According to one spectator the first bull came out and “within seconds fell over” with an injury to its back leg. File picture from previous event.
According to one spectator the first bull came out and “within seconds fell over” with an injury to its back leg. File picture from previous event.

Two bulls euthanised after rodeo mishaps

RODEO organisers have come under fire from disgusted spectators who claimed two bulls were euthanised after suffering broken legs in an event on Saturday.

One spectator, who asked not to be named, said organisers at the Eatons Hill Hotel event played music over the loudspeaker and attempted to start a chant as they removed two of the first three bulls from the arena after they suffered injuries.

He said organisers used black plastic to cover one of the injured bulls, which was later taken from the ring in a horse float.

A competitor in 2017 Eatons Hill rodeo at the Eatons Hill Tavern, Eatons Hill. Picture: Bradley Cooper
A competitor in 2017 Eatons Hill rodeo at the Eatons Hill Tavern, Eatons Hill. Picture: Bradley Cooper

He claimed what was being said over the loudspeaker wasn't being matched on the ground and that organisers were pretty blasé about the situation.

"It appeared to us that what they were saying was just to cover it up," he said.

"You know, 'don't worry we're taking that animal away to a vet. It's going to get really great treatment, it's been sedated' and again, that just didn't really match what we were seeing."

The spectator claimed it wasn't until the second injury a bobcat was brought into the arena to make an adjustment to the surface.

"It seemed to me that this wasn't an accident- it was negligence on their behalf for not preparing the ground appropriately," he said.

"To have two animals in such a short space of time suffer fatal injuries obviously something has gone wrong."

Witnesses said a horse also appeared to have suffered an injury prior to the bulls.

According to spectator Victoria Green the first bull came out and "within seconds fell over" with an injury to its back leg.

 

A Bobcat bulldozer 'reworks' the Eatons Hill Rodeo surface after the accidents.
A Bobcat bulldozer 'reworks' the Eatons Hill Rodeo surface after the accidents.

 

She said men tried to "stir him up" but after a short while the rope was taken off the bull at which point it collapsed.

"Men started running out with black plastic to try and hide him while he laid on the ground," she said.

She said a man had walked into the ring with a syringe and the animal "did not move again".

"They brought out a forklift and a (horse) float. Then men dragged the bull body onto the float and he was taken away," she said.

The second bull was not injured, Ms Green said, but the third almost instantly broke its leg.

"You could see it swinging around from the knee joint, again it was obvious that the animal was injured," she claimed.

A Bobcat bulldozer 'reworks' the Eatons Hill Rodeo surface after the accidents.
A Bobcat bulldozer 'reworks' the Eatons Hill Rodeo surface after the accidents.

It was at this point she left, along with a "lot of other people".

"It was a disgusting act of animal cruelty. It was not an 'accident' it was avoidable," Ms Green said.

"The issue with the ground was picked up when the horse first slipped ... there was absolutely no compassion from anyone running the show."

Crowd members took to Facebook to complain about the lack of respect for the animals and the horror felt by children who witnessed the accidents during what was promoted as a family friendly event.

Rachel Daniels said she had a good view of what happened, and was shocked at how it was handled.

 

A Bobcat bulldozer 'reworks' the Eatons Hill Rodeo surface after the accidents.
A Bobcat bulldozer 'reworks' the Eatons Hill Rodeo surface after the accidents.

 

"The MC was trying to distract the crowd inappropriately and the trick riders were told to go out to distract the crowd riding around the ring while this poor bull was bring euthanised in front of a crowd of kids," she said.

It comes as 40 members of Animal Liberation Queensland protested against the "exploitation of rodeo animals" outside Eatons Hill Hotel on Saturday .

"It's pretty obvious the animals suffered injuries and were probably put down," spokeswoman Gayle D'Arcy said, "it's awful for the children that were exposed to that".

 

"As well as the physical danger that some bulls experience all of them experience stress and torment- rodeo just simply exploits their fear instincts."

Ms D'Arcy said the organisation would "absolutely" be following up the claims with the RSPCA.

The RSPCA said it had not been notified of the incident as of this morning, but would investigate the matter if a complaint was received.

In the past the organisation has been vocal about it's disapproval for rodeo style events, but Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty said it is still a legal activity and any possible investigation would look at the circumstances around the need to euthanise the animals.

Eatons Hill Hotel was contacted for comment.



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