Rodeo Exonerated in Case Based on SHARK Videotape

The Whittier Daily reported recently that a California Court Commissioner exonerated the a rodeo that had been accused of cruelty charges based on video taken by Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK).

Shark took the video at a San Dimas Rodeo in October 2002 and turned it over to the Inland Valley Humane Society. The Humane Society then charged the Growney Brothers Rodeo C. with four counts of misusing a cattle prod.

California has a law that went into effect in 2001 that makes it a crime to use a cattle prod during a rodeo except to protect the participants or audience at a rodeo. SHARK and the Humane Society argued that the videotape showed workers at the rodeo using the cattle prods on four horses to force them out of the chute during a bucking bronco contest.

Pomono Court Commissioner Martin Goetsch ruled in favor of the rodeo, however, saying that he agreed with expert testimony provided by the defense that the use of the cattle prods was designed to protect the rider when horses failed to leave the chute on their own. The Whittier Daily News quoted Goetsch as ruling,

It appears clear to me everybody involved at the chute understands that . . . in each of these cases there was never an attempt to prod any of the horses while the gate was closed.

Goetsch’s decision cannot be appealed.


Rodeo provider cleared by judge. Diana L. Roemer, The Whittier Daily News, April 25, 2003.

PRCA rodeo company running from cruelty citations? Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, Press Release, 2002.

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