News Blog Articles SAFE demands this be the last rodeo season, as a horse is killed at Rodeo National Finals 
SAFE demands this be the last rodeo season, as a horse is killed at Rodeo National Finals 

SAFE demands this be the last rodeo season, as a horse is killed at Rodeo National Finals 

March 8th, 2019

A horse has been killed at the Rodeo National Finals in North Canterbury on March 9, 2019, renewing demands from SAFE for the Government to urgently ban rodeo cruelty.

The incident happened after the ‘bronc’ riding event when the horse was killed after running into a fence. The horse is the fourth animal to be killed during the 2018/2019 rodeo season.

SAFE spokesperson Will Appelbe said, despite the increased scrutiny of rodeo, animals continue to suffer and be killed, and the Government needs to intervene.

“Rodeo causes significant distress to animals, and today the cruelty that rodeo cowboys inflict upon animals, has killed a horse in the bronc riding event,” said Mr Appelbe.

“To force horses and bulls to wildly buck, the animals have a ‘flank strap’ wrapped tight around their sensitive hindquarters. This is wrenched tight as they are forced into the ring. A flank strap makes the vulnerable animal feel like they’re being attacked by a predator jumping on their back. It’s brutal and distressing, and done purely for entertainment.”

The incident that killed the horse at the 2019 National Rodeo Finals follows three other deaths this season. A horse was killed at the Methven rodeo in November 2018, and a horse and a bull were both killed at the Gisborne rodeo in December 2018.

“If the Labour party had fulfilled their pre-election promise to ban the worst parts of rodeo, they would have prevented these deaths, as well as preventing the routine bullying that takes place every time a rodeo takes place,” said Mr Appelbe.

“Green MP Gareth Hughes is introducing a Member’s Bill to Parliament that will ban calf rope & tie, steer wrestling and flanks straps. We are urging the Government to bring this Bill to the House as a Government-sponsored Bill, and finally ban rodeo cruelty.”

Take Action:

  • Send an email to Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern, asking the Government to bring Gareth Hughes Bill to the house as a Government-sponsored Bill.


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