Another Horse’s Death Prompts Renewed Call to Ban Chuckwagon Races at Calgary Stampede

PETA Pushes for Ban After Fatal Horse Collapse

For Immediate Release:
July 10, 2019

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Calgary, Alberta – Following reports that a horse named Dylan died of a serious internal medical condition after collapsing during this year’s Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races, PETA sent a letter today urging Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Devin Dreeshen to direct the Calgary Stampede to ban the chuckwagon races immediately.

PETA notes that, after six horses died during the Stampede in 2010, rules were tightened—but far from effectively. More than a dozen animals have died since then, including a horse who broke a leg during the 2018 race and had to be euthanized, following a similar catastrophic incident that also caused the death of a horse in 2017.

“The Calgary Stampede’s death toll will only rise as long as horses are being forced to pull wagons around a track at breakneck speed,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Chuckwagon races result in fractured legs, broken backs, and heart attacks, and PETA is calling for their immediate end before more animals pay the ultimate price for human fun.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Alberta authorities follows.

July 10, 2019

The Honorable Jason Kenney

Premier of Alberta

The Honorable Devin Dreeshen

Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

Province of Alberta

Dear Messrs. Kenney and Dreeshen,

I’m writing again on behalf of PETA and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide—hundreds of thousands of whom are Canadian—following the death of yet another horse during the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races, this time from a serious internal medical condition. The horse—named Dylan—had collapsed during the second heat of the races. We urge you to direct the Calgary Stampede to ban chuckwagon races immediately before more animals die from these dangerous and reckless events.

The high-speed and highly stressful nature of chuckwagon racing makes it inherently cruel and dangerous. Horses have sustained fractured legs and broken backs and have suffered heart attacks. Any casual observer of the races sees horses foaming at the mouth and their eyes rolling back in their heads. After six horses, including four used in chuckwagon racing, died during the Calgary Stampede in 2010, rules were tightened. Yet the carnage continues: More than a dozen animals have died since then, including a horse last year who sustained a fracture during the race and had to be euthanized and one the previous year who died from a similar injury.

Animal protection organizations across Canada have called for an end to these devastating chuckwagon races. Alberta’s Animal Protection Act prohibits causing animals distress, and it defines an animal in distress as one who is “abused or subjected to undue hardship, privation or neglect.” Since horses used in these races surely endure hardship, these events appear to be in violation of the law.

Caring people around the world are watching and bracing themselves for more bad news for animals from Calgary—and they’re appalled that the races continue. We ask that you use your position and authority to end this deadly, archaic event. May we hear from you?

Respectfully yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk

President

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind