SHARK NOTE: To see photos and video of the animals injured and abused at the 2007 National Finals Steer Roping referenced in this article, CLICK HERE.
Once again, the PRCA's animal welfare spin doctor, Cindy Schonholtz, has been caught handing out falsehoods. SHARK investigators were on the scene until late in the evening and documented the true fate of the steers dragged and left without veterinary care in a trailer. The police report from that evening completely corroborates SHARK's position, and contradicts the PRCA's statement.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
By Rene Romo
LAS CRUCES— Organizers of the National Finals Steer Roping event dispute claims by a rodeo critic that as many as half a dozen steers were injured during competition last weekend at Hobbs.
Steve Hindi, president of an Illinois-based group called Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, or SHARK, said in a news release that five steers had to be "sledded out" of the arena during the Nov. 2-3 event at the Lea County Event Center at Hobbs.
Another steer limped out of the arena, and a horse was injured as well, said Hindi, who describes steer roping as the "most brutal and deadly event in American rodeo."
In steer roping, cowboys on horseback compete to rope running steers and then tie up their legs in the shortest amount of time.
Hindi, who videotaped the event inside and outside the arena with several colleagues, said the injured cattle were taken to a "small dilapidated livestock trailer in which the victims were being dumped and left to die."
Cindy Schonholtz, animal welfare coordinator for the Colorado-based Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, which staged the competition, said Friday that Hindi's account is "patently false information."
Steers were sledded out of the arena "as a precaution," Schonholtz said, but none suffered serious injuries, all were examined by a veterinarian, and by the end of the event the cattle were released from the trailer to feed in pens.