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Horse Breaks Back at Rodeo

Written by PETA | July 27, 2011

A horse named Check Mate was euthanized this past weekend after suffering a broken back and collapsing during a saddle bronc riding event at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in Wyoming.

In saddle bronc riding events, horses are made to buck wildly through the use of painful “bucking straps” cinched tightly around the animals’ abdomens. Horses are also often shocked with electric prods and have spurs stabbed into their sides.

Check Mate isn’t alone—horses, bulls, and calves are killed every year in cruel rodeo events. Earlier this month, two horses died after suffering broken legs during chuckwagon races in the Calgary Stampede, which was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Strict restrictions have been implemented on the use of electric prods, flank straps, and spurs in Rhode Island; Leestown, Virginia; and Pittsburgh, effectively banning rodeos. In addition, flank straps have been banned in Ohio; rodeos have been banned completely in Pasadena, California, and Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Rhode Island and California have laws requiring a veterinarian to be present on site at rodeos. PETA offers a list of rodeo ordinances in every state that can be used to protest rodeos and file complaints about witnessed abuses.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Commenting is closed.
  • sally says:

    any person that really works with horses like these “coyboys” claim would know that putting a rookie doing anything with an unbroke or trained horse would be a disaster. i would not allow my friend who knows a little about them to lead one of my young 2 year old colts. let alone ride him. let alone ride him with a buck strap. if you try to make the evil in the world stop, it will just get worse and go underground. like with the dog fights that used to be a public entertainment in england up until 100 years or so ago. so instead of trying to stop the rodeo, please take your efforts and votes and just try to get laws past to proect the animals. let the rodeo contiue but try to stop this rookie competition and the wild horse race. make more rules for having vets around if something does happen. make laws for how the animals are kept and transported, if the goverment shows they care more the people will follow the rules….

  • hislilpigeon says:

    Rodeos have to be stopped! The cruelty has to end!!!! PETA, you have to be able to do something??? Start by shutting down Cheyenne!!! And the prison rodeos!!!

  • Cory says:

    Real cowboys treat their animals with respect, they dont let anything bad happen to their horses. People in these backwoods rodeos are horrable and need to be stopped. My horses are spoiled and my working cow dog lives in the house.

  • BunnyFairy says:

    The picture of me getting stung by a bee just scares me to death, and imagine horses having thorny straps planting into their flesh!!!

  • Lindsey says:

    REAL cowboys dont treat thier animals like this Im third generation and all my animal are treated like royalty. Those people are wanna bes! And give us a bad name!

  • Sally Lawrence, Gold Coast, Australia says:

    Sadly rodeos are becoming more prevalent here in Australia with three annual rodeos now held on the Gold Coast. Please help stop the Gold Coast council ratepayer funded Australia Day rodeo by emailing Mayor Ron Clarke and asking him to cancel this cruel event: [email protected] Please tell Mayor Clarke this is not the type of event that tourists want to see and that animal cruelty is no way to celebrate Australia’s national day. Thank you all!!

  • Robert Stahl says:

    I feel sorry for the uneducated supporters of PETA. I’m guessing that 99 percent of you live in some big polluted city or crammed into suburbia. Guess what life is great out here in the west. We raise horses hunt and fish and live off the land. Rodeo is a great sport made up of hardworking cowboys and cowgirls. Some of the best people you will ever meet. Although accidents may happen, these animals are given excellent care and are not abused.

  • Sue says:

    Disgusting! The US and Canada are beyond shameful in their treatment of animals. From the slaughter of baby seals, cruel rodeos, horrific horse slaughter and mustang roundups and mistreatment,these two countries are about tied in their callous treatment of animals. I am ashamed of the US and disgusted jwith Canada. Neither country is worthy of respect.

  • spud says:

    COWBOYS SUCK! They stink and walk around like they own the world.

  • nancy says:

    To watch this horse in shock, being dragged into the death wagon all because of “what”? A sick sport! Animal cruelty is not a sport. It’s horrid to see this animal in so much pain. They are not cowboys, they are coward boys to do this to any animal. And they will go on to do it again and again.




    el rodeo es una de las formas mas crueles de tratar a los animales . Prohibirlos seria lo correcto

  • Kathryn Terhune Cotton says:

    Jon, go tie-dye a shirt or something, okay? and Gene, if only these poor animals were ‘euthanized’. News flash, they are butchered (it’s legal in Canada – don’t even have to send them to another country – btw, we ship *our* throw-away horses to Canada for slaughter). After butchering, they are sold to some European nations and Japan where horse meat is a delicacy.

