By: Abby Poulos

I was 14 when my family traveled to Cheyenne, Wyoming for part of the summer. While we were there, we thought it would be fun to go see one of their famous rodeos.

Sitting in the hot stands, my family and I witnessed one of the most cruel and gross things I have ever seen in my entire life. Calves roped and then dragged off, horses kicked and punctured with spears on boots, and steers passing out from exhaustion.

Animals were being shocked by a “hotshot”, which is an electric prod that makes animals display incredibly dramatic behavior because of intense pain, for entertainment.

After having their ribs broken, their internal organs damaged, their ligaments and necks snapped, the animals are just simply replaced with another one. The cycle of torture just continues.

The games within the rodeo are specifically designed to bring the animals to the brink of death, only for the purpose of profit and entertainment.

Steer tripping- According to the humane society’s research, “As with calf roping, steer tripping—commonly called “steer busting”—puts a rodeo animal at extreme risk of injury or death. Steers weighing approximately 700 pounds are forced to run at top speed while the roper throws the rope around the steer’s horns. The roper then flips the rope over the right side of the steer, while turning his galloping horse to the left. Within a split second, the steer’s head and neck are jerked 180 degrees or more, causing the animal to be violently tripped, rolled and dragged for approximately 30 feet. That’s a 700-pound body being dragged by the neck, with the horns digging into the dirt.”

Bull Riding- According to the LCA, “Rodeo handlers often shock the bull repeatedly while he is trapped in the bucking chute, in order to torment him. In the ring, the bull bucks and struggles because of the pain inflicted by the flank rope while the participant attempts to control him. Bucking straps and spurs can cause the bull to buck excessively, thereby injuring him.”

Calf Roping- According to the humane society, “Weighing less than 300 pounds, they are forced to run at speeds in excess of 25 miles per hour when roped. The reason they run at such high speeds is that they are tormented in the holding chute: their tails are twisted, their tails are rubbed back and forth over the steel chute bars, and they are shocked with 5000-volt electric prods until the gate opens. They burst out of the chute at top speed only to be stopped short – or “clotheslined” – with a choking rope around the neck. They are often injured, and some are killed.”

Bronco Riding- According to the LCA, “The “flank” is the area of the animal’s body behind his rib cage. An adjustable belt called a “bucking strap” or “flank strap” is placed around the horse’s flank. The contestant tightens the belt, which pinches the animal’s groin and genitals, causing him to buck from the pain. He also spurs the horse.”

General Transportation- According to PETA, “The official rules of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association permit them to be confined during transport for as long as 24 hours without being fed or watered.”

There are not nearly enough regulations or rules around animal cruelty within rodeos, and this leads to thousands of animals being tortured and murdered, only for human entertainment.