For Immediate Release:
June 2, 2022
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Calgary, Alberta – The Calgary Stampede has just appointed Kevin Costner this year’s parade marshal, so PETA sent a letter this morning to the actor, urging him to step down from the event, which has reportedly caused the deaths of more than 70 animals—including six during the last festival’s chuckwagon race alone, held in 2019. Horses used in chuckwagon races have sustained fractured legs, broken backs, and heart attacks, prompting outrage from animal protection organizations and residents across Canada.
“Year after year, this reckless rodeo runs gentle horses to death,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA is calling on Kevin Costner to cut ties with the Calgary Stampede before it costs more animals’ lives.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Costner follows.
Dear Mr. Costner:
I’m writing on behalf of PETA, following news of your appointment as this year’s Calgary Stampede parade marshal, to urge you to step down in light of the egregious animal suffering and deaths associated with the event. More than 70 animals have been killed in the Stampede’s chuckwagon races so far, and your association with this show would encourage the carnage to continue.
During these reckless and dangerous races, teams of horses are forced to pull wagons around a track at breakneck speeds. Throughout the ordeal, they can be seen foaming at the mouth with their eyes rolling back in their heads. Many have sustained broken legs or backs or suffered heart attacks.
Nearly every year, at least one horse dies as a result of the Stampede’s chuckwagon races. In 2019, six horses died in one week—three in a scene so graphic that a tarp was used to hide it from public view.
Animal protection organizations across Canada as well as countless Canadian citizens have called for an end to the chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede. Will you please disassociate yourself from this deadly event immediately?
Thank you for your time and consideration of this important matter.
Executive Vice President