A total of six chuckwagon horses died during this year’s Calgary Stampede.
The first death occurred last Monday. Driver Troy Dorchester had one of his horses examined following a chuckwagon race for a “serious internal medical issue.” It was reported that the horse died of the condition. A post-mortem is pending in that case.
Two days later, one of Obrey Motowylo’s horses sustained a broken leg during the second heat of the evening, and had to be euthanized on site.
Both of these horses had passed veterinary inspection prior to racing.
One day later, driver Evan Salmond’s lead horse went down after running into a guardrail on the track. Footage from the incident showed that driver Chad Harden’s wagon got in the way of driver Danny Ringuette, which caused Salmond’s rig to hit the rail.
Stampede officials issued Harden a $10,000 fine and banned him from competing at the event in the future. Though, Harden is permitted to apply for reinstatement as early as September 1st.
Three more horses died on the final night of races. This time Salmond’s wagon crashed during a turn in heat 8 of the Rangeland Derby. The right lead horse fractured its left hind cannon bone and two other horses also sustained injuries. It was determined the horse could not be treated and they were euthanized.
Once again, critics are calling for an end to this event. Stampede officials say a safety review will be conducted, but it is not clear at this time what form the view will take.