(RODEOS) On Friday, the animal rights organization, SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), released disturbing rodeo footage featuring a young calf whose neck was apparently snapped during a calf-roping event at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo (CFD) in Wyoming. This news comes after the death of a horse who was killed during a live performance after being hit with a shocking device at the famous Cowtown Rodeo in New Jersey just a few weeks ago—prompting leading animal behavior expert Marc Bekoff to call for a ban on rodeos altogether. There are many different events at rodeos, each cruel and inhumane. Read on to learn more about calf-roping, and sign the petition to help put an end to this devastating excuse for entertainment. — Global Animal
Riley Pruitt of Gering, Neb. competes in calf roping during a Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo at Frontier Park. Photo Credit: Andrew Carpenean, US Presswire
Riley Pruitt of Gering, Neb. competes in calf roping during a Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo at Frontier Park. Photo Credit: Andrew Carpenean, US Presswire

SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness)

SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) today released dramatic and horrifying video of a young calf whose neck was apparently snapped during a calf-roping event on the second day of the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo (CFD).

On the first day of CFD, SHARK warned that many contestants were executing “jerk downs,” which are supposed to be banned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) that sanctions the rodeo. A jerk down occurs when a calf is roped around the neck and intentionally flipped over backwards, landing on her head, neck or back. This was a tragedy waiting to happen, and it is bound to happen again because PRCA and CFD “humane rules” exist for public relations purposes only.

The calf was roped around the neck and jerked straight backwards landing on her head and neck. When her head hit the dirt, a horrifying snap rang out. She lay shaking as she began to die.

“People forget that calves are literally babies just a few months old,” states SHARK President Steve Hindi.” This was a young, innocent animal who was killed by the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in the name of western American culture and family entertainment. That is a sad commentary on the American way. If anyone doubts that rodeos are brutal events where animals are considered disposable, all they need do is look into the eye of this one dying animal.”

The death of the calf was no accident. CFD is allowing contestants to employ a deadly means of calf roping. It is not a question of if calves will be killed, it is simply a question of when, and how many? Until the sponsors of the rodeo, including Coca-Cola, local media and other Wyoming institutions demand an end to these vile acts, the bodies will continue to pile up and be carted away as if they were bags of trash left on the side of the road.

For the second day in a row, rodeo contestants and their supporters harassed videographers who were at the CFD. Using verbal abuse and threats, they tried to stop the videographers from documenting abuse. They failed, but they are getting ever more brazen. Although the harassment was reported both days, CFD has taken no action.

“CFD has rules against harassment and threats, but CFD’s rules of conduct are obviously as worthless as their supposed humane rules,” says SHARK president Steve Hindi.

To watch the video footage, click here. (Warning: Disturbing Content)

More SHARK: SharkOnline.org




  1. Well here they are again, little men trying to show off to the crowd, why there hasn't been something done to stop this cruel show? As we wait, these poor calves and horses brake legs and spend their last days suffering until someone just does away with them… I hope I can see one day, the Rodeo is a thing of the past! Help this happen, we need to be their voice, their waiting, PLEASE!

  2. As noted, the rodeo calves are mere babies, often still unweaned. At the just-ended California Rodeo in Salinas, another roping calf suffered a broken leg. The rodeo folks are saying he's "recuperating," but I seriously doubt it. Horses and cattle with broken legs are almost ALWAYS euthanized. In 2009, at this same rodeo, three more roping calves had their legs broken, and all were put down (or so the attending vet told me.)

    I was on the picket line at the 1995 California Rodeo when FIVE animals were killed. One, a roping calf with a broken back (yet another "jerk down), was not immediately euthanized, but simply trucked off to slaughter, terrified and in agony. I asked the attending vet if the calf received any painkillers. His response, "No, that would ruin the meat for human consumption." So much for cowboy compassion. At the time, the rodeo was bringing $16 million every year into Salinas. At THE VERY LEAST, there should be laws requiring that fatally-injured animals be euthanized immediately, and just write it off as the cost of doing business.

    Most rodeos (and charreadas) don't even have the decency to require on-site vets at all their events. The PRCA has done so only since 1995, in the wake of the Salinas mayhem.

    Rhode Island banned tie-down calf roping back in 1989, the only state to have done so, to my knowledge. Every other state in the Union should be introducing similar legislation to out law this cruelty. Imagine the public outcry if rodeo cowboys abused pet dogs the way they do these calves.

    See the Government Pages in the front of your local telephone book, then contact your legislators.

    Eric Mills, coordinator.
    email – [email protected].