Omak Stampede and Suicide Race

Omak Stampede and Suicide Race

Second weekend in August
The Omak Stampede and Suicide Race includes three days of professional rodeo in Omak, Wash. What makes this different from other rodeos is the World Famous Suicide Race which was featured on the 1980s television program, "Ripley's Believe It or Not." This is a terrifying hoof-thundering gallop by 15-20 mounted horses down an almost vertical hill, across the Okanogan River, and then into the rodeo arena. Four of these races are held, one after each rodeo performance.
The rodeos top off a week of activities which include Indian ceremonies, dances, and stick games, a type of gambling, at an Indian teepee village. (Much of the town of Omak is on the Colville Indian Reservation; the name Omak comes from the Indian word omache, meaning "good medicine.") Other events are a Not Quite White Water Raft Race, a western art show, a grand parade, a kiddies' parade, and dances. Attendance is 20,000 to 30,000.
Animal rights activists have protested the race because of the extreme danger to the horses. Since 1983, at least 15 horses have died in the race or been euthanized after injuries sustained in the race.
CONTACTS:
Omak Stampede
P.O. Box 2028
Omak, WA 98841
800-933-6625 or 509-826-1983
www.omakstampede.org
The Progressive Animal Welfare Society
15305 44th Ave. W.
P.O. Box 1037
Lynnwood, WA 98087
425-787-2500; fax: 425-742-5711
www.paws.org
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