Video Exposes Rodeo Cruelty to Horses and Calves

Video footage showing horses being shocked in chutes and calves being abused in a roping contest at the Reno Rodeo in June, in violation of rodeo policies, was just released by Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK).

“Literally, these animals have to be tortured to get them to perform, and that is animal cruelty pure and simple,” said SHARK spokesman Stuart Chaifetz.

SHARK released similar footage last year from the Reno Rodeo, after which cameras were installed by the rodeo officials to monitor activities.

Rodeo spokesman Steve Schroeder acknowledged that the horses were being shocked after seeing the footage and also admitted that cowboys, being the geniuses that they are, found a way to mess with the cameras that were installed and worked “really hard to stay out of camera view.”

According to Schroeder, the Reno Rodeo frowns upon shocking, even though the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) officially allows shocks, or ‘hot shots’ to be used. The identity of the person doing the shocking hasn’t been released, but Schroeder told the Rapid City Journal that the individual and the company he contracted for, Big Bend/Flying Five Rodeo Co., would likely be facing fines and that the individual in question would not be allowed to return.

Unfortunately for the animals involved, the latest video release just proves that problems with abuse and disregard for the rules are ongoing and part of a larger problem in rodeos.

“The whole damn thing is rotten,” SHARK’s Steve Hindi told the LA Times. “Some horses were double shocked. They have tried to scapegoat one person in an effort to make the problem go away. They said he wonít be allowed back at the rodeo. But we know thatís bull. There are four guys doing this.”

“Itís not going on in a vacuum. The riders know, the judges know, the announcers know. Itís a systematic problem.”

Judging by the video, the cowboys doing the shocking weren’t exactly even close to being subtle about it.

Footage of calf-roping was also obtained that showed two calves being injured in ‘jerk downs,’ where they’re chased at full speed, roped and flipped over backwards, an activity that is illegal by PRCA standards. One calf injured its leg, while another broke its neck but continued to endure having its legs tied.

SHARK plans on holding a press conference in Reno on Friday to show more footage from the event.

Related Stories:

Can a Rodeo Ever Be Considered Humane?

Activists Sue Rodeo Group

Horse Slaughter Legalized in the U.S.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Cheryl F.
Cheryl F5 years ago

Yeah, it takes a real big man to beat up a terrified animal- way to go cowboys. I hope you're proud of yourselves. You must have to prove you're missing something- compassion, humanity, decency, a certain part of your male anatomy...

ER C5 years ago

signed & sharing

N R C5 years ago

signed & passing it along 2 everyone I know

Diane L.
Diane L6 years ago

Kathy, with all due respect, going to "a" rodeo ONCE is hardly personal experience enough to give one the right to judge all rodeos or all rodeo events. Try to understand that the bulls buck because they just naturally do that and are bred specifically FOR that, from stock that also were bred to buck. Brahmas are not the docile, placid animals that Jersey cows are, and you could put a light weight mannequin on them and they'd buck just as hard. Maybe if you talked to Lane Frost's parents or to anyone in the industry which participate in that event, they could explain it more to you. WHY any of them enjoy that is beyond me, but those bulls are treated like royalty and they're worth a fortune to their handlers/owners. None of them are abused by any means.

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson6 years ago

not just the horses are tortured. the calf they rope is terrified, and the bulls are only bucking because there is a heavy stranger on their back. it's very sad. I went to one once. I cried

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W6 years ago


Andrew Carbonneau
Andrew C6 years ago

Only cowards underkake in this kind of behavior. Truly disgusting and disturbing.

ann paveletz
.6 years ago

I thought the wild west was a thing of the past..but I tend to forget man against beast. Man has no brains God bless the animals for being in control of a human. I wish a horse would ride a man and make him perform to the expectations they are submitted to..Pitiful Ann

carol k.
carol k6 years ago

do to man as man does to animals!

Past Member
Stephanie T6 years ago

Any venue that exploits Animals needs to be banned. Rodeos are extremely cruel MOB events, they are only slightly less brutal than Bullfighting. We are living in the 21st century, such violence against Animals is unacceptable in modern society, those that participate are simply uncivilized barbarians!