Calgary Stampede cancelled for 1st time in almost a century

Bucking bronco horse ejects cowboy. Globe & Mail. Calgary Stampede rodeo. 2015.

‘It was mandatory’

The Calgary Stampede will not go forward this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials announced Thursday.

This year’s event was scheduled for July 3-12, but was deemed unworkable given the ban on large gatherings and the need for physical distancing.

“This is very, very tough. Stampede is such an important part of who we are as a community, and it’s hard for me to even imagine what a July without a Stampede will look like,” Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said. “But this year, with this risk, we simply cannot continue to do that.”

Tom Sampson, chief of Calgary Emergency Management Agency, said these types of decisions are mandatory given the state of the pandemic in Alberta.

“I think I’ve been in denial. But there was no choice here,” Sampson said. “It was mandatory. It was a decision that needed to take place.”

The cancellation is a major blow to a city and province already reeling from the economic impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns coupled with the collapse of energy prices.


We Say

The Int’l Fund for Horses have been after the corporate sponsors for years to stop funding these unnecessary and archaic rodeo events — all of it, not just the chuckwagon races.

Now is the time for Calgary to come up with something to replace Stampede rodeo events with, something that doesn’t rely on animal brutality, suffering and death.

There already is something — a superb something — as mentioned in a related CBC Stampede news item:

The Stampede is Calgary’s largest arts and music festival

Open quote

While a few Calgarians and a few more Canadians will be happy to see the Stampede cancelled this year — and hope that it will never resume — what they don’t realize is that the Stampede is not just a rodeo, and it’s not just a huge money generator for the city of Calgary . . . what a lot of people don’t realize is that one of Canada’s largest and most diverse arts festivals has also just been cancelled.

It is also a huge music festival. The Stampede has four music venues and anywhere from 80 to 100 bands performing, creating what is essentially a 10-day music festival. Read more »

Manitoba Stampede also cancelled

Copyright: bucweeet (paul mckeen). All Rights Reserved.

Canada’s Global News service reports that the Manitoba Stampede scheduled to take place July 16-19, 2020, has also been cancelled due to the COVID-19 health crisis.

Fund for Horses Logo

Featured Image: The Globe and Mail: Cowboy turfed from Calgary Stampede for whipping horse during event, 10 Jul 2015.

Anti-rodeo activists protest at home of Madison Square Garden President Andrew Lustgarten

n angry neighbor attempts to enter Andrew Lustgarten’s building to complain about the protest against rodeos at MSG.

by DANNY ROSS at Their Turn (

Animal rights activists in New York have staged four protests at the Manhattan home of Madison Square Garden president Andrew Lustgarten, demanding that he cancel a rodeo scheduled for June 2020. The ongoing protests are being organized by Animal Cruelty Exposure Fund (ACEF) and NYCLASS, animal rights organizations based in New York.

During the protest, Janet Enoch, Investigator of Showing Animals Kindness & Respect (SHARK), an organization that has been exposing rodeo cruelty for three decades, told bystanders why the rodeo is cruel:

“Rodeos shock the animals to make them buck and appear wild. Rodeo contestants rake horses and bulls with spurs causing internal hemorrhaging. Rodeos use the buck strap which causes abdominal pain. In an effort to get the buck strap off, horses sometimes crash into walls often causing injury or death.  Animals should not be tortured for human entertainment.”

Read more »


Turn the sound down!

For decades, for most of the animals involved, being bought and used for rodeos it is merely a detour en route to the slaughterhouse. Animal injuries and deaths are routine, on-site veterinary care all too rare.

Canada has the notorious Champion Stampede. Yet, the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales) outlawed rodeos back in 1934. N. America needs to catch up.

So. what do you think? Cruel? Or good family fun? Speaking of which, rodeos teaches kids that it’s alright to brutally abuse animals to the point of serious injury or even death. The ones who survive, if you can call it that? Well, we’ve already told you the answer to that.

Care to send Lustgarten a message? You can’t tweet him @alustgarten; his account is private. Suppose that’s why they showed up on his doorstep.

You will recognize the group NYCLASS. They are trying to shut down the carriage horse business in New York City too.

Featured Image: An angry neighbor attempts to enter Andrew Lustgarten’s building to complain about the noisy protest going on outside against rodeos being held at Madison Square Garden.

“Banned” horse shocker back at Reno Rodeo


Reno, NV – In 2011 & 2012, Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) exposed that horses were being shocked at the Reno Rodeo.


The Reno Rodeo Association claimed to have identified the person involved in the shocking, but would not make his name public. A small stock subcontractor from Washington State supposedly employed the individual.

The Reno Rodeo Association promised that neither the individual shocking horses, nor the subcontractor who employed him would be allowed back at the Reno Rodeo.

At a subsequent press conference, SHARK displayed video evidence proving that there were a number of individuals shocking horses. SHARK identified the most prolific and underhanded shocker – an individual named Donnie Castle. Mr. Castle is actually employed by Cotton Rosser, the stock contractor of record for the Reno Rodeo.

Yesterday, June 20, 2013, at the opening performance of the Reno Rodeo, horse shocker Donnie Castle was again in the arena. According to SHARK president Steve Hindi:

“The many lies of the Reno Rodeo Association are laid bare for anyone who still cares about the truth. The guilty parties from 2012 are still at the rodeo today. Instead of banning cruelty, the Reno Rodeo Association has banned video cameras and cameras with long lenses. This is a naked attempt to keep the animal abuse that occurs at the rodeo from being exposed again. Reno has distinguished itself with quite possibly the most un-American rodeo in the country.”

For more information on rodeo cruelty please visit:

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Bucking Bronco, Reno Rodeo by (c) John_Schreiber / RGJ
PHOTO CREDIT: (c) JOHN SCHREIBER / Reno Gazette-Journal.
Zach Curran of Arvada, Colo. tries to hold onto his horse “Ragidy Ann” out of the chute during the bareback bronc riding competition at the Reno Rodeo Thursday, June 25, 2009.

Before people begin commenting, read what former bronco rider and rodeo veterinarian Peggy W. Larson, DVM, MS, JD, says about the use of horses in rodeos.

    Bronc riding, both saddle and bareback, causes the deaths of many rodeo horses. It is common for horses in these events to crash blindly into posts in the fencing around the arena or into the holding fencing and chutes. Bucking horses must be spurred over the shoulders on each jump or buck for the rider to qualify. The spurs cause blunt trauma to the shoulders which again never have time to heal properly before the horse is ridden and spurred in another rodeo.

    The bucking strap often causes chafing to the flank area, which increases the discomfort to the horse. The irritation of the spurs and the bucking strap often cause the horse to “run blind” and fail to see fencing, posts or chutes.

    “Instead of humanely euthanizing the suffering animal, the rodeo people chose to ship her, leg dangling, across two states in a transport truck with other horses. She died before she could be killed at the slaughterhouse.”

    Horses (and cattle) have to be shipped from one rodeo to the next, often in double-deck trailers. These trailers are very dangerous because the horses often fight during transport.

She adds:

    A number of cities across the US have passed ordinances eliminating rodeo’s tools of torture — the electric prod, spurs and the flank strap — all of which use pain to force the animals to “perform.” It is no accident that where these devices are eliminated, rodeos disappear. Without torture, there can be no rodeo.

Anyone with good vision can see the horrific abuses inflicted on rodeo animals. However, if you or someone you know needs it explained, please read what happens to calves and steers, how they are used, injured and sent to slaughter. More here >>