Outrage As Extreme Traveling Rodeo Mixes Men & Bulls With Fire

Photo by Jonathan Khamis, OC Register

Just when animal advocates felt they could breathe a little easier, as more cities ban circuses that mistreat and exploit wild animals, such as, tigers, elephants, and bears forcing them to perform under ridiculous circumstances, the Orange County Fair recently hosted an Extreme Rodeo that proved to be not only deplorable, but extremely dangerous.

Part of last week’s so-called show included people dressed as cowboys, running around rings of fire with a bull and a close call for one man who the abused animal trampled into the flames.

The travesty was captured on video and posted on the Orange County Register’s website last week along with comments from Reno Rosser, whose family owns the Flying U Rodeo, boasting that “this isn’t your grandfather’s rodeo…It’s a pretty exciting show.  It’s for everybody. It’s extreme.”

For everybody? Absolutely not!

In response, five nights of protests ensued to educate fair-goers about what was taking place

“We’re trying to stop animal abuse tonight. Please don’t go to the rodeo,” one protestor called out to fair-goers as she passed out fliers against the event Sunday evening, according to a subsequent article in the Orange County Register.

Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG

Special contributor Judie Mancuso, founder and president of the animal welfare organization Social Compassion In Legislation (SCIL), a WAN and Peace 4 Animals partner, that has been a vanguard voice sponsoring landmark legislation since 2007, wrote the following:

The Extreme Rodeo recently came through the Orange County Fair with its horrific scenes of tortured and tormented bulls complete with reports of a man being trampled into a ring of fire. It certainly isn’t the first rodeo at the fair, but it should definitely be the last.

Traditions and pastimes are nice and dandy, but not when they revolve around harming animals. Bulls, calves, and horses are subjected to continuous trauma in the rodeo. Electric prods, “bucking straps” that burn the animal, metal spurs, various roping techniques which commonly lead to neck and back injuries or sometimes death, events that lead to leg injuries such as ripped tendons or broken bones that require the animal to be euthanized, and finally injuries to internal organs such as punctured lungs, are the various forms of pain and suffering these rodeo animals endure. Not to mention the constant time on the road in extreme temperatures, without food or water for as long as 24 hours sadly allowed by law.

Rodeo is about domination by force regardless of the cost. Teaching children respect for animals and compassion for other sentient beings is what we as community members should be focused on. Brutality should never be what we pass on as normal to our youth. 

Also, there is the public safety aspect, as we watch the man get pushed into the fire; this is a ridiculous display of irresponsibility on behalf of the Orange County Fair, and any others that allowed this show into town.

This kind of “entertainment” isn’t cute, isn’t fun, isn’t wholesome, and isn’t acceptable. It is time that we move beyond this archaic and backwards tradition of hurting animals for a few sick laughs. It is time Orange County stops allowing this kind of cruelty to occur in our backyard. It is time for legislative action that bans the rodeo.

Well said, Judie! May your powerful words and action translate into the change we and the animals desperately need and deserve.

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