The huge size and fierce appearance of a bull makes him the perfect target for animal abusers. Rodeos know they can fool many people into believing that the bull is impervious to pain. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In the early 1990s, a rodeo bull named Bodacious, through the torment and indignities heaped upon him by rodeo people, came to show the true nature of this abusive industry.

Rodeo animals are tame, domesticated animals who act rank or mean only when incited. When rodeo people victimize them; taunt, torment, beat and torture them, these animals are, for the most part, frantically trying to get out of the arena at the earliest opportunity. The same is even true for so-called "fighting" bulls in bullfighting. Animals in rodeos and bullfights don't want trouble, they simply wish to be left alone. In the case of these animal victims, their reaction is much the same as yours or mine would be to an unprovoked attack – we try to defend ourselves and escape undeserved punishment.

Bodacious the rodeo bull also wanted no trouble with anyone, but when someone did torment him, he figured out that the best defense was a good offense. Bodacious got a handle on the rodeos, and the people involved in them. They could force him into the filthy livestock trucks and haul him and his fellow victims for days only to be forced into a little holding pen outside the rodeo arena for hours, often in the hot sun or cold rain. The abusers could force him into the bucking chute with electric prods. But once the chute gate opened up, Bodacious figured out how to take control.

This bull's expression says it all. At the moment of this photo he was being shocked with 5,000 volts of electricity seconds before the chute opened.

The young bull developed some moves that turned the tables on rodeo contestants. He would sling his head back and forth, which rodeo riders hate because of the danger of being hit by the horns. Bodacious would pitch his rider forward, only to then throw his head up to slam the rider in the head – often the face. He started messing some people up, including one contestant named Tuff (don’t you just love some of these names?) Hedeman. He smashed Hedeman’s face but good, just like Humpty Dumpty, and all of Tuff’s doctors and all of Tuff’s plastic surgeons were just barely able to put Tuff’s face together again.

The rodeo folks called Bodacious "The World's Most Dangerous Bull," and for a change, it seemed that they weren’t just hyping.

Now if all the stories about the courage of rodeo contestants had any truth to it at all, you would think these guys would have been lining up around the block to take on Bodacious. It was time for our “brave boys” in their ridiculous John Wayne Halloween costumes to “cowboy up” and “git’er done” and “bite the bullet.” Now the rodeo people had a real chance to show what they were made of – and that’s just what they did – in the true tradition of rodeo anti-climax – by retiring Bodacious.

You see, all the talk of dangerous bulls and tough guys riding them is just hype. Cowboy wannabes don’t want “dangerous animals” who are actually dangerous – someone might get hurt! When the rodeo people realized that this bull knew how to play the game of rodeo, they said “FORGET THAT!” Bye-bye Bodacious, no more rodeo cowboys for you to play with and turn the tables on.

An example of one of the repugnant attempts to make every last dime from the life of Bodacious.

Bodacious’ life as a rodeo contestant ass-whipper was over, but the rodeo world wasn’t through with him yet. Unwilling to allow any animal to simply live out his life without being somehow dominated, used and profited from, Bodacious’ owner carted him around where the people of rodeo would gawk and “ooh and ahh” at him. They would imagine what it would be like to have his power, poise and dignity. When SHARK learned that Bodacious was being displayed at a casino in Las Vegas in the late 1990s during the National Finals Rodeo, SHARK President, Steve Hindi hopped a plane. Steve was there to protest rodeo animal abuse, and to debate anyone fool enough to try to defend it.

The site of this captive bull was sad and disgusting. Here he was again, stuck in a little pen, again surrounded by the pitiful “men” of rodeo.

Left alone, Bodacious and other rodeo bulls have no desire to cause trouble for anyone, and he showed that as he was taken from place to place to be ogled by phony cowboys. It is only because of the cruelty and injustices heaped upon them that rodeo victims fight in the arena. Rodeo animals fight for their freedom, just as you or I would.

In 2000, Bodacious died, of heart failure they said. Perhaps he was just tired of living with people who represent the armpit of humanity. Finally the rodeo people could dominate him no further, at least not in life.

Still, his legend lives on by the people who wanted to dominate him. They sell T-shirts, videos, pictures and anything else they can connect to him. Like consummate parasites, they cling to, feed on and live off his memory.


From a concealed position, this rodeo thug is seen pulling a shocking device. Typically it is bulls who receive the worst abuse from electric shocking in rodeos. Cattle are particularly sensitive to electricity, and rodeo animal abusers use that to their advantage to make calm, docile bulls appear to be wild killers.


Although small, the electric prod delivers 5,000 volts of extreme pain. Rodeo animal abusers often shock their victims repeatedly before releasing them, driving them wild with torment. SHARK offers money to rodeo people to take a shock from the same device they use on their victims. These supposedly macho "cowboys" always refuse!


The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's (PRCA) "humane rules" prohibit the shocking of a bull in a chute, but those rules are for public relations purposes only. The routine shocking of bulls and horses in the chutes is inherent, widespread, and well-documented in PRCA rodeos, and indeed all rodeos.

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