Calgary

Calgary Stampede chuckwagon drivers fined over horse death

Driver error is being blamed for a chuckwagon crash that resulted in the death of a horse at the Calgary Stampede for the second time this year.

2 drivers will be out of pocket $5,000 for their roles in Monday night crash

A horse had to be euthanized on Monday night after B.J. Carey and Shane Nolin's chuckwagons crashed. Both drivers were fined. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Driver error is being blamed for a chuckwagon crash that resulted in the death of a horse at the Calgary Stampede for the second time this year. 

The incident happened Monday night when driver Shane Nolin's wagon "bumped" into the lead horse of B.J. Carey's team. It is the first time the chuckwagon safety committee, formed in 2008, has ruled two drivers at once have been responsible for a crash.

One of Carey's horses was badly injured and had to be euthanized on Tuesday. The nine-year-old thoroughbred, named Schuster, suffered an injury to a joint above the hoof called the "coffin" joint. The owner and a veterinarian discussed surgery, but concluded that a full recovery was slim and that the horse would not have a normal, healthy life. 

Nolin has been fined $5,000. Carey was assessed a $5,000 deduction from the $10,000 he would have received in compensation for his lost horse. Both wagons finished the race.

"Although driver error is rare, we know that the stampede, the two professional associations and the drivers themselves are working together to ensure these incidents are not repeated," said Stan Church, chair of the chuckwagon safety commission in a news release.

A chuckwagon incident on Saturday night was also a result of driver error and a horse involved also had to be euthanized. 

The Calgary Stampede called the incidents "regrettable" and is working to ensure chuckwagon drivers are running a safe, clean race, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

Calgary Humane Society spokeswoman Sage Pullen McIntosh said any animal death is upsetting. 

"We certainly hate to see that. We wish that those high-risk rodeo events didn't exist. I know they've taken quite a few measures to try and reduce some of the injuries and concerns," she said. 

More than 50 horses have died in chuckwagon races in the past 20 years. 

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