“Banned” horse shocker back at Reno Rodeo


Reno, NV – In 2011 & 2012, Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) exposed that horses were being shocked at the Reno Rodeo.


The Reno Rodeo Association claimed to have identified the person involved in the shocking, but would not make his name public. A small stock subcontractor from Washington State supposedly employed the individual.

The Reno Rodeo Association promised that neither the individual shocking horses, nor the subcontractor who employed him would be allowed back at the Reno Rodeo.

At a subsequent press conference, SHARK displayed video evidence proving that there were a number of individuals shocking horses. SHARK identified the most prolific and underhanded shocker – an individual named Donnie Castle. Mr. Castle is actually employed by Cotton Rosser, the stock contractor of record for the Reno Rodeo.

Yesterday, June 20, 2013, at the opening performance of the Reno Rodeo, horse shocker Donnie Castle was again in the arena. According to SHARK president Steve Hindi:

“The many lies of the Reno Rodeo Association are laid bare for anyone who still cares about the truth. The guilty parties from 2012 are still at the rodeo today. Instead of banning cruelty, the Reno Rodeo Association has banned video cameras and cameras with long lenses. This is a naked attempt to keep the animal abuse that occurs at the rodeo from being exposed again. Reno has distinguished itself with quite possibly the most un-American rodeo in the country.”

For more information on rodeo cruelty please visit:

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Bucking Bronco, Reno Rodeo by (c) John_Schreiber / RGJ
PHOTO CREDIT: (c) JOHN SCHREIBER / Reno Gazette-Journal.
Zach Curran of Arvada, Colo. tries to hold onto his horse “Ragidy Ann” out of the chute during the bareback bronc riding competition at the Reno Rodeo Thursday, June 25, 2009.

Before people begin commenting, read what former bronco rider and rodeo veterinarian Peggy W. Larson, DVM, MS, JD, says about the use of horses in rodeos.

    Bronc riding, both saddle and bareback, causes the deaths of many rodeo horses. It is common for horses in these events to crash blindly into posts in the fencing around the arena or into the holding fencing and chutes. Bucking horses must be spurred over the shoulders on each jump or buck for the rider to qualify. The spurs cause blunt trauma to the shoulders which again never have time to heal properly before the horse is ridden and spurred in another rodeo.

    The bucking strap often causes chafing to the flank area, which increases the discomfort to the horse. The irritation of the spurs and the bucking strap often cause the horse to “run blind” and fail to see fencing, posts or chutes.

    “Instead of humanely euthanizing the suffering animal, the rodeo people chose to ship her, leg dangling, across two states in a transport truck with other horses. She died before she could be killed at the slaughterhouse.”

    Horses (and cattle) have to be shipped from one rodeo to the next, often in double-deck trailers. These trailers are very dangerous because the horses often fight during transport.

She adds:

    A number of cities across the US have passed ordinances eliminating rodeo’s tools of torture — the electric prod, spurs and the flank strap — all of which use pain to force the animals to “perform.” It is no accident that where these devices are eliminated, rodeos disappear. Without torture, there can be no rodeo.

Anyone with good vision can see the horrific abuses inflicted on rodeo animals. However, if you or someone you know needs it explained, please read what happens to calves and steers, how they are used, injured and sent to slaughter. More here >>

8 thoughts on ““Banned” horse shocker back at Reno Rodeo”

  1. They are still shocking horses at the Reno Rodeo. I have sharred what I saw with SHARK. So now the rodeo banned filming cameras so that they cna hide their dirty little secrets.


  2. I’;ve seen alot of wild horses over the past few years. I am haunted by the possibility some of these horses are our wild horses, despite the archaic claim that the horses are bred for bucking. I don’t really believe it.


  3. Did you notice how few people were in the stands in one shot where one of the clowns was running onto the field? I can’t tell if most of the crowd had left or what. I hope the public stops attending these cruel shows and it dies a slow death.


  4. And to think I was in totally blissful ignorance as a young girl begging my parents to take me to the Gerry Rodeo and the Ellicottville Rodeo every summer, which we did indeed go to…and I had no idea what was really going on there until this stuff was brought to light by SHARK a few weeks ago….geez! When will the torture and abuse of our horses STOP??!!


  5. WHOA…this is my town and I guess I’ve been in denial over antics they use at Reno rodeo but this ticks me off! The only things I like about our Rodeo is the family element and Flag girls on awesome QHs and when they have performers/driving carriages and such. I am going to share your news! Thanks. ~jacquelyn


  6. Makes one wonder why rodeos are legal while dog fighting, cockfighting, bear baiting are not. Is it because humans get into the act and the animals are restricted from self defense? One has to wonder what happens to the children in the audience. They must have no regard for any animals or humans later on. Shameful.


    1. Agree. The first time I saw calf roping live, I felt nauseous and had to leave the venue. I could not go back in and watch rest. A horse broke his back and they shot him and backhoed him out, my friends told me and they were so glad that I had not seen that. Despicable business. Why anyone thinks this is a good family entertainment makes you wonder about these types of people. What other cruelties do they see as okay?


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