Three horses were killed and another was injured following a Canadian chuckwagon crash during a Thursday night race at the Calgary Stampede,a spokesman for the annual rodeo in western Canada said Friday.
The mishap occurred at the annual Calgary Stampede during the Rangeland Derby, when the horse, the left-side leader of a team of four horses that was pulling a covered wagon, went down on the backstretch, dragging the rest of the team into the dirt. An horse being ridden behind the rig slammed into it.
The lead horse died on scene, and two others had to be euthanized due to the severity of their injuries. The fourth horse is in veterinary care but is expected to survive.
The Herald has learned that autopsy results show the horse died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm.
Veterinarian Greg Evans told the Sun all the horses involved had been examined and tested before the race as part of new safety protocols.
The Stampede introduced changes last year aimed at making chuckwagon races safer for both horses and competitors.
Protester groups were out both Friday night and Saturday afternoon to show their opposition to rodeo and chuckwagon events at the Stampede.
An animal welfare group wants the chuckwagon races at the Stampede halted after a crash that killed three horses and injured another.
The Vancouver Humane Society is calling for the suspension of the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races following the death of the three horses.