  • Virginia Greenwood-Warner says:

    This is not a sport! No animal partakes in this voluntarily. Why you savages don’t tie these straps on each other also nice and tight in all the right places while your buddy rides you is beyond me – that would be far more entertaining! Hate animals in “”sport”” America and Canada you are supposed to be 1st world but you are just a bunch of hillbillys

  • Cher says:

    I live near a race track and will never go to the horse races as I’ve read owners breed thousands of potential “winners” every year and there are a very few that are and the rest wind up as dog food….what a waste. Those horses could have lived to be in their 30’s. Also, one year it was reported in our local newspaper that 17 had to be put down during the racing season due to breaking their legs during the races. They later blamed this on the track, but I blame it on our society for even thinking this is entertainment. God gave us dominion over the land and the animals and commanded us to be good stewards…and guess what… a whole we’re failing miserably! Why can’t the “good guys ban to gether and make this world truly better place?”

  • Susan Pew says:

    Wyoming needs to get real with the century we are now in. News flash: This isn’t the 1800’s. I know Wyoming is deep in tradition but HELLO? I wouldn’t let little kids watch how to be mean to an animal. Disgusting!!

  • pat says:

    We do not need circuses,rodeo’s and animal much abuse..people wise up!

  • A Lyttle says:

    I live in Cheyenne, WY and am devastated by the rodeo cruelty every year. I want people to know that we need help! There are very few people here that care about animal welfare. I wish PETA had a bigger involvement, although I know there are volunteers here, there just aren’t enough. I want to see a headline in the paper about informing others of cruelty that is larger than the headline reporting a horses death.

  • Susan Pew says:

    Wyoming is set deep with tradition, that is all they have going for them there. This yearly rodeo is during the hottest time of the year. I know what they do to these horses besides putting causic burning powder in the middle of their hooves. For the last 10 yrs I have been calling the state vet. They don’t see anything wrong with rodeo’s. I think this puts it right in their faces! Boycott Wyoming because if you are not one of them, they’ll chase you out. I worked in Cheyenne and they all think the same republican crap. It speaks volumes that one event every years brings people to witness cruelty at its worst.

  • renu says:

    its really disgusting to know that humnans find it entertaining and the take part in watching this kind of event which actually hurts animals. i strongly believe that we as humans are accountable to make this earth a better place to live for all the creatures and living beings. i seriously condemn this kinds of act and would like the local government to ban such acts.

  • lisa says:

    Why do America and Canada think this is entertaining? Ive just watched some video’s that SHARK documented 3 young steers that were injured during rodeo’s one managed to get up but then collapased, heartbreaking to watch, what i did notice was that the riders didnothave any respect or compssion for thes animals, America and Canda you should be ashamed of yourselfs,i know every Country in the world has some kind of animal abuse but what i have just watched is just disgusting, not forgeting the Companies that sponser such cruel activities such as Coca Cola and wranger, which i no longer purchase from.

  • lia says:

    Im ashamed to be Britishi would of thought the Duke and Duchess should of known better but then again the Royal Family have no respect for animals,only one that cared and would listen to the public was Princess Diana we will never have a Royal like her again.

  • Janice says:

    I can’t believe people still think rodeos are okay and actually go to watch this stuff. I am Canadian and am ashamed that we host an event like the Calgary Stampede.

  • jon j says:

    Gene, don’t spew hate here. Wishing for someone to get injured or die is horrible and makes you less than human. Show love and hope your love will help others to change.

  • Rev. Meg says:

    People are always telling me that rodeos are part of American history and should be allowed to continue, to which I say, “Slavery is a part of American history too; should we reinstate it?”

  • Gisela says:

    It is such a shame what “human beings” do to animals, nature …, egoistic and senseless, cruel and horrible – they don’t have a brain and feelings.

  • Cushla says:

    Anyone who finds this type of cruelty entertaining needs a bullet. Needs to be stopped.