Horse dies at 2019 GMC Rangeland Derby chuckwagon races

Troy Dorchester drives his team of horses past the grandstand during the Rangeland Derby Chuck wagon races at the Calgary Exibition and Stampede, in Calgary, Alberta, Saturday, July 10, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley

A horse that fell during the 2019 GMC Rangeland Derby at the Calgary Stampede on Monday has died.

The horse, belonging to Troy Dorchester, fell to the track during the second heat of the chuckwagon races.

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The Calgary Stampede said in a Tuesday news release that the horse required veterinary care “due to a serious internal medical condition” and died “as a result of that condition.”

“At this time there is no indication that this medical condition is specific to chuckwagon racing.”

According to Kristina Barnes with the Stampede, the horse had gone through a full veterinary examination when it first arrived at Stampede Park and another when it was identified as one that would be racing that night.

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“So they’re looking at heart, lungs, movement of legs so muscular, skeletal — so a pretty thorough veterinary inspection,” she said.

“There are things we can’t see in all of us, in people and in animals. There are things we can’t identify and this must have been the case.”

Barnes said it was an emotional night in the stables after the loss of the horse, especially for Dorchester and his family, who had owned the horse for about 10 years.

“Troy, himself, knowing that he’s done everything for that horse in care and spending time with it and knowing that horse very, very well, he did everything he can to ensure that it was in good shape,” Barnes said.

A necropsy is being completed to learn more about the death.

“We want to know what happened to that horse. The owner wants to know what happened to that horse and why that happened,” Barnes said.

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