Costa Rica will soon participate in the good ole’ American tradition of rodeo. The event called Extreme American Rodeo is set for September 7 in San José. Bull Riding isn’t new to Costa Rica, but a Rodeo of this size and diversity of events has never been done before. It has many animal rights activists outraged. They would like to see all rodeo events outlawed, but right now they’re making a case against the lasso events as bull riding has long been legal and a tradition in Costa Rica; however, while lassoing isn’t something new, many of the lasso events are something being introduced with this new rodeo.
Their efforts have been squashed for the coming rodeo event, but they will keep trying. It’s not that the people behind the event are pro animal cruelty; they are going through great lengths to balance entertainment and safety. SENASA (National Animal Health Service of Costa Rica) officials will monitor the rodeo to make sure all of the regulations in place to prevent hurting the animals are met throughout setting up and carrying out the event.
What there isn’t too much concern for are the Sabaneros (cowboys) who travel from around the world to ride the bulls. This past January, a woman was tossed into the stands at a Costa Rican Rodeo. Often spectators will jump into the ring to give it their all against a bull, and often these spectators are drunk. It is illegal for Sabaneros to drink while competing, but there is no law against the fans having a good time, and a bullhorn to the butt is punishment enough without any jail time adventure added on.
If you’ve never been to Costa Rica, just watch Jurassic Park, that’s where it was filmed, and the bright green foliage often lends itself to the fear that a dinosaur will come scouring from out the brush and eat you. Well, you won’t find any raptors in Costa Rica, but come September 7, there will be just as fearsome of a beast, the bull.