VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It was two versus 16,000 at the chuckwagon races on the opening night of the 102nd Calgary Stampede.
Two protesters chained themselves around the neck to the inner track rail before the races Friday night, delaying the event for about 30 minutes.
The activists are two women from Vancouver and are a part of the the Vancouver Animal Defense League.
The pair dressed in western garb to blend in during the moments leading up to the protest.
The women apparently had rehearsed their actions beforehand and were holding signs during their protest that read “blood sport” and “no more dead horses.”
The chuckwagon races, a Stampede hallmark, are denounced by animal rights activists who say it causes horses to suffer.
60 horses have died at the Stampede since the 80’s.
Stampede officials responded to the incident, raising a black tarp for privacy as they negotiated with the activists.
The chains were cut off around 8:15pm. and the women were handed over to police, the races then proceeded as normal.
A Stampede spokesman says there were two people didn’t want the race to go ahead, “and 16,000 who did.”