Once again the Calgary Stampede has come under fire from animal welfare campaigners after two horses died at this year’s event.
The two horses were put down after separate incidents in the chuckwagon competition at the event in Canada.
The first horse died on Saturday (4 July) after breaking a leg during the chuckwagon races, in which horses pull wagons round a figure of eight dirt track.
The 10-year-old thoroughbred fractured a cannon bone after making contact with another wagon.
“This is considered a serious injury; and unfortunately our veterinarian needed to euthanise the horse immediately,” Kurt Kadatz, spokesman for Calgary Stampede, told Canadian press.
The Stampede’s Chuckwagon Safety Commission stated that the second horse was injured in a collision between two wagons on Monday (6 July).
The horse was put down on Tuesday morning.
More than 60 horses have died in chuckwagon races at the event since 1986, according to an animals rights group.
A statement from the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) read: “Horses keep dying in this event and the Stampede is running out of excuses. It should be suspended immediately.”
The VHS is calling on the Stampede to establish an independent panel of equine experts to determine if anything can be done to make the race safer.
In the second incident the Safety Commission said that both the driver of the horse that died as well as the other driver were at fault.
If a horse dies the person at fault must pay the owner $10,000. But as they were jointly responsible the owner will only receive $5,000.
It was the first time a ruling of dual culpability since the Chuckwagon Safety Commission was set up in 2008.