1. The technical term is “goat dressing.”
Cowboy Frank has this rundown of the rules:
The team stands 50 feet from the point where the goat is tethered. One of the team members has a pair of jockey-style underwear worn over their forearms. When the whistle sounds, the team runs to the goat. The team member without the underwear picks up the goat’s rear hooves, grabs the underwear from around the other member’s arms, and pulls it up the legs of the goat. Both team members must then race back to the start/finish line. The underwear must stay over the goat’s tail bone until both members of the team run back past the timer.
2. It was created especially for gay rodeos.
Gay rodeos have been around since at least 1976, and they take place throughout the US and in Canada. In addition to traditional rodeo events, they include special events like goat dressing and the Wild Drag Race, a race between a woman, a man, a drag queen, and a steer.
3. It might be inhumane.
The animal rights group LGBT Compassion is protesting the inclusion of goat dressing in San Francisco’s Best Buck in the Bay rodeo. On its website, the group says the goats “are restrained and have their hind legs roughly and quickly jerked up to have panties forced onto them. Goats have been observed limping afterward.”
4. It’s still not as bad as what goes on at traditional rodeos.
LGBT Compassion says Best Buck in the Bay does treat its animals better than traditional rodeos do. In 2011, the tradition rodeo Cheyenne Frontier Days saw three animal deaths — a bucking bronco, a calf, and a wild horse were fatally injured in their events. Meanwhile, the worst the goats face may be embarrassment. Rodeo director Paul “Popper” DuBray says goats “just sort of stand there” during the panty process. He’s not sure how they feel about the whole thing: “I don’t speak goat.”
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