Animal Defenders of Westchester

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Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704


Protesting United States Tennis Association Rodeo

Journal News, The (Westchester County, NY)
October 4, 2002

Protest may be aimed at wrong target

Animal-rights groups upset with USTA about rodeo

Jane McManus
The Journal News

Two animal-rights groups have planned a demonstration for 1:30 p.m. today outside the United States Tennis Association offices in Harrison to protest a rodeo held in conjunction with a local tennis tournament.

Kiley Blackman, a spokesperson for Animal Defenders of Westchester, said the group took offense to the addition of a rodeo in conjunction with the GHI Bronx Tennis Classic three years ago. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals also is involved in the planned protest.

But the USTA may not be the correct target. The New York Junior Tennis League, a USTA affiliated organization that put on the rodeo in its first two years, was not involved with last August's rodeo, which was again held the weekend before the Challenger Circuit tournament.

"The rodeo was advertised separately," said Jane Bartnett of Bartnett Communications! , which handled public relations for both the tennis tournament and the Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation, which put on the rodeo last year.

"The USTA has never sponsored or promoted the rodeo," USTA publicity manager Tim Curry said.

Curry said that none of the organization's funds have ever been used for the rodeo. GHI, which sponsors the tennis tournament, asked that its name be removed from all promotional materials well before last August.

Blackman said that she didn't believe the NYJTL was completely out of the picture.

"It's all bull," Blackman said.

One thing everyone can agree upon is that GHI refused to sponsor the rodeo. GHI's senior vice president of corporate affairs, Ilene Margolin, said the company had only intended to sponsor the tournament.

"There were concerns raised by people in the community, and we have no reason to support a rodeo," Margolin said.

Blackman said the implements used to get the animals to buck, as well as roping calves, were inherently cruel.

"Kids have grown up with this stuff, and they don't think," Blackman said.

Reach Jane McManus at [email protected]  or 914-696-8522.

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