Protect Animals from Cruel Rodeo Practices


Target: Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, United States Department of Agriculture

Goal: Protect animals from cruel rodeo-like practices at an event known as the charreada

Though the rodeo industry has a history of contentious animal welfare issues, some of which are addressed by regulations, the charreada—a competitive event similar to rodeo—is another animal entirely. Events typically feature dangerous and stressful practices, among them horse-tripping and bull-rolling, which can lead to serious injury or even death. Demand a crackdown on these cruel and dangerous practices.

Horse tripping is one of the most criticized practices in these rodeos, and for good reasons. In these events, a horse is chased by participants, known as charros, who must rope either the front or hind legs and bring the horse down. Aside from serious, even life-threatening injury from smashing to the ground at high speeds, horses are subjected to rope burns, dislocation, and the stress of pursuit. Nor are they spared from repeated use; horses are often subjected to tripping until serious injury or lameness occurs. Horse tripping is banned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, which sanctions and regulates rodeos, but that has not ended the practice at charreadas.

Horse tripping is not the only event deserving of scrutiny and greater regulation. Steer-tailing, another common practice, involves slamming a steer to the ground by grabbing the tail. This can result in degloving of tails—meaning the flesh is ripped off—as well as broken bones, spinal injuries, or organ damage. In another event known as the pass of death, a charro must jump from his horse onto the back of an unbroken and loose horse and ride it to exhaustion.

Regardless of traditional significance, cruel and abusive practices for entertainment should not be tolerated. Sanctioned and registered events are more highly regulated and subject to stricter regulations, yet still pose a danger as horse-tripping is allowable. Regulations have yet to comprehensively address these concerns and issues, and unsanctioned events pose an even greater obstacle to tackling abuse and cruelty in charreadas. The true extent of injury and death remain unknown. The government must take action to crack down on and regulate these events to prevent the abuse of animals and ensure their welfare.


Dear Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack,

The practice of horse-tripping in charreadas is just one of many troubling activities which take place at these events, and which endanger animals and place them at risk of injury or even death. Some sanctioned rodeo events do address these concerns and ban horse-tripping, yet this is not a nationwide regulation. Nor are other cruel activities addressed with the same urgency; horses are run to exhaustion, and steers are thrown to the ground by their tails. Though rodeos have their issues, many of these are addressed and assuaged by the regulations of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Charreadas are typically far more loosely organized and subjected to less scrutiny or regulation; unsanctioned events are a growing concern.

I ask that stricter and more cohesive regulation be enacted to ensure the welfare of animals used in charreadas, including an analysis of injuries and deaths sustained in events. Only through widespread action can we protect horses and cattle from needless harm and abuse for spectacle.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: ehecatzin, Flicker via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. The American cowboys are a dying breed and the sooner they die out the better for all concerned, the American Public must realise that their support of this inhuman form of entertainment is what keeps it going, what has happened to launching a TOTAL BOYCOTT OF THIS SICKENING SPORT, THE PUBLIC HAVE THE POWER TO BRING THIS TO A CLOSE.

  2. Daniela Arado says:

    Stop these stupid games. Animals are not a show.

  3. What kind of sicko could find such a rodeo “entertaining”?

  4. I have a solution to mans cruelty in this sport. Get a few of the horsemen off their horses and get them to run in the ring as fast as they can and let their cowboy friends chase them down and trip them up and them tie them up and drag them out of the ring Who likes that idea? After all its only fitting. If you don’t like the treatment why should any other living creature like it.? After all man is the lowest animal on earth.

    • Christina Anderson says:

      I agree, that humans should get the same treatment they give to animals. Any treatment at all they do to animals humans should get in return. I come from a cattle-ranching family and used to rodeo. But I have come to detest the sport. It is cruel, heedless of the animals that are being used and abused, and I would not attend another rodeo if someone paid my way. My stance is not necessarily popular with some of my “cowboy” relatives, but they have learned not to mess with this old “heifer” or they will surely get the horns.

  5. Sheila Jefferson says:

    This cruelty must be stopped now!!

  6. Poor horses… Fell into hands of irresponsible sh**y pple just for $$$. Shame… SHAME

  7. These events are cruel and inhumane. There is no skill in tripping a light weight horse, or yanking a bull by its tail. A real cowboy takes care of the animals. He would never resort to a stupid event like tripping. Horses are raced around an area and are terrified. They are seriously injured, and many times have their legs broken. These tripping and bull tail yanking events are promoted by the hispanic people. The cowboys in this country do not condone this type of treatment of the animals.

  8. Debra Miller says:


  9. Lucille Gomez says:

    When these cruel people stand before God,He will ask why they were so cruel and heartless to His beautiful creatures He created!!!!

  10. Stop This Cruel Practice Now!

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