Here's the nonmusical puzzle of the day: Is Sheryl Crow's headliner appearance at Cheyenne Frontier Days July 22 a good thing or bad thing for wild horses? It's not exactly a no-brainer, despite the singer-songwriter's long history of animal rights activism.
And -- not to digress or anything -- but how did this Kid Rock/Sheryl Crow tour ever get started, anyway?
The announcement that Crow and Kid Rock would be opening festivities at the rodeo known as "the Daddy of 'Em All" drew whinnies of disbelief from wild horse advocacy groups, including Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, better known as SHARK. The group has posted a video of animals treated badly (see below) at Frontier Days and has denounced Crow as a hypocrite for performing there.
Crow has been an outspoken critic in recent years of the Department of Interior's roundups of wild horses. "SHARK applauds your speaking out against the roundups," reads an open letter to Crow on the group's website. "What is happening to these horses is truly an American travesty. But what is happening at CFD, to some of these same horses, we believe is also a travesty."
SHARK has dueled with CFD management over the use of electronic cattle prods (discontinued in 2008), steer-busting (now called "single steer roping"), its "wild horse race" and other events. But it hasn't had a peep of a response from Crow; in fact, the group claims comments on the issue have been deleted from Crow's Facebook page.
But this week, Crow did take one step in an effort to defuse the controversy. Yesterday, she announced what the recipients are describing as a "generous donation" to The Cloud Foundation, the Colorado Springs-based wild horse advocacy group that frequently tangles with the Obama administration over Interior's roundup policies. Crow will be allocating a portion of the proceeds from her Frontier Days concert to help fund the foundation's Save the Mustangs Fund.
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"I am aware of the contrasting and very passionate opinions that people have about this event, and rodeos in general," Crow announced. "In recognition of these differences, and out of my love for wild horses, a portion of the proceeds from the show will be donated to The Cloud Foundation, an organization dedicated to the preservation of wild horses on public lands."
Will the move satisfy SHARK? Doubtful, given the video below. Check it out.
More from our Politics archive: "Wild horses can't drag Sheryl Crow off Ken Salazar's back."