Three horses are dead and a fourth was badly injured during perilous chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede on July 12th (story here: http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Animal+welfare+group+wants+chuckwagon+races+stopped+after/6930805/story.html).
This tragedy cannot be swept under the carpet as being an isolated incident, since the Stampede’s casualties have included six horses in 2010 and two in 2011. Such an alarming history of equine deaths will neither be forgiven nor forgotten by those who stand for the welfare of horses.
The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) is fundamentally opposed to horse-related events that rely on excessive risk-taking behaviours to entertain crowds. In our view, this is animal abuse and needs to be banned.
We stand in support of the Vancouver Humane Society and their efforts to ban chuckwagon races from the Calgary Stampede: http://www.vancouverhumanesociety.bc.ca/campaigns/the-calgary-stampede/.
A further tragedy is the fact that for many rodeo horses, the Stampede is nothing but a cruel detour to the slaughterhouse: http://www.ctvnews.ca/cast-off-calgary-stampede-horses-sent-to-slaughterhouse-1.833809. If they survive the events themselves, where do spent rodeo horses go? The sad truth is that many go to slaughter.
It is time for the Calgary Stampede to move into the 21st century and curtail all events that put animals at high risk of injury or death. This would also include the calf roping events, which the CHDC views as being cruel to young calves.
For more information please contact Sinikka Crosland at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 250.681.1408 (cell).