Chuckwagon driver handed record fine after horse dies

  • A chuckwagon driver at the Calgary Stampede has been fined a record $12,500 (£8,100) after a horse died at the event.

    On Saturday (16 July) Cliff Cunningham was fined $12,500 after the chuckwagon safety committee determined he was to blame for the death of a fellow driver’s horse.

    The horse — called Shooter which belonged to Jim Knights — was put down after breaking a leg during a chuckwagon race collision on Friday (15 July).

    Mr Cunningham’s initial fine of $2,500 for “wagon interference” was increased to $12,500 after the committee reviewed video footage of the race.

    “It was the judgment of the commission that the cause of the collision was clearly a case of driver error,” Doug Fraser from the Stampede organisers told local press.

    “The commission wanted to send a strong message that action has consequences.”

    Shooter was the second horse to die at the 2011 event. After six equine deaths last year an overhaul of animal welfare standards was undertaken.

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