A county committee has now joined the increasing number of people outraged at the prospect of a rodeo coming to San Diego’s Petco Park in January 2024.

The San Diego Padres announced in September that the rodeo is planned for Jan. 12-14, 2024, and that they’d be partnering with a company whose website touts “bucking horses” and “bucking bulls.”

Since then, the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee has publicly urged the city of San Diego and the Padres to ban the rodeo, citing concerns about animal cruelty.  The committee noted that rodeos typically resort to tools of torture — such as electric prods, shocking devices, flank and bucking straps, and sharpened or fixed spurs — to goad the otherwise gentle animals into performing the unnatural featured stunts.

“People might not necessarily know what goes into a rodeo when they think it’s a ‘family fun’ event,” said Bryan Pease, an elected member of the county party. “When you see the way the animals are treated and what they’re subjected to, it’s certainly not fun for the animal.”

Lady Freethinker sent our petition, signed now by more than 33,160 people, to the mayor’s office and to the Padres.  Thank you to everyone who signed our petition speaking up for these defenseless animals.

Unfortunately, it does not appear that either the mayor — who has not responded to date — nor the Padres are aware of the serious cruelties inherent in rodeo. 

“We have been ensured by the group that is hosting the event that the safety, security and well-being of the contestants and livestock of the San Diego Rodeo are of the utmost importance,” a guest experience coordinator for the Padres told LFT by email. “Animal welfare is a major ongoing initiative of the professional sport of rodeo and the San Diego Rodeo, and the event hosts pledge to continue the strict enforcement of these rules and regulations.”

Pease took issue with that statement, saying the Committee stands firm in its stance that rodeos should not be permitted as a form of “entertainment.”

“We’re calling on the mayor to not approve this as a special event and to stop repeating the rodeo’s false talking points about it,” he told CBS 8 News.

Lady Freethinker will continue to publicly oppose this rodeo and also will continue our efforts to educate people that rodeos and animal welfare NEVER go together. 

If you’d like to respectfully encourage the Padres and the City of San Diego to cancel the planned rodeo, you can send them a message here:

  • San Diego Padres: By Email: [email protected]; By Phone: (619) 795-5000; By Mail: San Diego Padres, 100 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
  • San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria: By Email: [email protected]; By Phone: (619) 236-6330; By Mail: Mayor Todd Gloria, City Administration Building, 202 C Street, 11th Floor, San Diego, CA 92101