HINDI REVEALS MORE SHOCKING RODEO SECRETS
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1997:
CHICAGO––Dubbed “The Flying Nut” in the
October edition of Outdoor Life for flying his paraglider
between geese and hunters last year, Chicago Animal
Rights Coalition founder Steve Hindi hates to be ignored.
Indeed Hindi isn’t ignored when he visits
rodeos lately. Since the CBS tabloid TV show H a r d
Copy on September 17 and 18 broadcast some of Hindi’s
footage of rodeo promoters electroshocking bulls to make
them buck, he’s often found himself under video surveillance,
while rodeos affiliated with the Professional
Rodeo Cowboys Association have abruptly disallowed
videotaping by spectators, from the Adirondack
Stampede in Glens Falls, New York, to a string of
California rodeos that Hindi visited in early October.
But Hindi’s questions of rodeo organizers and
the PRCA are being ignored. Though PRCA rodeo rules
ban the use of electroshock for any purpose other than
moving bulls into holding chutes, and dictate that electric
prods are to be used “as little as possible,” the PRCA
has not responded to inquiries from both Hindi and ANIMAL
PEOPLE as to what action it may be taking
against such luminaries as Cotton Rosser, whose Flying
U Rodeo Company is a major PRCA stock supplier.
“Cotton Rosser is a member of the PRCA Hall
of Fame, as well as a member of the California State Fair
board,” a CHARC press release explained after Hindi
repeatedly videotaped his son Lee in the act of shocking
bulls at California State Fair Bull Fest in late August.
Asked about the shocking by Hard Copy,
Cotton Rosser denied that his company used an electric
prod. Shown video of the prod in use, Cotton Rosser
denied knowing the man who was using it. Hard Copy
then revealed Lee Rosser’s identity, with a photo showing
father and son riding together in the rodeo parade.
A week after the Hard Copy episode, Hindi
said, Lee Rosser was “nowhere to be seen” during the
Bakersfield Rodeo, where Cotton Rosser was again the
stock contractor. Similarly, Hindi said, stock contractor
Roy Honeycutt’s son Jerry seemed to disappear for a
while after Hindi caught him on video in the act of shocking
bulls at the Big Bear Rodeo in California.
But the PRCA said nothing about either the
Rossers or the Honeycutts.
Earlier, Hindi got video of J-Bar-J Rodeo
Company staff shocking bulls, he said, at the midSeptember
PRCA rodeo in Flat Rock, Michigan.
Off the PRCA circuit, he videotaped Big Hat
Rodeo Company personnel shocking bulls at the Boone
County Fair in Illinois, and videotaped Lazy C Rodeo
Company cowboys both shocking bulls and kicking one
in the face at the DuPage County Fair, Effingham
County Fair, and Illinois State Fair.
Along with the bull-shocking, Hindi videotaped
frequent incidents of tail-jerking, calf-roping jerkdowns,
which are supposed to be cause for immediate
disqualification from any PRCA-affiliated roping contest,
and videotaped both horses and bulls with extensive lacerations
from spurring and rough handling.
Supporting Hindi’s claims, the Beacon News
of Aurora, Illinois, on September 18 published a photo
of a cowboy at the Kendall County Fair shocking a bull at
the start of a ride. Rodeo fans Terre Schiro, office manager
of the Oswego Animal Hospital in Kendall County,
and Leah Rende, a horse raising and riding instructor,
told Beacon News reporter Joel Patenaude that they, too,
saw excessively rough treatment of animals.
The real star of the Hard Copy episodes was
not Hindi, who only briefly appeared on camera, but
rather Vermont veterinarian and lawyer Peggy Larson. A
former rodeo rider, rodeo vet, and USDA meat inspector,
Larson became outspokenly opposed to rodeo––and
became a vegetarian––after realizing that the violent
abuse of livestock she often saw was an inescapable part
of both rodeo and the meat industry. Rodeo, she recently
explained to ANIMAL PEOPLE, is really all about
desensitizing people to the suffering of animals they eat.
Hindi promises to have a grand finale planned
for the PRCA at the upcoming National Rodeo Finals in
Las Vegas, should it remain unresponsive. But whatever
surprise Hindi has prepared, chances are it won’t be as
surprising as the apparent resurrection of a calf whose
neck was snapped at the 1995 Wauconda Rodeo. Hindi’s
video, used on Hard Copy, clearly showed the calf drop
and lie still. It also clearly showed that the calf whom
rodeo personnel later paraded before the audience was a
different color. Hindi later obtained statements from a
rodeo volunteer who said he helped drag the dead calf off
and witnessed the substitution of another calf for the dead
one. Despite all that, however, there were still no consequences
to the Wauconda Rodeo––except that after
four years of CHARC picketing, Wauconda Rodeo attendance
has reportedly slipped by a third.