Texas calf roper champ will be a no show at the Stampede due to Canada's Vaccine Policy
Texas champ Tuf Cooper announced that he would not be making an appearance at the Calgary Stampede in July this year, citing concerns over Canada's vaccine policy.
"I won’t be going to Calgary this year because the Canadian government is requiring the contestants to be vaccinated, be covid tested and quarantine, in order to compete. The PRCA will be allowing the money to count towards the world standings so it was a hard decision to make. While I appreciate the people of Calgary getting their rodeo going and understand these are not their rules but their government’s. I just don’t think as Americans we should be forced to take a vaccine to compete at a rodeo and make a living. Best of luck to everyone."
Comments were overwhelming supportive of his decision to do so.
"I wish more people would take a stand like you. As someone that lives close to Calgary I will not attend the Calgary Stampede due to the way they have treated the chuckwagon drivers," wrote one woman.
Cooper is no stranger to controversy in Calgary. Back in 2015, he was disqualified from the remainder of the rodeo on the grounds of "mistreatment of livestock."
A video of the run showed Cooper striking his horse with his rope while pursuing a calf.
"The six judges, along with Calgary Stampede officials, unanimously made the decision to disqualify Cooper after seeing him repeatedly and aggressively using his rope on his horse during the run," said Kristina Barnes, a spokeswoman for the Stampede, in an email.
"The Calgary Stampede takes its animal care protocols very seriously and enforces them among anyone who handles animals on Stampede Park, whether its staff, volunteers or competitors."
It was the first time a competitor has been disqualified from the rodeo for that type of infraction.
According to the Calgary Stampede's website, Cooper is a champion tie-down roper who has earned more than $1 million US during his rodeo career by the time he turned 23.His father is Roy "Super Looper" Cooper, a world rodeo champion.