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