‘Yellowstone’ Fans Are Losing It Over Rip Having to Kill Another Horse

by Sean Griffin
photo cred: paramount

Many Yellowstone fans just watched the Season 5 premiere of the mega-hit series on Paramount Network.

Rip Wheeler, played by actor Cole Hauser, said that he’d “rather kill 1000 men before he’d kill another horse.” Unfortunately, Wheeler does just that in an ominous and dark Season 5 premiere.

Plenty of fans took to Twitter to react to the incident, including the user below.


A recap of the stunning premiere can be found here, where Outsider covers the twists and turns of Season 5 as it unfolds.

In the third season finale, we see Dutton family enforcer and ranch foreman Rip Wheeler mercy-kill a horse. It’s made clear that Wheeler doesn’t enjoy the task, wishing he didn’t have to put down the horse. However, the horse is gravely injured and putting it down and out of its misery remains the most humane thing to do.

This scene occurs at the same the Dutton family comes under attack from assailants. And in true Sheridan style, the scene seemed rife with foreshadowing of more violent instances in the future.

Now, as we begin Season 5, the mercy-killing of a horse returns as a foreshadowing of the violence that will follow the Dutton family’s power struggle to maintain their fifth-generation land.

Why Did Rip Wheeler Shoot a Horse in ‘Yellowstone’ Season 5 Premiere

During the two-hour long premiere of Season 5, Rip Wheeler is forced to mercy-kill a horse even though he’d previously remarked he’d rather kill “1000 men” than another horse.

At the ranch, Rip tells Carter (Finn Little) to saddle up John’s horse and ride. This action is significant. It signifies that Carter can now finally graduate from shoveling manure and now seek elder approval.

However, Carter immediately messes up on his first go-around. While helping herd cattle, he steers his horse into some rough terrain. The horse then shatters its leg in a hole and Carter breaks his arm.

Rip then walks over and kills the horse in a powerful and chilling scene.

The new season begins immediately with John emerging as the victor of the Montana governor’s race.

The very first season mostly focused on the struggle over land between the Duttons and the Broken Rock Indian Reservation, and it seems like the fifth season brings us full circle. Now, the Duttons will battle corporate interests (Market Equities) to see if they’ll maintain their land.

Yellowstone Season 5 debuted on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. ET on Paramount Network. The first four seasons are available to stream on Peacock.

Additionally, 1923, a spinoff of the series, is expected to debut on Paramount+ in December 2022.