Four horses dead, one rider injured at Calgary Stampede -

Four horses dead, one rider injured at Calgary Stampede

Heart attacks, broken backs “depressingly predictable”


The deaths of four horses and serious injury of a rider at the Calgary Stampede are being called “depressingly predictable” by at least one animal welfare organization. Three horses died on Monday alone. The first death occurred when a horse in a chuckwagon team suffered a fatal heart attack while doing routine training exercises. A few hours later, a horse without a rider bucked so hard during the novice saddle bronc event it broke its back and had to be euthanized. A third horse died on Monday evening when it pulled up with a shoulder injury during a chuckwagon race and collapsed. A veterinarian determined the animal needed to be euthanized. Peter Ficker of the Vancouver Humane Society said his organization had taken out a full-page ad in a Calgary newspaper this year calling the Stampede a cruel spectacle of animal abuse. Rider Amy Carver was also hurt during a team cattle penning event on Sunday when her horse had a fatal heart attack and collapsed on top of her. Carver is in intensive care in hospital with a head injury and a broken shoulder blade.

Toronto Star

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Four horses dead, one rider injured at Calgary Stampede

  1. Perhaps instead …..

    we should worry about when the high horse Paul Wells is sitting on will get its first heartattack……….

    • You stay classy.

  2. To all those outraged at the deaths of the four rodeo horses…

    Rescue 100 is a non-profit organization that takes in horses that have truly been neglected and abused. Horses left with no food, no water. Been damaged by owners and left to die.

    These horses barely alive and some dying are brought to Keno Hills Stable, and have heaps of kindness, food, veterinarian care and volunteer time given to them to try to rehabilitate and then place them.

    If your so outraged at the death of a fed and cared for animal, please feel free to take up arms and fight for those who had no owners, or worse, had irresponsible owners and check out the website –

  3. 10 days of stampede is only a glance at what cowboys go though, It sounds cold hearted but animals die every day. just like humans. So before an animal activist from Vancouver speaks up and tell us that we are being cruel to the livestock that, we care so much about. I invite you to see what ranching and handling livestock is really all about. I don't believe you know the first thing about it so until you have actually experienced the life of a cowboy, hold your tongue be a man and maybe get your hands dirty for a change.
    Food for thought; What is North america going to do with all there abandoned horse that people cant afford to feed, maybe if you protested something like that i would be on your side but to me a bucking horse has the best life of any horse in the world. the one living thing in this world that is that is more honest than any human is a bucking horse, and at the end of the day they love what they do, other wise they wouldn't do it.
    So I am sorry if seeing an animal die hurts you it hurts me too, I don't like to see it but it happens all the time and you just have to live with it. And except the fact that horses can have heart attacks in the pasture or on a race track, they can break there backs just horsing around in a field, but to tell you the truth, I would rather die doing something I love, than live out my life tell death.

    • Supposedly these animals are in their prime health.. they wouldn't be chosen otherwise for use in the sport, right? So either you're saying it's a regular occurrence for animals in the prime of their health to die of a heart attack, or that the chuck-wagoners are stupid and using decrepit animals.

      Either way suggests you're a liar.

      • Yes, young horses die of undiagnosed heart conditions as regularly as young humans die of undiagnosed heart conditions.

  4. Anyone think there wasn't 4 horses die today in Alberta while out in the field?

    The only reason the protestors are up in arms is that the event is hugley publicized and it gives them a stage to get their issues out.

    Protestors should take a walk in the barns at the stampede. They would find the highest care and attention given to the animals. Also if you know anything about chuckwagon horses you would know that those horses live to run. The second they here the gear rattle as it comes off the hooks they start shifting side to side and pushing at the stalls to get out. You can't train an animal to be excited.

    If the protestors want to help I think we should give them a shovel and send them out in the field to start filling in gopher holes. They cause more broken legs on animals than entertainment ever will.

  5. Animals die all the time

    • Yes, it's well known how generally healthy animals regularly die of sudden heart attacks..

      ..oh wait.

      • I had a healthy three year old horse die of a heart attack while getting some excersice on the lunge line. I was doing the same thing with him that I had done two days previously and on that day, his heart went. The vet told me there was nothing I could have done and it would have happened out in the field if I had not gone up to the barn and brought him in to work. The vet figures it was a heart murmer that got the better of him. There is no definte way to tell if a horse has a heart murmer since they are such large animals.

        So yes, generally healthy animals can die of sudden heart attacks, I've seen it happen. Would they be protesting this if the horses had died of colic? Probably not.

  6. You all seem to be missing the point. Animals die everyday (some under tragic circumstances, others by natural causes), but to die for human entertainment is senseless. It puts us on a par with dog fighters. Don't try to stand back and say, " they can't wait to get out of the stall" – surely you cannot be that naive?

    • you no nuthing.I raced horses my hole life and yes thay do love it.

      • I agree with you ron. If horses love what they do, you can't stop them and if they don't love it, you can't make them do it. The horses that do the wagon races live for it. I've seen a horse trained for barrel racing taken out of that life and made into a jumper because he hated barrel racing and wouldn't do it and loved jumping and would jump anything he could. I've also seen a jumper horse changed into a dressage horse because the horse hated jumping and wouldn't do it but excelled in dressage. Good horsemen know their animals and they can find what the horses love to do.

        Ever hear about you can't lead a horse to water? Well you can't force a horse to do anything well if they don't want to do it.

  7. it is time to stop old outdated practices only for our entertainment what is more important lives or money for stampede and allow us to watch people and animals die how bizarre and dark

  8. Jeremy R- So these horses love to buck do they, then why do they need a flank strap to make them buck, snug that up around your nuts and you would probably jump around too. Dont know what livestock your around but no rancher or ranch hand I know ropes calves at the speed and jerk in rodeos, or has some fat linebacker twist down steers. you dont put a flank strap on a new colt to get used to riding This obscene spectacle has nothing to do with ranching or ranching heritage.

    • It's not "snug up around their nuts"… how would you explain that mares buck too?

      But yes, we do put back cinches on new colts to get them used to riding… many western horses are started with a back cinch. It's attached to the front cinch because if it goes to far back (without even being snug) the horse will often buck.

  9. The Apocalypse won't ride this year.

  10. a horse can die from these injuries anyday. Not just because they are used in a rodeo. I have seen horses die from heart attacks on trail rides, and walking in the pasture. A horse can zig when he should have zaged and break a bone and have to be put done. I have seen it before with a mini that broke her back while running and bucking ini the field. And the girl who was cattle penning I am sorry to say, her injuries wouldnt have been so bad if she was wearing a helmet. I realize it isnt "cool" but it does save lives. If any changes need to be made it is helmuts should be manditory. The animals are al taking care of. They are wll fed, they get vet care when needed, and a not abused. People should focus more on the animals that are abused. And as for people on here saying the horses dont like it, the horses LOVE IT. They are not just trained to do these jobs, it is bread into them. Their bloodlines are all horses that do those jobs. Ranches use ropes on cattle just like in the rodeo. You cant just walk up to a cow or calf and say "ok I am going to give you a shot now, stand still, dont move". It doesnt work that way.

  11. They should check the animal welfare members who want to close the stampede. They are probably giving those horses a needle like the guys on death row, it takes a while for them to die, but die they do.

  12. it is a real shame that these horses died, and the injured rider. but i do agree, these horses are pampered and they can enjoy it!! many horses and people die everyday, for it to be human entertainment is quite sad still.