Violators may be disqualified on the spot and fined by the PRCA.
"We have the backing when we turn someone in," said judge Larry Davis of Adrian, Ore. "That's really important."
Not everyone can become a PRCA judge. PRCA members interested in becoming a PRCA judge undergo extensive training in the skills needed to evaluate livestock and to judge rodeo, as well as several other areas. To become approved, judges undergo testing of their knowledge of animal evaluations and the rodeo.
In addition, PRCA rodeo judges undergo continued training and evaluation to ensure their skills are sharp and that they are enforcing PRCA rules, especially those regarding the care and handling of rodeo livestock.
PRCA judge George Gibbs of Maxwell, Iowa, emphasizes that most rodeo livestock are treated well. If he thinks an animal is being mistreated, he and his colleagues won't hesitate to report the violation.
"I know I can speak for all the judges," Gibbs said. "We take it seriously. One of our most important responsibilities is to make sure that rodeo is done humanely."
Mistreatment of animals at PRCA rodeos is virtually non-existent, according to the judges. Everyone involved in professional rodeo makes an effort to ensure that the animals are treated well.