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Injured carriage horse, bull euthanized

Injured carriage horse, bull euthanized
Injured carriage horse, bull euthanized

Calgary Stampede officials say a horse competing in Saturday’s chuckwagon races suffered an injury that led to it being put to sleep.

“During the second heat of the Chuckwagon races on Saturday, July 6, an outrider horse belonging to Chance Thomson’s team sustained a medical injury,” the Stampede said in a statement to CityNews. “The nature and severity of the injury were not determined until the animal left the track, at which time medical attention was immediately dispatched.

“After a thorough investigation and in close consultation between the owner and the veterinary team, the humane decision was made to euthanize the horse.”

Stampede officials expressed their condolences to Thomson and his family for their loss.

This is the second death of a horse in the chuckwagon races since the Stampede changed the format to three-team heats to make them safer.

The first changes to the sport were proposed in 2020, after six horses died during the Calgary Stampede 2019.

Apart from changes To keep out the heat, folding arms were also placed along the inner rail to create a buffer between the wagons and the rail.

The Stampede has long been under pressure from activists to improve the safety of the carts, with some even calling for the event to be canceled altogether.

Very unusual and unfortunate incident

Stampede officials also confirm to CityNews that a bull was also euthanized after being injured on the fourth day of the rodeo, Monday, July 8.

“Immediate medical attention was provided,” event officials said in a statement. “After assessment, the veterinarian made the humane decision to euthanize the bull.

“We are doing everything we can to develop our programs to minimize risk. This was a very unusual and unfortunate incident.”

UCalgary animal welfare study

This year, the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is working on a project investigating the impact of Stampede on animal welfare.

Researchers have studied fear and stress in bucking bulls and bucking horses, focusing on the animals just before they take the big stage.

According to the university, the study found that most of the animals were relatively calm.

UCalgary is also studying the overall safety of the chuckwagon horses by developing a program where researchers take blood samples from the horses after their first race so they can measure how the animals’ heart muscles respond to the races.

In terms of condition, preparation and cardiac stress, the researchers indicate that the vast majority of horses had no real problems with racing in the first two years of this pilot study.

The school is also developing a two-year animal welfare assessment program that will take into account both the negative and positive experiences of rodeo animals at Stampede.