Chuckwagon Race at the Calgary Stampede - deadly to horses. Photo: Metro News Canada.

Death by Numbers: Horses Killed at the Calgary Stampede — The Attitude

Clip Art Canadian Maple Leaf White on Red.


The chuckwagon races have been a part of the Calgary Stampede since 1923.

While horses are killed in varying events almost every year at the Calgary  Stampede, chuckwagon races seems to claim the most lives.

The World Professional Chuckwagon Association calls the Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon Race “a half-mile of hell” for good reason. 65 horses have died in chuckwagon races since 1986 reports BBC Canada (it appears that is when the carnage began to be recorded).

In defense of such infamy, don’t you hate sick, self-righteous statements like these?

“It’s a tragedy to lose any of our animals,” driver BJ Carey told the media after the crash that ended in the death of Schuster’s Way.

“We look after these horses like they’re our children. They eat before us every day, they get pampered, we look after them like nothing else.”

So you pamper them, love them – treat them like your own children – and then enter them into a highly dangerous event where they are highly like to be seriously injured and even killed. If that is how you look after your children, you should be in jail.

Here’s some more self-serving nonsense last year from Stan Church, the Chuckwagon Safety Commissioner of the Stampede.

“Church argues fewer horses die as a result of the chuckwagon races than in thoroughbred racing.

“A 2012 New York Times investigation found about three horses die every day on US race tracks, but the number of horses in chuckwagon races is far smaller than those in thoroughbred racing.”

This is a limp attempt at argument by deflection.

Example. Tommy and Sue cheat on a test. They get caught and Tommy tries to diffuse his situation by saying, yeah I cheated but only little bit. But look at Sue. She cheated and a lot more than I did.

No sale Tommy. You are both cheaters.

The Calvary Stampede kills. Thoroughbred racing kills.

See also The Stats »

12 thoughts on “Death by Numbers: Horses Killed at the Calgary Stampede — The Attitude”

  1. Where do you think all those horses would be if there wasn’t wagon racing? They’d be on the first bus to the slaughterhouse. Yes, some are involved in wrecks and cant be saved but the majority are given a second chance instead of being butchered.


    1. Don’t look now Lane but your ignorance is showing. So it’s better they serve your purpose and have a life of abuse with a possibility of being hurt or killed before they get to the slaughterhouse. Because your barbaric industry takes such good care of them right? Get out of here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pardon? I guess you don’t quite get what ignorance means. It’s not understanding or not knowing. Believe me for someone that’s been around it a few years I understand it. Someone like you sitting behind your computer and maybe seeing it once on tv, you are the ignorant one. What would be barbaric about it. They aren’t abused, they want to run and that’s what they get to do.


    2. And where do they go after being terrorised, injured, used and abused and no longer useful in wagon racing?
      Yep, off to slaughter !
      Wagon racing is not only cruel to the horses but it is also a senseless, stupid and dangerous activity. “wrecks” as you correctly stated. Those who participate are animal abusers with nothing better to do. As they say, it could only happen in America.


      1. Actually, most of them go out to a pasture to live out the rest of their days. How exactly are they terrorized? Is all your knowledge just from what you’ve read online, or have you actually been behind the scenes and seen how they’re treated like family. They’re bred to run, that’s all they want to do. Try seeing one before a race and see how ancy they get, knowing that it’s time to run.


        1. I’ve seen footage of wagon racing which was more than enough to convince me how barbaric it is. I stand by my comments.
          Clearly you are equine uneducated, especially when you think that the horses get excited about wagon racing. The horses’ behaviour you refer to indicates fear of what is about to take place, they become agitated because what they’re about to be forced to do is not only abnormal for the equine but also places them at high risk of injury and death. Being a prey animal, the horse is 24/7 self preservation and obviously they do not choose to do anything that would cause them injury making them vulnerable in the eyes of a predator. To watch the physical and psychological pain that these innocent horses suffer is sickening.
          Wagon racing is barbaric and has no place in our civilised 21st century.
          Lane, it seems you get enjoyment out of watching wagon racing which means you love watching magnificent defenceless horses being terrorised, injured and dying to thrill you and your mates. Speaks volumes about the type of person you are.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I’m actually quite equine educated, thank you. I very well know the difference between a horse frightened and a horse excited to run. Don’t bother speaking until you know the difference. I don’t watch races for the injuries. Unfortunately they do happen but that’s not what they intend to do. You clearly know nothing about thoroughbreds when you say this is “abnormal” for them. They are a breed to run, they do not like being locked up in small spaces. Racing is what they do best. Instead of being biased and looking at only one side try educating yourself and see the other side. I’ve been on the racing side I’ve heard your tree hugging cries against horse racing. I don’t have a biased opinion, I’ve looked at both sides. Having an “equine education” I believe in what I feel.


        3. Ah yes, Lane. You believe in what you feel and that is forcing horses to partake in the barbaric blood sport of wagon racing and watching them run in fear for their lives, getting injured and sometimes dying.
          Says it all about yourself.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. The event’s roots are traced to 1886 when the Calgary and District Agricultural Society held its first fair. In 1912, American promoter Guy Weadick organized his first rodeo and festival, known as the Stampede. He returned to Calgary in 1919 to organize the Victory Stampede in honour of soldiers returning from World War I. Weadick’s festival became an annual event in 1923 when it merged with the Calgary Industrial Exhibition to create the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede. See


  2. If the chuckwagon races held the same number of races as thoroughbred racing, I’d imagine that their death statistics would be comparable with the thoroughbreds.

    Their argument is baseless, stupid and pathetic.

    If they truly loved their horses as much as their children, then they wouldn’t force the horses into an activity with a high risk of suffering a horrific death.


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