Media Release

Vancouver Humane Society speaks out after steer wrestling event appears to result in animal death 


Three animal deaths have been reported so far in this year’s rodeo and chuckwagon races:

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 Stampede confirmed that a steer was euthanized due to a serious injury in a steer wrestling event on Monday, July 8th.

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

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 calling for an end to the Calgary Stampede’s deadly animal events after Monday’s steer wrestling event, which appeared to result in a fatal injury. 

Footage from Sportsnet reveals contestant Stetson Jorgensen twisting a steer’s neck back; the steer falls to the ground, remaining stiff and motionless. Jorgensen appears panicked, and the camera quickly cuts away from the animal as staff rush into the arena with medical kits. A member of the audience then makes a slicing motion across her neck, indicating the animal’s apparent death. 

The VHS has inquired about the status of the steer in an email to the Calgary Stampede, but has not yet received a response.

Between 1986, when the VHS began tracking fatalities, and 2023, 105 animals lost their lives in the rodeo and chuckwagon races. 

VHS Campaign Director, Emily Pickett, said the VHS has been advocating for an end to the Stampede rodeo and chuckwagon races for decades. “How many animals will die in these events before the Calgary Stampede does the right thing and leaves them in the past?” 

In addition to the risk of death rodeo events pose, the VHS has raised concerns that events involving roping, bucking, and wrestling animals are inherently inhumane. 

“You don’t need to be an animal behaviour expert to see the fear in the eyes of a steer being wrestled to the ground,” said Pickett, “but we still have research proving that animals experience visible signs of stress and elevated stress hormones in rodeos.” 

Public approval of rodeo events continues to fall in the wake of near-annual incidents and a growing awareness about animal well-being. Only 31% of Canadians and 39% of Albertans agree with the use of animals in steer wrestling, according to a Research Co. poll commissioned by the VHS in February 2024.  

The VHS is urging Stampede organizers and decision-makers to drop the deadly and inhumane rodeo and chuckwagon events from the Stampede program. The VHS is also encouraging the public to sign a pledge not to attend the rodeo and chuckwagon races as part of its Rodeo Truth project, run in collaboration with concerned Calgarians. The pledge will be shared with decision-makers to reflect public opposition of the inhumane events. 

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SOURCE Vancouver Humane Society 

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

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