Activist violently arrested for filming at Oregon Rodeo; call to action for the horses

SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness) PRESS RELEASE

Jordan Valley, OR – On Saturday May 18th, 2013, SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) volunteer Adam Fahnestock was peacefully sitting monitoring the Big Loop Rodeo when rodeo personnel and a Malheur County Sheriff’s Deputy approached him. After a very brief conversation, the deputy suddenly grabbed Fahnestock and threw him violently to the ground where rodeo personnel then also set upon him. Fahnestock was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He is currently being held in Malheur County Jail, Vale, OR on a $1000 bail.

Big Loop Rodeo has been under fire from SHARK recently after documentation of a bucking horse breaking its leg in the arena and numerous horses were filmed crashing to the ground was released after the 2012 rodeo. Filming is permitted at the rodeo and many spectators film the events. It is believed Fahnestock was singled out for attack because Big Loop Rodeo officials are upset over the video of a horse breaking its leg being released, and disturbing footage of the horse-tripping event went viral creating massive public outcry to ban the event.

SHARK president, Steve Hindi said, “This is clearly an abuse of the law and an example of the “good old-boy network” that exists in the rodeo world. We will fight these false and retaliatory charges vigorously and continue to expose animal abuse at rodeos.”

SHARK’S video of horse tripping at the 2012 Big Loop Rodeo inspired Sen. Mark Hass, D-Beaverton to introduce a horse-tripping ban. Senate Bill 835 is currently being considered after a public hearing was held on Monday May 13th, 2013.

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Graphic footage of the incident of the horse breaking his leg can be seen here:

Video of horse tripping at the 2012 Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo, which inspired SB 835, can be seen here:

Take Action Graphic



If you are a resident of Oregon, please contact your State legislators to support SB 835.

If you live in or outside the state of Oregon and want this practice banned, please:

Please be sure to post links to the SHARK videos above.

Thank you.

14 thoughts on “Activist violently arrested for filming at Oregon Rodeo; call to action for the horses”

  1. No one here who are against rodeo cruelty are confused or transferring anything. We are sickened by the brutality against these animals. Anyone that thinks any of these activities are acceptable participate in animal cruelty to suit their own desires and bloat their egos. Nothing less. How anyone can defend any of it shows a disconnect that is scary. Rodeos need to end, not just a few “programs.”


  2. Reblogged this on WILD HORSE HUB CENTRAL and commented:
    If you are riding a horse, this can happen. I do not like some of the things that happen at rodeos, but bucking and wild horse breaking is part of the process even when you buy a horse that has not been ridden. To say that this happens all the time is ridiculous. I know that the people who take care of these “wild” broncs (which they are not wild if they are bred to do this and taken care of, they are feral) take great cautions in their horses because they are not only their bread winners, the actually love the horse. The become famous – at times – world wide. My relatives are the Mahan(s). Larry Mahan was one of the best cowboys for years and I promise you – he didn’t go out there to harm the horse. Some things some people just shouldn’t be involved in; and some things have to be done better, that is true. But, this video did not show me one thing that was suppose to be the fault of anyone. As I said, this could happen to anyone at any time; a broken leg is fatal unless you plan on going on a world-wide search and finding ways to help the horse survive with 3 legs. Thank you for the blog and thank you for letting me state my opinion. Of course, the blog was about the Malheur County Sheriff’s Department, not the rodeo. It became the blog about what happened. That is sadder than the actual events because it had nothing to do with the rider, the horse, or the injury sustained during this cowboy’s ride. I know that kindness is imperative; and rodeos must do better and some of the programs have to be stopped. It’s not going to stop a cowboy and a rodeo and it won’t stop a person from riding a horse if a horse breaks a leg. It will break your heart, but transferring the anger, hurt, and confusion is not the answer.


  3. Horse tripping is illegal in CA, but it is hard to get law enforcement to enforce the law! Contact Joe at TB Friends Rescue in No CA about all the horses he has rescued/treated from being abused at rodeos being tripped! This is where many off the track TB’s end up! Barbaric practice for “so called cowboys = animal abusers” Why are they afraid of being filmed if they have nothing to hide???????????


    1. Hey Lorrie,
      That’s interesting, years ago I sent a letter (2 page) with many signatures to the Governor in the State of Ca. 1994 regarding the horse tripping, I was livid this was allowed…anyway I got a letter back that he signed a bill into law (Pete Wilson) Sacramento. So if it is still going on, are people at these rodeo’s calling the police as well videoing it? I figured it could still be going on at the smaller rodeo’s?? Maybe this guy needs another letter?
      Thanks for the info & I will check out Joe’s website!


  4. I was not there so I can’t comment on what happened but what I can comment on is this horse tripping you can use what ever excuse you want to justify this but the truth is you are putting horses at risk of really hurting themselves, they are not cattle, who the h_ll started such a thing? You think that’s skill to do this, wow I am disgusted if any rodeo supports this behavior…


    1. Thank you Debbie. From what we gather, horse tripping began as an event in Mexican style rodeos. At least that is how this sick spectacle found its way into the US. Look at some of their ancestors and you see where the barbaric thinking and treatment of animals probably comes from.


  5. He was not “peacefully” monitoring. He was breaking the rules. When advised he was breaking the rules and that he would be escorted off the property and his camera confiscated, as they announced at the beginning of the rodeo, he took a swing at a deputy. That’s called assaulting a police officer. The first video you show? A horse had a freak accident in BRONC riding, not horse roping. They had to rope the horse to get it out of the arena and vetted. I know this for a fact as I was there AND I know the bronc rider.


    1. There is NO justification for horse tripping – it’s a sadistic, cruel practice. There is a direct relationship between animal cruelty and violence to people. Horse tripping is nothing more than animal cruelty done by bullies and losers.


    2. Oh well that’s alright then that you kill horses in your other cowardly, barbaric and backward activities as well. Freak accident? You must be kidding. What a better place the world will be for animals and people when your type of thinking is rid of once and for all. Go pull a tractor or something.


      1. Anyone that believes Cowboys are animal haters or cruel to any animal might say to Ms Farrell to pull your head out of your butt. I’ve been managing vet services for rodeos for 42 years. I love animals. Especially equines. In all my years I’ve seen three accidents that resulted in an animal having to be destroyed. In each case it was a calf. The horse tripping displayed in your video doesn’t represent an activity in any rodeo that I’ve attended. If I had been in attendance at your Oregon rodeo. I would have been first in line to bust up some cruel riders. I say riders because no self respecting “Cowboy” would be caught dead taking part in such crap. I myself along with several other Nevada Cowboys have been moving and hiding wild equines from BLM during their round-ups for almost 25 years.

        Tyler “Red” Cole DVM
        Half Star Ranch
        Silver Lick, Montana


    3. Majority votes rule.The majority of decent minded citizens aren’t fans of
      Animal Cruelty. Big Loop rodeo officials and company too clueless to NOT expect
      massive public outcry after seeing horses go down like this! How many of them are PRO-Slaughter as well? VOMIT!!!


    4. Rodeos are disgusting forms of so-called “entertainment”. Profiting from animal abuse, with the voracious desire to dominate what one thinks beneath themselves. How sick some of the human race is.


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