Four chuckwagon horses euthanized during 2015 Calgary Stampede
WATCH: The Calgary Stampede has wrapped up for another year, but with four horses being put down in the chuckwagon races the Stampede is once again reviewing safety to try and prevent further animal deaths. Doug Vaessen reports.
CALGARY – There will be a review of animal safety following the death of a fourth horse during the chuckwagon racing event at this year’s Calgary Stampede.
A chuckwagon horse had to be euthanized at the Calgary Stampede on Sunday.
The outrider horse in Dave Galloway’s crew suffered an injury to its left front leg at the end of the first heat.
The horse, a 16-year-old thoroughbred named Ezzy, didn’t make contact with any other horses or wagons.
“(Ezzy) was examined before the Stampede as well as each night before it raced… and it was examined before the race track, so there is no indication this was going to happen,” said Calgary Stampede veterinarian Greg Evans. “Even in clinically sound horses, it can occur during racing.”
Galloway, who owned Ezzy, said everyone on his team loved the horse.
“He was calm, he was our fastest horse. Everyone called him Fuzzy Ezzy.”
“It’s pretty sombre back at our barn right now and we spend our lives taking care of the lives of these horses, showcasing them and what they can do.”
Three other horses were injured during the 2015 Rangeland Derby.
On Saturday, an outrider horse in Layne Bremner’s outfit had to be euthanized after suffering an injury in the first heat.
“The injury was a complete rupture of the left front suspensory ligament,” said Evans.
Evans says the injury the horse suffered is most commonly seen in racing horses, as it tends to occur at a full gallop.
Another of the veteran chuckwagon driver’s horses was euthanized on July 4th after suffering a broken leg.
On Monday July 6th, a horse owned by B.J. Carey was euthanized after being injured in a collision between two rigs.
Kurt Kadatz, communications director for the Stampede, said the organization has made advances in animal fitness and welfare, but is not proud of its safety record this year.
“We are really going to look hard and find out what we can be doing differently to achieve a better result because we certainly do take it very seriously.”
“Certainly you can see, by these numbers were are not happy.”
Kadatz says he believes only one horse died in 2013 and one in 2014.
Animal rights groups have been scrutinizing the Stampede’s safety measures, saying they are not enough to prevent animal deaths.
With files from The Canadian Press