VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The Vancouver Humane Society is calling for a stop to the chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede after a horse died in a training exercise today. Peter Fricker with the animal rights group is urging organizers to have a fundamental review done by equine experts, suspend the race or at least consider some changes.
“They could look at the type of horses that are used in this race. At the moment they are using ex-thoroughbred race horses and it’s possible that that kind of horse is not suited for this kind of race. Or there’s something wrong with the horses that they choose to run in that race because this just keeps happening…they need to suspend this race.”
Other suggestions include reducing the number of teams in each heat or decrease the number of horses. Fricker admits the Calgary Stampede has made some improvements but more needs to be done. As he argues, more than 60 horses have died in the chuckwagon races since 1986.
“The changes that Stampede has made to safety at the chuckwagon races, hasn’t gone far enough. Animals keep dying every year at the Stampede.”
A post mortem review indicates “Denny” the 12-year-old thoroughbred died of an aneurysm. Also, a chuckwagon driver was sent to the hospital after a separate training accident.