sends you greetings. While we have not yet had the pleasure of personally meeting you, we have often heard your name in our dealing with rodeos. "King of the Cowboys." Most impressive. I had hoped that as one who carries that banner for rodeo, and as a supposed tough competitor, you might have taken us on in the controversy over whether or not rodeos are cruel to animals. This obviously has not happened.
Here's the deal, Ty. We can't find anyone in rodeo who has the guts or nerve to take us on as far as debating rodeos. Frankly, the PRCA, the IPRA and Friends of Rodeo just seem to be on the run from us, wherever we go. I understand their reluctance to face us, as our video documentation of animal cruelty in rodeos is difficult to impeach. The last guy to debate me was a PRCA veterinarian, and frankly, he did not do well last December during the NFR in Las Vegas. Ty, I have heard you as an announcer on ESPN for the National Finals Rodeo. Now let's see if you can defend the activity that has provided so well for you. Do you really believe in what you do?
By the way, I read that you are a martial artist, and so am I. I also enjoy certain "extreme" sports, such as paragliding, stunt flying, and formerly shark fishing. So we both enjoy thrills and an element of risk. Perhaps the only difference is, I don't abuse animals either for fun or profit. With or without your involvement, the controversy will go on.
The question is, does the King of the Cowboys have the balls to face down a mere vegetarian, bunny-hugging animal activist?
I sure am looking forward to debating the King of the Cowboys.
Steve Hindi, President
Denver, Jan. 18 (UPI) – World rodeo champion Ty Murray has been cited for chasing an elk with a snowmobile and then jumping onto the animal at a Colorado ranch last January.
Murray, of Stephenville, Texas was making a celebrity appearance at a Denver western wear store Saturday when officers handed him tickets fining him $1,233 for harassing wildlife with a snowmobile and illegal possession of an elk.
The two misdemeanors also carry enough violation points to revoke hunting and fishing privileges for up to three years.
Officials say the citations are based on photographs seized as evidence in an ongoing poaching investigation involving Hot Sulphur Springs, Colo.-area rancher Jodi Hill.
The 13-month probe of Hill's business, Troublesome Creek Guide and Outfitters, ended in February 1994 when wildlife officers seized photographs, videotapes and other evidence from Hill's home.
Some of the photos show Murray sitting on or beside a cow elk that is lying down, said Robert Thompson, the wildlife division's Hot Sulphur Springs district manager. Informants said some of the individuals present when the pictures were taken had bulldogged the elk.
Murray was one of 66 witnesses in the case against Hill, who has been charged with eight felonies and 30 misdemeanors, many of them involving the alleged poaching of elk, black bear and other wildlife.
The Denver Post reported that Murray said he knows Hill, but did not know why he would be listed as a witness in a case against him. He otherwise declined comment on the investigation or the tickets he was issued.
Murray has won the all-around rodeo cowboy crown for six consecutive years, a streak that ties the record set by Larry Mahan. The designation is based on how much money a cowboy wins in a rodeo season.
Copyright 1995 United Press International