Trying Times

Photo Credit CP/Jeff McIntosh

Many attend and watch the Calgary Stampede with enthusiasm wanting to be entertained for the dollar value they pay, while others attend focus on “as they call it “Animal Cruelty.”           

Regardless of your view this event is and has been a money maker bringing added tourism to the City and  is run by a not-for-profit community organization. 

The Stampede lists it’s vision as a manner in which to create a world-class, year-round gathering place for the community and is focused to preserve and promote their western heritage, cultures of the area as well as their community spirit. 

The Stampede is governed by a group of 20 Board of Directors who are elected by shareholders, as well as seven (7) appointees, and the immediate past president. All of the day-to-day operations are carried out and completed by over 1,200 year-round employees.

It simply can’t come as a shock to anyone that the success of the Stampede are the animals who are the heart of what they do and one of the primary reasons the Stampede attracts in excess of 1.2 million people locally as well as those from around the world.

In light of the recent injury during the chuckwagon races July 14th it was reported and noted that the right lead horse on the wagon of Evan Salmond had sustained a serious running injury.

Photo Credit Mike Ridewood

After an assessment by the Stampede veterinary it was determined that the horst had a fractured left hind cannon bone.

In addition to the injury to this horse it was noted that two other horses also sustained extremely serious injuries as well and following an assessment by the veterinary medical team it was determined that there was no option for any treatment and all three horses were euthanized.

The 2019 Calgary Stampede is now tied for second place as the deadliest year for chuckwagon horses in over three decades.

It’s reported that the most complete records available and open to the public come from the Vancouver Humane Society which has added up the tally since 1986 using and obtaining data from the Calgary Humane Society as well as some or various media reports.

Over the 10-day event this year (2019) it’s reported that six chuck-wagon horses died where four were from the same team the driver controlled.

It’s reported that the highest death toll at the Stampede was 1986 when 12 animals were killed which included six (6) horses that involved a chuck-wagon.

Other than Calgary’s Stampede we are hearing that nine died in 2005 as reports indicate that they were spooked while being brought across a bridge over the Bow River. 

It’s reported that some fell 10 metres into the water, while others died when they hit the ground below, while others drowned.

As one would expect these latest deaths have many from the animal rights advocate groups as well as others asking for the Stampede to end chuck-wagon races as well as the rodeo.

The Calgary Stampede has launched a full review following these deaths and not only fined the Chuck-wagon driver $10,000, he was banned from competing at any future Stampedes, so they are indeed taking this extremely serious.

The Stampede continues to address the issue of safety, not only to the animals, but also those competing as well as the general public.

The Stampede’s roots of history dates back to 1886, when the Calgary and District Agricultural Society held its first fair.

Regardless of your view, pro or con those involved with the Stampede are focused on safety alone as those who own the animals have the utmost respect for them.

In today’s changing world not everyone will accept this as a sport – but we still allow combat sports such as MMA to name only one.

The views of this are those of the reporter alone and not a reflection of anyone or anything!!!!!

Feel free to contact the Stampede if you have any questions as I am sure they will assist in any way they are able!!