Vancouver Humane Society criticizes chuckwagon race after horse dies


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The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) is calling on the Calgary Stampede to suspend its chuckwagon race after a horse suffered an injury and had to be put down.

The outriding horse belonging to chuckwagon driver Chad Harden broke one if its lower front legs during Wednesday’s race and was loaded into an ambulance and taken to the back barn area. A veterinarian assessed the animal and determined that it would need to be euthanized.

The VHS wants the Calgary Stampede to suspend the race and set up a panel of independent experts to review the event and figure out if it could be made safer. Over 60 chuckwagon horses have died at the Stampede since 1986.

“Nearly every year horses die in this race, which clearly puts them at undue risk of injury and death,” says VHS spokesman Peter Fricker. “The Stampede has failed to stop horses dying and the public should let them know this is unacceptable.”

Fricker says companies should withdraw their sponsorship of the race until a panel is appointed to conduct the review.

VHS is also urging the Stampede rodeo to abolish calf-roping and steer-wrestling events, which it calls “undeniably cruel.”


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Melissa is a reporter at Vancouver Is Awesome and has worked primarily in radio and online media. She grew up in Ontario, went to school in Halifax and worked in Northern B.C. before moving to Vancouver. If you've got a story to share email: