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Bull, 2 horses euthanized at Calgary Stampede

Bull, 2 horses euthanized at Calgary Stampede
Bull, 2 horses euthanized at Calgary Stampede

Three animals have died in just four days of the 2024 Calgary Stampede after being injured during chuckwagon racing and the rodeo, officials say.

In the latest incident, a bull was injured during a wrestling match on Monday and had to be euthanized.

According to the Calgary Stampede, the animal was examined on site by a veterinarian, who then decided to euthanize the animal.

Stampede officials had no information about what happened but called it “a very unusual and unfortunate incident.”

“We are committed to developing our programs to minimize risks,” the company said in an email statement.

Stampede officials also confirmed the death of an outrider horse that was injured during the chuckwagon competition on July 6.

“The nature and severity of the injury were not determined until the animal left the track, at which time medical assistance was immediately dispatched,” the Calgary Stampede said in a statement.

The horse, which was part of Chance Thomson’s team, was thoroughly examined and ultimately the decision was made to put the horse to sleep.

Stampede officials said another horse, a member of Danny Ringuette’s team, was injured in an incident that interfered with the carriage during the sixth leg on July 5.

“Immediate medical assistance was dispatched. After consultation with the veterinarian, the humane decision was made to euthanize the horse,” officials said.

Stampede officials expressed their condolences to the families of Thomson and Ringuette for their losses.

The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS), which has long opposed the Calgary Stampede rodeo events, said the deaths of the bull and horses illustrate exactly why the competition should end.

VHS reported in a press release Tuesday that the latest death occurred after Stetson Jorgensen’s run in the steer wrestling event.

According to the report, Jorgensen twisted the animal’s neck backward, causing the bull to fall to the ground and “remain stiff and motionless.”

Shortly after the incident, the agency also learned about Thomson’s lead horse.

“We received an anonymous report from a member of the public who attended the event on Saturday. They said they saw the horses crash into a fence after the rider fell out and that one of the horses appeared visibly injured,” Emily Pickett, VHS campaign manager, said in an email.

“The Stampede coverage didn’t show that heat in question, but we know that one driver, Kirk Sutherland, failed to make any time limits in that heat.”

VHS says it has contacted the Calgary Stampede about both incidents, but has not yet received a response.

Prior to media requests on Tuesday, the Stampede had not released any information about the animals’ deaths.