roped calfThe Humane Society of Canada has sent an open letter to Mike Holmes asking him to reconsider accepting the position of "Parade Marshall" for the Calgary Stampede.

The Calgary Stampede has a very poor record when it comes to animal safety and well-being.

For Example:

  • This year already three horses and a steer have died at the Calgary Stampede. The first, a thirteen-year-old horse, died of a heart attack following a chuckwagon event on July 5th. The second, a seven-year-old horse, was euthanized after breaking its leg and collapsed during the chuckwagon event on July 7th. The steer had to be euthanized after suffering a severe spinal injury during the steer-wrestling event on July 8th. The third horse reportedly died of an apparent heart attack on Friday, July 10th following a chuckwagon event.

  • In the 2008 Calgary Stampede, one horse was euthanized following a collision in the Chuckwagon event

  • In 2007, three Calgary Stampede horses were killed in a collision which occurred during the Rangeland Derby drawing strong criticism from The Humane Society of Canada who says the deaths could have been prevented. One horse died after its broken pelvis severed an artery, a second had to be euthanized at the track due to a leg fracture and the third horse was euthanized later that night due to injuries. There are reports that another rider had to euthanize on of his horses earlier in the event due to a leg injury, however, only after the horse managed to finish the race. A fifth horse reportedly fell after it became entangled in equipment; however, luckily it was not injured.

  • In 2006, during the same chuck wagon event, two horses were killed in a collision between two wagons, one of which was owned by a rider who was one of the riders penalized for this year’s crash.

  • Four years ago, the Calgary Stampede’s Trail ride resulted in the deaths of nine horses. The horses were spooked and fell 10 metres from a bridge into the fast moving Bow River southeast of Calgary, a tenth horse went missing and was presumed dead. Only a small number of ranch hands had reportedly been guiding about 200 rodeo horses on a six day, 206 km journey from the Stampede ranch near Hanna, Alberta to the exhibition site near downtown Calgary. The event, Trail Ride 2005, was organized to commemorate the province’s centennial. In an unrelated event, an eleventh horse died suddenly during the opening weekend.

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