Calgary Stampede Crash (Photo by Christina Ryan, Calgary Herald)

Chuckwagon horse deaths at Stampede spur protests from some but not all

This story is weeks old we know. However, we do not want the death of these horses to be just a blip on everyone’s radar. This event needs to be eliminated, as all rodeo events involving horses should be. But let’s stick to this awful one for right now.

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Cross-posted report from CBC News,

Calgary Stampede Crash (Photo by Christina Ryan, Calgary Herald)
Three horses die when Chad Harden takes a fall during the fourth heat at the Rangeland Derby at Stampede Park on July 12, 2012. (Photo by Christina Ryan, Calgary Herald)

Animal rights activists want chuckwagon races suspended at the Calgary Stampede after three horses died in a crash on Thursday night.

The accident happened in the fourth heat of the GMC Rangeland Derby when the left lead horse on Chad Harden’s wagon collapsed in the back stretch.

The crash brought down the three other horses in the rig, and caused one of the two outriders and his horse to collide with the wagon.

A necropsy done Friday determined that the first horse died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm near the kidney, said Stampede spokesman Doug Fraser.

Harden and his outrider were not hurt in the crash.

The outrider horse and the right lead horse, both badly injured in the crash, were euthanized by veterinarians.

A third horse, on the right wheel, was also injured but was expected to survive.

Source: Chuckwagon horse deaths at Stampede spur protests; CBC News; Jul. 13, 2012

Protests were held Friday and Saturday by the Calgary Animal Rights Coalition who want an outright ban on rodeos. Hear, hear!

The Calgary Humane Society vows to keep working with the Stampede to protect the health of the horses. Really? How are they doing that exactly? We are glad they are not working to protect our health.

In a related article, it quotes from a statement issued by the Stampede about the accident:

“The Calgary Stampede, and the people who bring their animals to the Stampede, care deeply about the welfare and well-being of those animals. The Stampede works collaboratively to mitigate risks to human and animal competitors,” the release said.

If people who bring their animals to the Stampede care deeply about . . . they would not bring them at all. Crocodile tears. End of story.

Source: Calgary Stampede: Horse’s death caused by aneurysm, autopsy reveals; Montreal Gazette; Jul. 13, 2012


Anderson jumps on the anti-Chucks wagon; Vancouver Sun; Jul. 17, 2012

Chuckwagon racing gives ex-racehorses new life; Calgary Herald; Jul. 10, 2012

Chucks driver fined $12,500 for collision that broke horse’s leg; Calgary Herald; Feb. 13, 2012

12 thoughts on “Chuckwagon horse deaths at Stampede spur protests from some but not all”

  1. First, the story is not WEEKS old. It’s 7 YEARS old.
    Now a question.
    Why, when some good minded person adopts a greyhound (who loves to run) and lets it live out its life in some high rise condo with no where to run, they are heralded for “rescuing” the dog fron the race track.
    But when wagon drivers rescue hundreds of thoroughbred horses from race tracks, let them continue to run (which they also like to do) for a few weeks each year for a few more years and then retire to live out the rest of their life in some beautiful ranch in western Canada, they’re treated like monsters?
    If it weren’t for those wagon drivers many (most?) of those horses would end up as steaks, etc. on someone’s plate in France or Quebec.


  2. Ok guys listen here. Ive grown up on a ranch with horses and have loved rodeo my whole life. There are many things you can worry about in the world and a couple of horses is not one of them. Sure, it is sad and i share the feeling. But shit happens. Its luck of the draw and same goes for anything else. A man can die in his sleep, in a car, on a horse, or just walking through the park. A horse can also die randomly walking around or eating or running or sleeping just like us. Also the horses who are taken care of and trained correctly even enjoy competing. You need to think of them as a fine tuned athlete. Its like saying hockey or football should be ban cause men get hurt. If you want to worry about something make it worth while and stop crying your tears of bull shit.


  3. Isn’t it interesting.
    Someone saves a greyhound (who loves to run) from the race track and forces it to live out its life in some high rise apartment in Vancouver and they’re a hero.
    Wagon drivers save a thousand horses from a very short life of thoroughbred racing, let them run as they love to for a few more years, and then let them retire for a long life on a beautiful ranch somewhere in western Canada and they’re a bunch of monsters.


  4. Is there no humane law re even livestock conditions which can be used in this scheduled travesty?

    Why not just use discarded cars instead and hurt each other that way? Leave the horses out of it and these idiots could have “fun” all day.

    There used to be a show called (I think) “Jackass” which had the same objective: hurting yourself or others for kicks. People will actually watch this go on and enjoy it.

    This reminds me of a description of a horse auction I just read from Sonja Meadows Animal Angels USA report. The auction itself appears to be completely out of control, too.

    I can provide the link to that report here:


    1. See the Related Reading link at the bottom of the article about “saving” ex-racehorses. It would not surprise me if the horses who are breaking down and dying are OTTB’s (off the track Thoroughbreds) just like in “Luck”.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Right on target Cynthia. Well said.

    How would you like to be a discarded off the track Thoroughbred only to end up competing in this infantile and dangerous event. Men need to find other ways to amuse themselves that do not include animals; women too for that matter.

    I wouldn’t think a Thoroughbred would be suited physically for this at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are almost ALL thoroughbreds rescued from race tracks across North America.
      If you don’t know that basic fact, please don’t comment on wagon races.


  6. Apparently, neither the Calgary Stampede organizers nor the Calgary Humane Society knows what the word “mitigate” means. Why can’t they just stick to barrel racing? Between the genital straps on alleged “broncos” and the chuckwagon races, the rodeo, as a tradition, must go the way of spittoons, women as non-voting chattel, and slavery. Simple as that.

    Liked by 1 person

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