Animal protection group calls out Reno Rodeo President, Vet for abuse details


Reno, NV – SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) is calling out Reno Rodeo President John Tipton and rodeo veterinarian, Dr. Joe Coli, on their denials that a horse was struck with a wire rod and electro-shocked in the anus, and endured other abuse during the Friday, June 28 rodeo performance.

Tipton and Coli were both quoted in the Reno Journal Gazette on 7/1/2013. According to the story, Coli said, “it is ‘unfathomable’ that anyone would stick a wire rod into the anus of a horse.” And further, “I cannot for the life of me even begin to imagine someone doing that at a rodeo, especially at Reno with the rules they’ve got in place. I am not sure what the woman saw or what she thought she saw, but I cannot imagine that is what actually took place.”

Coli is not only the veterinarian for the Reno Rodeo, but in what can only be seen as a conflict of interest, has been a member of the Rodeo Association since 1983. He has also worked closely with PRCA Stock Contractor, Cotton Rosser who is notorious for electro-shocking horses.

That article can be found here:

Video documentation by longtime Reno residents Ellie and Stephen Lopez-Bowlan leaves no question that the abuse occurred. SHARK is releasing a video of that footage slowed to half speed.

The video can be seen here:

Coli went on to say, “…any evidence of animal abuse would be taken seriously and anyone torturing an animal would face criminal charges.”

One of the gross acts of cruelty by Reno Rodeo personnel seen here inserting a wire rod into a horse's anus. Photo credit: SHARK.
One of the gross acts of cruelty by Reno Rodeo personnel seen here inserting a wire rod into a horse’s anus. Photo credit: SHARK.

Lopez-Bowlan and her husband, have stated that they clearly saw the horse being cruelly tormented with not only the wire rod and electric prod being used on his anus but two additional electric prod devices being used on each of his sides, as well as being pinched hard and struck repeatedly by rodeo personnel. She has also said that the horse was clearly in distress; screaming and bucking whilst being tortured in a confined space.

Based on Dr. Coli’s statements acknowledging that the abuse documented would constitute animal abuse, SHARK is challenging Coli to join them in demanding that appropriate charges be brought.

According to SHARK president Steve Hindi, “For three years the Reno Rodeo Association has made promises, and has broken every one of them. If the association was serious about dealing with this, it would have already gone to the sheriff’s department to insist on an investigation for animal abuse, with subsequent charges against those responsible.”

In the [image seen above right] from the new video, the wire rod can be seen.

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“Banned” horse shocker back at Reno Rodeo (June 21, 2013)

Reno Rodeo bans cameras (June 3, 2013)

New video of horse shocking at Reno Rodeo (October 4, 2012)

9 thoughts on “Animal protection group calls out Reno Rodeo President, Vet for abuse details”

  1. So how much $$ is Dr. Joe Coli being paid, I wonder……Horse Abuse…what abuse?
    Clearly, this vet should be answering as to why he deserves to continue holding a licence.


    1. SHARK have been after them for years to clean up their act, to at the very least obey the policies they have themselves set up. It is obvious they have been given more a great number of opportunities to police themselves and do the right thing. Rodeo abusers it appears see nothing wrong with what they do, and have put policies in place to make them look as if they are governing themselves. Another trick of the trade is to have humane committees at certain levels. But the atrocities go on, and the animals suffer and suffer. It seems time to work toward an outright ban. What else can we do but call for this?


      1. I agree, Vivian , about working to ban rodeos. It may never happen but it would inform the public about the cruelty.


  2. This so horrible , that any human being would do this ghastly thing to a horse , how dare that sub human ever do this to another living breathing innocent horse !!!! He needs to be put in a straight jacket !!!! This is completely Horrible !!!!!! I am ashamed of the human race to stoop to this kind of rotten demented action !!!! He has a carte blanch place in Hell !!!!!


  3. Yeah, oh boy now this is really a Rodeo right,,,, OMG what in hell are they doing,?? SICK absolutely SICK…………. Get those people out of there they don’t belong any where around animals period……. Prosecute them hold them responsible NOW, ANGRY I am seeing this…..


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