WATCH: Driver error is being blamed for the death of a second horse at this year’s Calgary Stampede. The horse was injured during heat 2 of the Rangeland Derby on Monday night. Doug Vaessen reports.
CALGARY – A second horse has been euthanized as a result of injuries suffered during the chuckwagon competition at the Calgary Stampede.
The Stampede’s Chuckwagon Safety Commission says the latest horse was hurt in a collision between two rigs on Monday night.
The horse was euthanized on Tuesday after a veterinary consultation with its owner, B.J. Carey.
A horse was also euthanized on Saturday night after breaking a leg during the chuckwagon races.
On Tuesday, a national animal-rights organization called Animal Justice called on the Calgary Humane Society to prosecute “inhumane rodeo practices” at the Calgary Stampede.
The group says chuckwagon racing is so dangerous that more than 50 horses have been killed during the event at the Stampede since 1986.
“The democratically enacted laws of Alberta unequivocally state that it is illegal to cause or permit animals to be unreasonably in distress,” says Anna Pippus, director of farmed animal advocacy with Animal Justice.
“The appropriate course of action for a law enforcement body that has grave animal welfare concerns with particular activities is to prosecute those activities for unlawful animal cruelty, not to declare its opposition in policy statements.”
The Stampede Chuckwagon Safety Commission said there have been no similar incidents for the last “three or four years.”
“I think the Stampede does an excellent job that the horses are fit,” said the commission’s Stan Church. “I don’t think there’s anywhere in the world that does as much to ensure that the horses are fit when they come onto the track.”
The chuckwagon commission says it has determined both Carey and the driver of the other rig, Shane Nolin, were responsible for the incident.
“The one driver was attempting to be very safe, but he was so wide, he was leaving space and the other driver thought that was a space to come up, and that was how that was created,” said Church.
“It was just an unfortunate incident of two drivers–one not aware of where the other one was on the track.”
Since the rules normally stipulate the driver responsible must pay $10,000 to the owner of the animal, the commission says Carey will instead receive only $5,000 from Nolin.
In its news release, the commission calls the deaths “extremely regrettable” and says the Stampede is working to ensure the focus of the drivers “is running a safe, clean race.”
With files from Global News reporter Tony Tighe