#SayNoToRodeo at the Calgary Stampede

Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur \ We Animals Media.


The Vancouver Humane Society continues to advocate for an end to inhumane and dangerous animal events at the Calgary Stampede after another horse died in the 2023 chuckwagon races. Read the update.

The controversial rodeo and deadly chuckwagon races are returning for this year’s Calgary Stampede, scheduled from July 7-16.

Learn more and take action to help protect animals from inhumane treatment and suffering in rodeos. 

Take the #SayNoToRodeo pledge

61% of Canadians are opposed to the use of animals in rodeo. Take the #SayNoToRodeo pledge to reflect your opposition to the inhumane treatment of animals in rodeo events.  

Follow & share “Rodeo Truth

Check out for more information about the rodeo and chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede. This public awareness project is a collaboration between the Vancouver Humane Society and concerned Calgarians.  

To keep spreading the word about why the Calgary Stampede should buck inhumane animal events, follow Rodeo Truth on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok and share the posts. 

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Deadly history

The Calgary Stampede’s rodeo and chuckwagon races have a deadly history, with more than 100 animal deaths since the VHS started tracking incidents in 1986. 

Last year, a horse was euthanized following a traumatic injury during the chuckwagon races; a horse in a bucking event was repeatedly struck in the face when the animal was reluctant to leave the chute; and a steer appeared injured during a wrestling event, when the steer’s neck was twisted by the competitor until the animal fell to the ground. He landed awkwardly on his hind leg and was seen limping away moments later. 

Animal welfare concerns

Rodeo events like bucking, roping, wrestling, and mutton busting are inherently inhumane. They rely on the use of fear, stress, and discomfort (e.g. spurs, flank straps, rough handling) to make animals perform and put them at unnecessary risk of injury and death for sake of public entertainment.  

Animals demonstrate visible signs of stress during rodeo events, including when their eyes roll back to show more of the white of their eyes, excessive salivation, and urination and defecation. Research demonstrates that calves experience acute stress and negative emotional states when chased and roped. 

These events are fundamentally at odds with how we should be handling and treating animals. In fact, they contradict industry requirements and best practices for the handling of farmed animals, which state that quiet handling techniques must be used and that abusive handling is unacceptable. If these same practices were used on farms, they would not be allowed.  

Growing public opposition

Public polling shows that a majority of Canadians are opposed to the use of animals in rodeo. Another poll indicates that removal of the rodeo and chuckwagon events from the Calgary Stampede program would have virtually no impact on attendance rates and would bring in new crowds. There are many other activities and events at the Calgary Stampede that can be enjoyed without putting animals in harm’s way. 

A pie graph indicating 61% on a background of a hand holding a rope used for rodeo

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