Nevada May Ban Horse Tripping, a Cruel and Dangerous Rodeo “Sport”

Horse tripping is just what it sounds like: people trip horses, horses fall down. The surprising next step: people applaud and cheer. These audiences would have loved the Coliseum’s “Christian vs. Lion” series.

Tripping originated in Mexican rodeos, or charreadas. Charros (cowboys) compete to trip the horse faster than anyone else. Here’s how it works:

They release a horse from a chute — often shocking the horse with an electric prod — and a group of waiting charros force the horse into a full gallop. One of [the] charros — either on horseback or on the ground — lassos the front or hind legs of the horse, causing the animal to come crashing down to the ground. Charros prefer small, lightweight horses because they are easier to bring down. Witnesses have noted that the charros continue to trip horses during charreadas until they are lame or can no longer run. Horses sustain multiple serious injuries, including broken legs and necks, and spinal damage. Horses who try to escape by jumping over fences or walls are only captured and brought back to the arena for more torture to the cheers of the crowd.

The source of the rodeos’ horses makes clear that no one expects them to recover from these injuries. Many of them come from slaughter-houses that already own the horses or feedlots that plan to sell them to slaughter-houses, but want to squeeze a few extra bucks out of the doomed animals before killing them. They lease horses to the charreadas. Horses who suffer serious injuries in the rodeos are returned to the slaughter-house, where they are killed.

One person who leased horses to charreadas estimates that of the 75 to 100 horses he leased out, only two survived.



Horse tripping is illegal in many states, including Florida, Illinois, Maine, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. “Enforcement, however, is difficult as many charreadas are conducted in remote areas.”

Nevada’s legislature is currently considering a bill that would outlaw horse tripping. The state Senate’s Natural Resources Committee unanimously passed the bill. It is now before the full Senate, which must pass it by April 23 according to Kevin O’Neill, Senior Legislative Director for the ASPCA’s Western Region. Both the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States participated in a humane lobby day in Nevada this year that included discussions with legislators about banning horse tripping.


Nevada residents, you can tell your state representatives to ban horse tripping by going to and clicking on “Share Your Opinion on Legislative Bills” on the right side of the window.

People inside and outside of Nevada can sign our petition, which we will send as an open letter to the Las Vegas Sun.


Related Stories:

Horse Tripping Video Reignites Call for Ban

Horse Slaughter Legalized in U.S.

How Many Rodeo Deaths Are Too Many?


Photo credit: iStockphoto


Pat D.
Pat D4 years ago

Stacy H is right.... I noticed that too. Barrel Racing has nothing to do with tripping.
From what I read....because the hubbub about tripping went national.... heard it was removed and possibly the whole thing cancelled. Can't remember but I do remember everyone was "mad" about this hitting the news/websites.

Carrie-Anne Brown

horrible but thanks for sharing

carol k.
carol k4 years ago

many of these horses are from the BLM round ups, what the kill buyers didn't get the rodeo clowns bought! and what they didn't get some were rescued, and some died in round ups and transportations, and some the BLM hold captive. over 50.000

carol k.
carol k4 years ago

the New Rome_ America_ where cowboys are now " Cowboy Gladiators" they are scumrot sorry asses! I hope they fall from a bronco, or bull and break their ugly human necks!

Gail Canning
Gail C4 years ago

How anyone can go to these events and call them "entertainment" is beyond me. The saddest part about all this is these sad excuses for human beings are raising a whole generation of children who think this type of cruelty to animals is acceptable. It's not.

carol k.
carol k4 years ago

I hate those ugly self serving heartless morons! they are wicked savages! they should all go to prison! stupid ugly evil people! hope they all burn in hell! Those poor beautiful innocent animal suffer fear anxiety pain and torment for mans ego & greed and self serving entertainment! they are worthless cowards Proverbs 11:17 May God shake Nevada Oregon New Mexico and all others who promote and use animals in torture for entertainment & money! Filthy cowards!

Tammy G.
Tammy Graves4 years ago

This is on the same level of dog fighting. What's the difference? An innocent animal maimed, tortured or killed for the thrill seeking humans. Disguisting how government lets innocent animals suffer at the hands of "humans".

Irene S.
Irene S4 years ago

Makes me sick!

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin4 years ago

Here at Care2, we read about cruelties towards animals in countries like Romania, Spain, Bulgaria, China and Ireland. But USA isn't a moral highstanding country either. The horses in Central Park and the tripping of horses in Nevada, sends out a different message. All countries must stop treating animals as property and instead as living creatures with rights. Dog fighting has been banned and the laws have been tightened to cover spectators enabling this cruelty. But it isn't enough. We all must work even harder to protect those without the ability to protect themselves!

Claudia Cavallo
Claudia Cavallo4 years ago

This is one of the most stupid and dangerous things I've seen, there is no need and no fun to act like that, the owners are just jerks wanting to make their horses suffer like that until their end, I'm so angry, and I feel so powerless, this is just another of the cruelties I see every day against animals and I wish I could cancel all the humans so that animals can live in peace