WATCH ABOVE: An unfortunate turn of events Saturday night, in day two at the Rangeland Derby. A horse was put down after a crash in a chuck wagon race, as Lisa MacGregor reports, the owner of the horse says he’s heartbroken, and animal right protesters say it just another example of why more change is needed at the Calgary Stampede.
CALGARY- A horse has been put down at the Calgary Stampede.
It was injured in heat six Saturday night, running in day two at the Rangeland Derby.
It appears to have bumped into another cart.
Officials say the horse belonged to veteran chuck wagon driver Layne Bremner and suffered a broken leg.
“My heart just sank right away, as soon as I knew something was happening at the bottom,” Bremner said.
The animal was euthanized soon after.
Bremner has been fined twenty five hundred dollars and given a five second penalty for interference.
The ten year old thoroughbred was a race horse before joining Bremner’s team three years ago.
Now, Bremner’s dealing with the pain of losing him.
“He loved to run. He was one of my fastest lead horses. No words to describe the feeling that you have, after losing one of your family members pretty much,” Bremner said.
“The horse suffered a broken right hein leg, specifically a fractured canon bone. This is considered a serious injury and unfortunately our veterinarian had to euthanize the horse immediately,” Kurt Kadatz from The Calgary Stampede said.
The Calgary Stampede says it’s investigating to see if anything could have prevented it.
“We’ll learn from it what we can and continue to pride ourselves with running a strong program at the Calgary stampede,” Kadatz said.
Animal rights protesters say it just another example of why more change is needed at the Calgary Stampede.
“Every year the same thing happens. It’s no surprise to us, we are angry because every year we’re saying it. The only way to stop these deaths and injuries, is to stop the chuck wagon and the rodeo,” Michael Alvarez-Toye, an animal activist said.
It’s no secret that over the past two decades, there’s been dozens of animals killed at the stampede.
“It’s tough, I guess everybody has their opinions,” Bremner said.
In 2011, the Calgary Stampede put a program in place called “Fitness to Compete” to make the sport safer for horses and ensure the animals are healthy ahead of every race.
‘I have no doubt in my mind that these horses are in that category. They have very good health care, very good nutrition, very good exercise programs,” Greg Evans, the Stampede’s lead veterinarian said.
Meantime, Bremner is back in the chucks Sunday night, with new horses.
“Just keep going from there. The best way to race is just to be the fastest at night and take day money and everything just kind of washes away. Feel good for one night at least,” Bremner said.