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Another horse euthanized after suffering fracture during chuckwagon races at Calgary Stampede

A horse was euthanized after suffering an injury during the chuckwagon races Saturday night at the Calgary Stampede.

Stampede CEO Joel Cowley said the horse, part of the Obrey Motowylo team, suffered a “racing-related injury — a fracture,” during the eighth heat of the Cowboy’s Rangeland Derby Saturday evening.

“After consulting with veterinary team, the owner made the decision that it was the most humane thing to euthanize that horse,” Cowley said.

Earlier this week, two horses and a steer were euthanized after being injured at the Stampede.

The steer was injured Monday during the steer wrestling competition. An outrider horse that was part of Chance Thomson’s team was injured during the chuckwagon competition on July 6, and a second horse that was a member of Danny Ringuette’s team was injured during an incident of “wagon interference” during the sixth heat on July 5.

Cowley said the Stampede “works very, very hard to minimize these types of incidences,” pointing to a number of changes the Stampede has made over the past three years to make events more animal-friendly, including reducing the number of teams in each chuckwagon heat, introducing lane delineators and ground penetrating radar to ensure level surfaces, as well as closely monitoring the moisture content of the surface during events.

‘Difficult situations’

Earlier this week, Stampede president Will Osler appeared on CTV Morning Live Calgary and addressed the earlier animal deaths.

“These are very difficult situations and Stampede is thinking about the families,” Osler said. “People are coming from all over the world to seek out all the (different) experiences they can have at the Stampede including interactions with the animals.

“We appreciate their support and we do strive to mitigate the risks involved with those activities and we will continue to do that.”

Calgary Humane Society statement

The Calgary Humane Society issued a statement in response to the earlier animal deaths that expressed the belief that it is “fundamentally opposed to the use of animals in entertainment, which includes the high risk events at the Calgary Stampede.”

“The team at Calgary Humane Society are saddened by the animal deaths at the Calgary Stampede. Every year our executive director requests that the Calgary Stampede put an end to the events that put an animals life at risk so all living beings can have an enjoyable Stampede.

“However, every year we are informed by the Calgary Stampede that until people stop buying tickets, this will not be a reality.

“The best thing people can do if they wish to see change is voice their concerns to the Calgary Stampede directly or write to their MLA encouraging a legislative change.”

Sunday, Heather Anderson, the founder of The Daisy Foundation (Delegates Against Inhumane Suffering), echoed those sentiments, calling for an end to animal entertainment at the Stampede at a protest across from Stampede Park.

“We’re up here to let people at the rodeo know that rodeo kills,” she said.

A group of animal rights protesters across from Stampede Park on July 6, 2024. (CTV News)

“Once again, it’s (the death of a horse) horrifying,” Anderson added. “But it’s par for the course.

“There’s always (animal) death, and it’s time we started thinking about a new future for the Stampede. We don’t have to have death every year (at Stampede) — we need to bring change. We need to end animal abuse and bring western heritage back.

“Bring the party to Calgary, more music, whatever it takes — but get rid of the animal abuse.”

With files from Michael Franklin and Tyler Barrow

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