Calgary

Calgary Stampede: Horse euthanized after breaking leg in chuckwagon race

A horse has been euthanized at the Calgary Stampede after suffering a broken leg in one of the chuckwagon races on Saturday night.

Chuckwagon races the deadliest Stampede event for horses, with more than 50 deaths in 20 years

Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races like this one in 2012 are the deadliest event for horses. One was killed after an accident in a race on Saturday. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

A horse has been euthanized at the Calgary Stampede after suffering a broken leg in one of the chuckwagon races on Saturday night.

Driver Layne Bremner's right lead horse, Duke, was injured in the sixth heat of the night. 

"A veterinarian was on the scene immediately and determined the horse suffered a broken right hind leg — specifically a fractured cannon bone," wrote the Stampede in a release Saturday night.

Duke was a 10-year-old thoroughbred who had a previous career as a racehorse before Bremner bought the animal three years ago. 

The injury appears to be due to a collision with another wagon. Bremner received a $2,500 penalty as well as a five-second penalty for interference.

The chuckwagon races are the deadliest Stampede event for horses, with more than 50 deaths over the last 20 years.

Animal rights groups have long called for the end of the rodeo and chuckwagon races being part of the Stampede.

In 2011, the organization changed its rules in an effort to make the sport safer after four horses died the previous year.

The number of outriders for each chuckwagon was cut from four to two to make the track less congested.

Pre-race health checks by veterinarians and rest days for the horses were also made mandatory. 

But in 2012, three horses died in a crash after the lead suffered an aneurysm pulling the others down with it.

"The Calgary Stampede will undertake a thorough review to determine if there were any contributing factors to this incident that would have prevented it," said Stampede spokesman Kurt Kadatz.

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