July 11, 2014 2:35 pm
Updated: July 11, 2014 7:37 pm

3 prized Calgary Stampede horses injured, despite heroic rescue attempt

CALGARY- A man put his life on the line to try and save his prized horses, after three of them were stolen in Black Diamond.

Steer wrestler Lee Graves had parked his truck and horse trailer near the Black Diamond Hotel around midnight on Wednesday, but when he returned an hour later everything was gone. Three of his horses, who are valuable roping and steer wrestling horses participating in the Calgary Stampede, had been in the trailer.

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A search by police didn’t turn up anything, but Graves later spotted his vehicle and tried to reason with the driver, concerned about the safety of the horses. When that didn’t work, he climbed on the running board of the truck and continued to plead with the driver, who instead sped into a barrier, throwing the man off.

“He tried to reason with the driver, saying ‘these are my animals, please don’t hurt them’ type thing, he ended up jumping on the side rail of the vehicle, but it took off in an attempt to get out of there and shook him off,” explains Cpl. Terry Hamelin from RCMP.

Police found the rig abandoned in Turner Valley a short time later, with the distraught horses still inside. The animals were lathered and nervous, and suffered cuts and bruises.

The horses, named Dave, HYTY and Snap have since been taken out of competition while they recover. Graves was also injured, but is still participating in the Calgary Stampede.

23-year-old Joshua Lemire of Turner Valley has since been arrested, and faces numerous charges. He is scheduled to appear in court on July 15.

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