A popular Canadian festival has been in some hot water after several animals have died during a popular derby event. As of the weekend, at the Calgary Stampede, six horses have died during the festival's run this year and people have mixed feelings about it all. Officials are now calling for a safety review of the event.
Last week, three horses died during a derby event at the Calgary Stampede. According to a press release, all three horses died following the chuckwagon races.
Each of the three horses passed away due to different causes, including medical issues not related to the race, a collision, and a broken leg. Over the weekend, the Stampede has stated that three more horses have died as a result of the chuckwagon races, which raises the total number to six fatalities.
According to a press release by the stampede, the right lead horse on the wagon of Evan Salmond sustained a running injury on Sunday, July 14. A vet determined the horse had a fractured left hind cannon bone.
As a result of that event, two other horses on the wagon team sustained serious injuries. The Stampede has stated that they were cared for immediately, however, a medical team determined there was no option for treatment. As a result, all three horses were euthanized.
“This is as upsetting to us as it is to our community, and is challenging for us. The Stampede’s commitment to the safety of animals and the conditions of their participation in our events is paramount to our values and brand integrity. We will continue to be open in our communication with our community,” wrote the Stampede.
Since the news of the deaths has been released, people have had mixed feelings about the entirety of the situation. A lot of people are calling this derby event inhumane.
People have been stating that events like this are equivalent to animal cruelty and should be stopped. Many are saying that because there were six deaths this year alone, it is time to discontinue the iconic Stampede event and consider the welfare of the animals.
One Twitter user even equated the deaths of the horses to the death of humans - saying that if six people were to die during the races we would end it.
While some people are calling for this event to stop, many people are coming to the Stampede's defense. Some people are focusing on the entertainment value of the event.
Others are noting that the horses enjoy participating in events like this. Some are even saying that horses are bred for this purpose.
Regardless of the stance, people are heated and have very conflicting and passionate views about their individual stances.
The Stampede has now said that the organizers will be initiating a thorough review regarding the safety of chuckwagon races. “At this time we don’t know what form that process will take, and we ask for your patience and understanding,” said the Stampede press release.