Three valuable rodeo horses belonging to world champion steer wrestler Lee Graves are being pulled from competition after they and he were injured in an alleged abduction Wednesday.
RCMP say shortly before 1 a.m. MT on Wednesday, they received reports of a stolen truck and horse trailer containing three valuable roping and steer wrestling horses — Dave, HYTY and Snap — in Black Diamond.
RCMP say Graves told them he had parked his rig on Centre Avenue beside the Black Diamond Hotel an hour earlier but noticed it was missing when he came out.
Police patrolled the area and Graves later spotted his rig in Black Diamond. He tried to stop and reason with the driver for fear of injury to his horses.
Graves then climbed on the running board of the truck and pleaded with the driver, who sped away and crashed into a barrier, throwing him off.
Police located the rig abandoned in Turner Valley a short time later with all three horses still inside.
RCMP say they were very distraught and sustained cuts and bruising from being slammed around during the driving.
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The canine team was called in and a short time later, the driver was located and arrested.
The 23-year-old Turner Valley man has been charged with theft of truck, theft over $5,000, dangerous driving causing bodily harm, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, endangering animals and failing to remain at two separate accident scenes — one of the latter charge is criminal and the other is provincial.
He was also found to be on a recognizance for unrelated charges and faces multiple breaches of that court order.
He was remanded into custody and will appear in local court next week.
The horses were not scheduled to compete in the Calgary Stampede but will be pulled from an upcoming competition due to injury.
Despite receiving injuries, Graves will be at Stampede to haze for several steer wrestlers.