Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee is urging Premier Alison Redford to cancel the chuckwagon races at this summer's Calgary Stampede, calling them a "bloody spectacle."

The artist and PETA activist sent a letter to the premier on Friday criticizing the event and pointing out that despite new safety rules introduced last year, three horses still had to be euthanized following wagon crashes. The deaths spurred animal rights groups to protest at the Stampede grounds after the incident.

"There was a time when cowboys respected their horses, instead of riding them to death just to show off for a crowd," Lee wrote. "The only way to make these races safe is to cancel them."

In chuckwagon races, teams of horses compete to pull wagons around a track the fastest.

They are the deadliest Stampede event for horses, with more than 50 dead over the last 20 years.

"It'd be easy to get off on western tradition without this bloody spectacle," Lee wrote. "Dude, it's the old west, not ancient Rome!"

Lee, who will be in Calgary for a Mötley Crüe concert at the Saddledome on Monday, also extended an invitation to the premier to attend the band's show as his guest.

"Thanks for your time," he wrote, "and if you want to see a really wild show, I'd love to have you as my guest in Calgary on Monday."