July 31, 2013
By Julia Orr
Recently, I blogged on the Underbelly of Rodeos: Busting the American Myth and feel the need for an update as here we are in early August, and already the horrific occurrences of abuse, injuries and deaths are significant. I've read a lot about "freak accidents" at rodeos, and how shocked and horrified rodeo people are when... sigh... that gosh darn animal got his neck snapped -- who would have thought roping a calf or steer around his neck and violently jerking him off his feet may break his neck! Certainly, it would appear not the "cowboys" who have caused it and seen it happen time and time again, and yet still remain bemused by the apparent "freak accident."
To understand the overall picture of rodeos, and not be swayed by any apparent excuses that these "accidents" are "one-off incidents" it is important I think to endure a litany of recent injuries and death. It is otherwise hard to comprehend just how much of a cowardly show most rodeos are. As the rodeo spin-doctors deny all, the reported animal deaths and injuries appear to be just the tip of a very large iceberg whose depths are as yet, officially unreported.
The June Reno Rodeo chose to instigate a ban on cameras this year, but that did not stop extremely abusive behavior being caught on a cell phone camera by local residents Ellie and Steven Lopez-Bowlan. The couple was on their way to their seats when they noticed rodeo personnel allegedly shocking and jabbing a horse with a wire prod in his anus! Trapped in a confined chute the horse was in distress and was also seemingly being electro-shocked, pinched and slapped with only one result in mind, to aggravate him into bucking for the audience.