Statement from Reno Rodeo:
The Reno Rodeo has been proactive in protecting animals for some time. The Reno Rodeo takes the issue of livestock welfare very seriously and in an effort to protect our livestock, fans, sponsors, contestants and volunteers we have developed and implemented several steps to ensure their protection. Our strict standards coupled with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) rules represent a very high standard for the treatment of the livestock while they are in Reno.
Reno Rodeo leadership has fully reviewed and gathered facts surrounding recently released photos that were taken behind the scenes at the 2013 rodeo. The photos show livestock handlers moving a bucking horse through an alleyway into the bucking chute area. After this review we have made the decision that the actions depicted in these photos do not meet our high standards for livestock handling. We are pleased to report that the horse in the photos was not injured and went on to be successfully loaded in the bucking chute and competed normally. We do not believe the accounts reported are accurate; however, the photo does not seem to depict the higher level of handling we expect at our event. Consequently, when we decide who to contract with to provide livestock for the 2014 event the individual and the firm he represents will not be considered and will not be invited back.
We appreciate the wonderful support from the community and the media that we received in 2013 allowing us to support many great charitable causes in our community. We will continue to strive to make our event better in order to bring important economic impact to our community while promoting our rich western heritage.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - The Reno Rodeo is cutting ties with a livestock provider after its investigation into allegations that a bucking horse was shocked during last week's event.
In a statement to the Reno-Gazette Journal the rodeo says actions shown in a photo "do not meet our high standards for livestock handling."
The livestock provider was not identified.
Rodeo officials say the horse depicted in the photos was not injured.
An investigation was launched Monday after Reno resident Ellie Lopez-Bowlan provided a short video and photos of horse allegedly shocked at the 2013 Reno Rodeo on June 28.
Shocking devices are allowed under Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rules when a horse stalls in the chutes. The Reno Rodeo this year banned them in the bareback and saddle bronc events.