Stop the Omak Suicide Race

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Originally Posted: 20 June 2009

Stop the Omak Suicide Race

From In Defense of Animals Northwest

Help end the Omak Stampede's Suicide Race..."After a galloping start, horses plunge over an almost vertical drop (62 degree angle) of about 225 feet. The horses do not realize where the ground is until it is rushing beneath them. They cannot see horses ahead of them."


Pace Picante Sauce Sponsorship of Omak Suicide Horse Race
Jerry S. Buckley, Sr. VP - Public Affairs
Campbell Soup Company
1 Campbell Place
Camden, NJ 08103-1701

Coors Beer Sponsorship of Omak Suicide Horse Race
N. Cornell Boggs , III
Chief Responsibility and Ethics Officer
300 12th Street
Golden, CO 80401

Wrangler Jeans Sponsorship of Omak Suicide Race
Eric C. Wiseman
Chairman, President and CEO
VF Corporation
World Headquarters
105 Corporate Center Blvd.
Greensboro, North Carolina 27408

Letters Editor
The Seattle Times
P.O. Box 70
Seattle, WA 98111

Letters to the Editor
Spokane Spokesman-Review
P.O. Box 2160
Spokane, WA 99210
(509) 459-5400

Mayor of Omak, Cindy Gagne
(509) 826-1170
2 North Ash Street
PO Box 72
Omak, WA 98841

Colville Tribes Involvement:
Owners and Jockeys Assoc.
(509) 634-2577

Omak Stampede & Suicide Race Board
George Dunckel, Chairman
509-826-1983 or 1-800-993-6625
PO Box 2028
Omak, Washington, 98841


The Omak Suicide Race is the most disgusting part of the Omak Stampede, a rodeo held in a small town in eastern Washington since 1935. The race regularly and routinely kills horses. Just since 1984, there have been at least 20 documented horse deaths.

After a galloping start, horses plunge over an almost vertical drop (62 degree angle) of about 225 feet. The horses do not realize where the ground is until it is rushing beneath them. They cannot see horses ahead of them. This is not professional riding or racing. This is documented cruelty as riders have a “no holds barred*” mentality that forces horses onward to win AT ANY COST. Horses are pushed to breakneck speed, with inevitable collisions and pile ups that cause serious injury or death. And that’s just the first leg.

At the bottom of the downhill charge, the horses are pushed to survive the swift current of the rocky, deep Okanogan River. Horses may have already sustained injuries from the steep downhill run of this race and then must brave the waters; horses have panicked and drowned. If they land sideways, which happens frequently if they lose balance, they can wrench their necks, causing severe neck and back injuries and further trauma. It takes far more energy to move through water than to gallop on land.

Exhausted horses are pushed on to an uphill sprint another 500 yards. With this continuous overexertion, recovery is nearly impossible, and with reduced oxygen flow, muscles are doomed to permanent damage. The psychological trauma endured by the horses who are injured or survive is lifelong.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!

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