APRIL FOOL’S Valley cockfighters resist merger | VailDaily.com

APRIL FOOL’S Valley cockfighters resist merger

Roger the Shrubber

EAGLE COUNTY – The needs of downvalley cockfighters are much different than those of upvalley cockfighting enthusiasts. That, says Cordillera resident Vern LaHood, is why a merger of the county’s two major cockfighting agencies is a bad idea. LaHood, executive director of the Greater Western Eagle County Metropolitan Cockfigthing District, or GWECMCD, said downvalley fighting cocks are more deeply rooted in the community, blue collar and family-oriented.”And they’re a helluva lot meaner,” LaHood said Thursday while cleaning cages at the agency’s coups in Red Sky Ranch. “We’re not a batch of second-home owners dropping in twice a ski season with high-priced fighting cocks that slaughter the local talent.”That’s what most of us moved here to get away from,” he added.But some taxpayers have suggested LaHood’s agency merge with the Upper Eagle River/Gore Creek Valley Cockfighters Alliance, or UERGCCA, because that agency is seen as more financially stable and efficient. Beaver Creek resident Beansy Mulvahill, who spends half the year in a mansion in the British Virgin Islands, argues property taxes are now supporting a “wasteful” duplication of services. “Is this about egos and fancy titles or is it about getting hammered and putting a few hundred bucks on some pissed-off chickens with metal spikes on their feet tearing each other into bloody chunks?” said Mulvahill, who owns the undefeated and widely feared fighting cock “Gallo El Gigante Mas Macho.”Fonzi Cutlet, general manager of the partly volunteer Bachelor Gulch-Arrowhead Gentlemen’s Fowl Fighting District, accuses opponents of consolidation of having a “turf war mentality.” “The way things are now, kids are not getting into cockfighting,” Cutlet said.Jorge “Beak Breaker” Dusseldorf, the UERGCCA’s vice president for investor relations and former fighting cock breeder for the Austrian Olympic team, said his group – which puts on fights mainly in Vail Village and Lionshead — would be “hampered” by joining with other groups with lower tax revenue. His group plans to introduce “more refined sports” as well as a child-development program called Cockfighting Club Vail, he said. “We’re moving into things like goose boxing, sage grouse wrestling and tourist baiting,” Dusseldorf said. “The main thing is that’s it’s important keep up with the millions being investing in the sport at competing resorts like Whistler and Copper Mountain.”Vail, Colorado

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