In the News: Shocking accusations

Two troubling stories surfaced yesterday out of New Jersey and Nevada alleging the inhumane use of shocking devices–one of which an animal rights group claims resulted in a horse’s death.

The first incident occurred on Saturday at South Jersey’s famous Cowtown Rodeo, the oldest weekly running rodeo in the United States.


From a story posted this morning on

Just seconds after being released from a chute, the horse–a 9-year-old “bucking bronc” named Duke–collapsed and began convulsing. Shortly after, a veterinarian at the scene said he died of a ruptured aneurysm.

However, in a video taken of the event by the animal rights group SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness), it appears that an electric prod, or “hot shot,” was applied to the horse as he was leaving the chute, presumably to send the horse bolting and bucking out of the gate.

Warning: Extremely disturbing, graphic footage.

Cowtown officially disallows the practice of using electric devices. A prod was discovered near Duke’s chute but Cowtown owner Grand Harris, who also owned Duke, told TMZ that all rodeo employees are under strict orders to never use it on a horse.

Cowtown posted the following statement on its website yesterday:


SHARK has filed a complaint with the SPCA.

Sources:, TMZ,, Daily Mail, Sports World News,


The second incident under investigation involves the Reno Rodeo.


A rodeo spectator allegedly witnessed a horse being abused with shocking devices, which she captured in a brief video on her camera phone.

According to

Ellie Lopez-Bowlan of Reno said she was moving to her seat with a friend who had a private box for the event on June 28. They were on a walkway that passed over the loading chutes where the stock makes its way toward the bucking chutes.“My husband and I were standing in shock and we see a man trying to use a large wire hanger copper collar and trying to put that into his anus,” Lopez-Bowlan said. “I yelled, ‘Are you supposed to be doing that to the horse?’ Then there was a volunteer next to me saying I have to go inside and sit. I said the men are trying to hurt the horse.”

A still-shot from the video:


In response, the Reno Rodeo released the following statement:

“We are in receipt of photos that appear to be taken at the Reno Rodeo. The photos seem to show personnel working to move a bucking horse through the back chute area which leads to the bucking chutes. Reno Rodeo officials will fully investigate the circumstances and actions depicted in these photos and take action as outlined in our policies if there is found to be any violation of those policies.

In 2012 another video surfaced showing a man shocking a horse at the event, after which the Reno Rodeo banned shocking devices in bareback and saddle bronc events.



Go Horses.

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