Three animals euthanized after sustaining injuries during Calgary Stampede rodeo

Monday incident during rodeo “highly unusual and unfortunate,” officials said without elaborating

A steer was injured and subsequently euthanized Monday, making it the third animal to die during the 2024 Calgary Stampede.

Medical attention was immediately available to the injured animal, but a veterinarian ultimately decided it was “humane” to euthanize it.

Stampede officials called the incident “highly unusual and unfortunate,” and did not provide details on how the injury was sustained.

“We do everything possible to evolve our programs to minimize risk,” a statement reads.

A horse that ran in Friday’s chuckwagon races was also euthanized following injuries sustained during a race.

The horse, which raced on Danny Ringuette’s team, sustained an injury due to wagon interference during the sixth heat on Friday. Another horse was injured and euthanized following injuries from Saturday’s chuckwagon races.

According to Stampede officials, an outrider horse on Chance Thomson’s team sustained a medical injury during the second heat of the chuckwagon races on Saturday.

Officials say that “the nature and severity of the injury was not determined until the animal left the track, at which time medical care was immediately dispatched.”

Following a veterinary examination, the decision was made to euthanize the horse.

The Stampede changed the nightly race format to have three, rather than four, chuckwagons run during each heat starting in 2021 after six horses died at the 2019 Stampede.

One horse was euthanized during last year’s chuckwagon races.

The latest deaths led the Vancouver Humane Society to renew its call for the Stampede to end “inhumane” rodeo and chuckwagon events.

“How many animals will die in these events before the Calgary Stampede does the right thing and leaves them in the past?” director Emily Pickett said in a release.

“You don’t need to be an animal behaviour expert to see the fear in the eyes of a steer being wrestled to the ground. But we still have research proving that animals experience visible signs of stress and elevated stress hormones in rodeos.”

The Stampede offered its condolences to Ringuette, Thomson and their families.

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