Rules toughened on shocking horses

By Associated Press
Rocky Mountain News
Friday, April 18, 2008

Cheyenne Frontier Days is imposing stricter rules on the use of handheld electric shock devices on horses.

"They're not going to be used to make them buck. They're not going to be used to move them in the chutes. They would be used only in the case of an emergency," Frontier Days spokesman Bob Budd said.

Budd said the devices will continue to be available in case a horse goes down in a chute or horses become entangled and there is danger of a horse injuring itself or the rider.

Until now, the rodeo known as the "Daddy of 'Em All" had followed Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rules on the use of the battery-powered prodding devices, which are commonly used on ranches, feedlots and other places to move livestock.

PRCA rules allow for shocking a horse before a ride if the stock contractor, the cowboy riding the horse and the PRCA judge all agree the horse might stall coming out of the chute.

An Illinois-based animal rights group has posted Internet videos showing rodeo hands appearing to use the devices during horse bucking events at last year's rodeo.

Steven Hindi, president of SHARK, or Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, has said horses were shocked to make them buck, which he said is cruel and illegal.

© Rocky Mountain News

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