Media Release

Not-so-unusual animal deaths at the Calgary Stampede rodeo & chuckwagon races

Apparent fatal neck injury at Calgary Stampede steer wrestling, July 8, 2024

Footage from the Calgary Stampede on July 8, 2024 shows a steer being wrestled to the ground. He appears to sustain a fatal neck injury before staff rush into the arena with medical kits and a member of the crowd makes a motion indicating he has been euthanized. Footage: Sportsnet.

VANCOUVER, July 9, 2024 – The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) is speaking out after three animal deaths were reported in the first four days of the Calgary Stampede. 

Media reports have announced that a horse who raced on Danny Ringuette’s team sustained an injury due to wagon interference during the sixth heat on Friday, July 5th and was euthanized. 

 The Stampede has also stated that an outrider horse on Chance Thomson’s team sustained a serious injury on Saturday, July 6th and was euthanized. The second heat, in which Thomson raced, was not aired on Sportsnet, with announcers citing an issue involving another team where the driver fell off a wagon. 

The Stampede confirmed that a steer was euthanized due to a serious injury in a steer wrestling event on Monday, July 8th. The VHS noted that the injury was a result of the inherently inhumane nature of the event, in which a contestant twists a steer’s neck back until he falls to the ground. 

The Stampede called Monday’s incident “highly unusual and unfortunate,” a statement that VHS Campaign Director Emily Pickett questions.  

“We know that animals die almost every year at the Calgary Stampede,” said Pickett, “but this year animals have died almost every day.” 

These incidents mark 108 animal deaths in the Calgary Stampede rodeo and chuckwagon races since the VHS began tracking fatalities in 1986. 

A rodeo supporter contacted the VHS to say, “We did not know these were things we were going to see at the rodeo. The calf roping was also shocking. This will be the last rodeo we attend.” 

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SOURCE Vancouver Humane Society 

For more information, contact Emily Pickett: 604-416-2903,  

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