Four horses have been euthanized in this year’s Calgary Stampede. Photo via Calgary Stampede/Facebook
The question of animal safety has been raised following the deaths of four horses at this year’s Calgary Stampede. Two had to be euthanized due to track-related injuries while the other two were put down because of injuries involving torn ligaments. The most recent horse to be euthanized, Ezzy, was a 16-year-old thoroughbred, according to CTV News. Ezzy was injured during the chuckwagon race. Dave Galloway, Ezzy’s owner, told CTV News, “I know it’s pretty somber back at our barn right now, and we spend our lives taking care of the lives of these horses, and showcasing them and what they can do,” he said, adding that Ezzy loved to race. “He’d be upset in the barn if you didn’t saddle him.”
The Stampede’s Director of Corporate Communications, Kurt Kadatz said the organization plans on looking into how to improve animal safety for future Stampedes, CTV News reports. “We’re very proud of our Fitness to Compete program, but we’re certainly not proud of our safety record this year. It’s very disappointing for us as an organization. We are really going to look hard and find out what we can be doing differently to achieve a better result because we certainly do take it very seriously.”
The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) is calling on the public to protest the chuckwagon races as a result of these horse deaths.
“The Stampede has made endless excuses about the continued loss of chuckwagon horses and has failed to stop these deaths,” VHS spokesperson Peter Fricker said in a statement, according to CTV News. “People need to let the Stampede know that this is unacceptable.”
The organization is asking the Stampede to stop the races until an expert panel can decide how to make them safer.
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