Horse Fatally Injured at Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo

A horse used in a saddle bronc event at the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo was humanely euthanized after sustaining a back injury on Sunday (July 24).

The annual Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD) in Cheyenne, Wyo., features rodeo-style events, living history demonstrations, and music concerts. The event made headlines earlier this month when Steve Hindi, president of the Illinois-based animal advocacy group Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), criticized singer Sheryl Crow for donating proceeds from her July 22 CFD concert to a wild horse advocacy group on grounds that some rodeo events are inhumane.

In a written statement, CFD Media Director Bob Budd said that on July 24, the horse injured in the Rookie Saddle Bronc performance was sedated in the arena and removed by animal ambulance. The horse was later examined by a veterinarian who determined the animal had sustained a back injury and was euthanized.

"All of us who work on CFD, our General Committee, our staff and hundreds of volunteers, and our contestants are saddened by the serious injury sustained (on Sunday)," the statement said.

Thousands of animals are used in rodeo-style CFD events, and less than 1% sustain injuries, according to the statement. The CFD rodeo events are sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and observe PRCA rules governing animal welfare.

PRCA Director of Industry Outreach Cindy Schonholtz cited the CFD statement and declined to comment specifically on the incident. However, she said that the PRCA works with veterinarians, event managers, rodeo judges, and livestock owners to ensure the health and safety of animals used in PRCA rodeos.

Cheyenne Frontier Days continues through July 31.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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