Review coming after death of fourth horse in Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races

Layne Bremner (left) wins a race to the finish line with Dave Galloway (right) in the first heat of the Rangeland Derby in chuckwagon action at the Calgary Stampede on Saturday July 11, 2015. Stuart Dryden / Calgary Sun / Postmedia Network.
Layne Bremner (left) wins a race to the finish line with Dave Galloway (right) in the first heat of the Rangeland Derby in chuckwagon action at the Calgary Stampede on Saturday July 11, 2015. Injuries and death are a regular feature. Four died this year. Stuart Dryden / Calgary Sun / Postmedia Network.

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CALGARY – There will be a review of animal safety following the death of a fourth horse during the chuckwagon racing event at this year’s Calgary Stampede.

The 16-year-old horse, named Ezzy, had to be euthanized after it he tore a ligament in a front leg during the first heat of Sunday night’s competition to cap the annual Rangeland Derby.

The animal was an outrider horse that did not make contact with any other horses or wagons.

Veterinarians at the scene could not repair the injury, which they say is common in racing and other types of horses.

Another outrider horse had to be euthanized on Saturday after it suffered a similar type of injury.

Two others that were harnessed to chuckwagons were put down after track-related accidents earlier in the week.

“(Ezzy) was examined before the Stampede as well as each night before it raced and it was examined tonight and it was examined before the race track, so there is no indication this was going to happen,” said Greg Evans, a veterinarian with the Stampede. “Even in clinically sound horses, it can occur during racing.”

Dave Galloway, who owned Ezzy, said everyone on his team loved the horse.

“He was calm, he was our fastest horse. Everyone called him Fuzzy Ezzy. I know it’s pretty sombre back at our barn right now and we spend our lives taking care of the lives of these horses, showcasing them and what they can do. Racing for Ezzy was effortless.”

Kurt Kadatz, communications director for the Stampede, said the organization has made advances in animal fitness and welfare, but it’s not proud of its safety record this year.

“We are really going to look hard and find out what we can be doing differently to achieve a better result because we certainly do take it very seriously. Certainly you can see, by these numbers were are not happy.”

Kadatz said he believed one horse died in 2013 and one last year.

Animal rights groups have been scrutinizing the Stampede’s safety measures, saying they are not enough to prevent animal deaths.
An estimated 1.2 million people attended this year’s Stampede.

(CHQR, CTV Calgary)

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What they can do differently is not put horses through this ordeal to begin with.

Can you believe a writer covering these tragic deaths had the never to make this statement, “Calgary Stampede chuckwagon horse death hard loss for driver.” This is a clear indictment of all involved that the deaths of these horses are seen simply as a loss of property and have no other value. — Editor.

RELATED READING

4 Calgary Stampede horses die in 2015 chuckwagon races; CBC News; July 13, 2015.

4 thoughts on “Review coming after death of fourth horse in Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races”

  1. How about if they hitch people to wagons and they race each other? If someone dies or is injured at least they provided excitement to the fans and they did it of their own free will so its not like in the days of the Roman coliseum when they used slaves (and animals) for entertainment

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  2. There is a petition re: this insane treatment of the innocent ones on the site…www.thepetitionsite.com Care2. Titled “Stop The Horrific Chuckwagon Race & Calf-roping events at The Calgary Stampede”.. Please everyone sign this!! And there are so many other petitions to sign.. Many tears for the innocent ones!

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  3. The Calgary Stampede is a blatant display of animal abuse. A 16 year old horse, Ezzy, has absolutely no business competing in this event that is very taxing even on a young, healthy horse. The Calgary Stampede is like the Wild West, very little regulations, and the ones in place don’t protect these horses. It’s disgusting to see our PM Harper, and future leaders, Trudeau etc. participating and supporting this cruelty. I have nothing against this event, but only if it was cruelty-free meaning absolutely no animals. When are we, as a society, going to stop using animals for entertainment, and profit? These are fellow non-human earthlings that deserve our respect not exploiting them for events like this.

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