February 3, 2012
Rodeo athletes call bull on Bob Barker
By KATIE SCHNEIDER, QMI Agency
CALGARY - Calgary Stampede rodeo athletes are firing back at Bob Barker who blasted his former game show for giving away a trip to the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.
The former host came out swinging at the Stampede and uttered disgust with The Price Is Right after a trip to the annual event was awarded on Wednesday’s show.
The outspoken animal rights crusader admitted he’s never attended the 10-day event, nor would he, based on “terrible things” he’s read about the Calgary Stampede, telling the Sun, it has “a notorious reputation for animal cruelty.”
While everyone is entitled to their opinion, Barker and others who share his opinion, have no knowledge about how rodeo animals are actually treated, said bull rider Scott Schiffner.
“If they sit down with any rodeo stock contractor they would understand within 10 minutes most of these animals, 95%, are treated better than most people’s kids are,” he said.
He said bucking bulls are fed the best feed, given plenty of exercise, and travel in very good accommodations.
“And they work eight seconds, if I can stay on — that’s a pretty good life,” he said.
“So you tell me how that’s animal cruelty.”
He said animals cannot be made to buck, “they are bred to do that.”
And champion chuckwagon driver Kelly Sutherland said Barker has no business commenting on the issue or sticking his nose in the western way of life.
“He lives in California and probably has four houses,” he said.
“Take his money and try to take kids off ecstasy.
“Why don’t people with money help the human race? Forget about the western way of life.”
He said it’s “wonderful” the trip was given away on the show.
“It’s a trip of a lifetime,” he said, adding the woman who won seemed happy at the opportunity.
An irked Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart, who sits as a Stampede board member, invited Barker for a first-hand look at Calgary’s century-old summer tradition, but he declined, saying he doesn’t attend rodeos or bullfights.
The Price Is Right’s production company FremantleMedia refused to partake in any war of words with their former host.
“We at The Price Is Right have no comment to make,” publicist Paul Gendreau wrote in an email to the Sun.
CBS officials also steered clear Thursday.
— With files by Michael Wood
On Twitter: @SUNkschneider