Sheryl Crow, hailed as a champion of wild horses, has been criticised by a national animal rights group for performing at a Wyoming rodeo.
The All I Wanna Do singer planned to donate a portion of the proceeds from her July 22 concert at the Cheyenne Frontier Days to a wild-horse protection group that's suing the government to try to halt a big mustang round-up in Nevada. Sheryl is the opening act for Kid Rock on a summer tour that includes the Wyoming gig.
But Showing Animals Respect And Kindness claimed that wild horses are abused at that event in a special race just for them.
"How can an organisation dedicated to helping wild horses take blood money that was based, in part, on abusing wild horses? We believe what Ms Crow is doing is nothing but PR spin," said Stuart Chaifetz, a spokesman for the Illinois-based group.
The group, also known as Shark, called on the Cloud Foundation to reject the donation. But Ginger Kathrens, executive director of the Colorado-based group, said Shark's criticism is unjustified because rodeos are prohibited under the 1971 federal Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act from using mustangs removed from the range by the government.
"I think it's important for people to know the wild horse act prohibits the activity they're concerned about," Kathrens said. "They are not using wild horses off our ranges in that race."
In a statement issued on her website last week, Sheryl said she was aware of "the contrasting and very passionate opinions that people have about this event and rodeos in general."
She said she was making the donation "in recognition of these differences and out of my love for wild horses."