Calgary

Chuckwagon season delayed due to COVID-19

The start of chuckwagon season has been pushed back until at least late June due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

No word yet on whether or not the Calgary Stampede will go ahead in July

A chuckwagon race at the Calgary Stampede is pictured in this 2012 file photo. The start of chuckwagon season has been pushed back due to COVID-19. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

The start of chuckwagon season has been pushed back until at least late June due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The first four shows of the World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) tour for 2020 have been cancelled or postponed.

Those shows are:

  • Grande Prairie Stompede in May, which has been cancelled. 
  • Saskatoon World Chuckwagon Races in June, which has been postponed.
  • Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede in June, which has been postponed.
  • Guy Weadick Days in June, which has been cancelled.

Decisions have yet to be made about later events. 

As it stands, the season will start with the Ponoka Stampede on June 26. The Calgary Stampede GMC Rangeland Derby is still scheduled to go ahead July 3. 

"The health and safety of horses and humans is the number one priority in the WPCA. Sometimes tough decisions need to be made to maintain our high standards," the organization said in a release posted to its website on Thursday.

"With the full impact of COVID-19 still unknown and to maintain our commitment to the WPCA Code of Care and Animal Safety, decisions related to racing or cancelling and postponing events are not made lightly."

The Calgary Stampede temporarily laid off 80 per cent of its staff — more than 800 people — last month. 

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