Table of Contents:
- Angry Birds: Cockfighting alive and kicking across US
- The Princess of Cockfighting
- Cockfighting makes for strange bedfellows: Chicken farmer kings, Romanian princesses, derbies in Queens, and Angry Birds.
In August 2013, cockfighting went royal, arguably featuring in some of the most bizarre news headlines of the year: “Princess pleads not guilty in cockfighting case” and “Romanian princess accused of running cockfighting operation in US.” Romanian princess Irina Walker, 60, daughter of King Michael l and Queen Anne, was nabbed for her part in an Oregon rooster derby. (King Michael was forced by pro-Stalin communists to abdicate the throne in 1947. Fittingly surreal, for a short time after losing power he ran a chicken farm.) Irina and husband John Walker, 67, are facing multiple years in prison, charged with organizing 10 cockfight derbies on their Oregon horse ranch.
How does a princess sink from regal to rooster fighting? According to the Associated Press, Irina moved to Myrtle Point, Ore., with her first husband, John Kreuger and “rode horses, gardened, studied the Bible and raised two children, ” but divorced Kreuger in 2007, marrying former sheriff’s deputy John Walker and moving to eastern Oregon. But at some point in the chronology, Irina allegedly shifted to hosting cockfights — big affairs with admission, food, drink and gambling. The princess and her husband are set for trial in July.
Cockfighting in Queens, pet stores in Brooklyn, farms in Plattekill, Operation Angry Birds, birthday parties in Texas, Romanian princesses, and chicken farmer kings — a casting call for a cockfighting freakshow.
*Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Amshadhagur