Canada’s annual celebration of agriculture and western life is celebrating 100 years this week. But some animal welfare supporters are calling for an end to one of the Calgary Stampede’s signature events, the chuckwagon races.
“The outriding horse is an 18-year-old horse,” Harden explained to reporters through tears following the crash. “I’ve had him for 13 years. He’s part of our family. He was supposed to be my kids’ horse after this year.”
After six horses died during the 2010 Calgary Stampede, organizers worked with veterinary and humane groups to put new safety measures in place. All horses are now inspected by veterinarians before and after every race, and drivers must give the horses mandatory rest days.
Many of the chuckwagon horses are off-the-track Thoroughbreds.
The video below includes footage from the 2011 chuckwagon races provided by the Calgary Stampede.
According to the Vancouver Humane Society, more than 50 chuckwagon horses have died during the Calgary Stampede since 1986. The Vancouver Humane Society is one of several animal welfare groups calling for the end of the popular event.
The Calgary Stampede’s 100th anniversary continues through Sunday, July 15. For more information, visit CalgaryStampede.com