A chuckwagon race is seen during Calgary Stampede in Calgary, on July 13, 2012. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Chuckwagon driver fined, disqualified after third horse dies at Calgary Stampede

Officials said Chad Harden’s actions caused another driver to hit the track’s inner rail

A chuckwagon driver has been barred indefinitely from competing after a collision at the Calgary Stampede that caused a horse’s death.

“We live and work as a family committed to the well-being of our beloved animals and this type of incident impacts us deeply to the core,” Stampede CEO Warren Connell told reporters Friday.

The Stampede says driver Chad Harden impeded fellow driver Danny Ringuette’s chuckwagon and caused a third rig driven by Evan Salmond to collide with the track’s inner rail, resulting in severe injuries to a horse that led to its death.

It happened Thursday evening in the seventh heat of the Rangeland Derby. Three other horses on Salmond’s wagon had minor injuries.

An independent chuckwagon safety commission ruled Harden should be fined $10,000 and disqualified from the remainder of this year’s racing, which means he will not be invited to compete in future events.

“We don’t think that Chad deliberately meant to do this,” said Mike Whittle, chair of the safety commission. ”We have determined that there was driver error involved in his decision making.”

Whittle said he’s not aware of anything like this happening before.

He said Harden could technically ask to be reinstated as early as September, but there is no guarantee he would be allowed to compete again.

The Stampede has a zero tolerance policy for preventable accidents and injuries.

“The Stampede takes this very seriously. This is about our brand, this is about our commitment to the safety of our performers, both animals and people,” said Connell.

The horse death was the third during this year’s Stampede.

On Wednesday, a horse was euthanized after it broke a leg during a race, while another animal collapsed and died Monday due to what the Stampede called a medical condition.

The Calgary and Vancouver humane societies are among the animal welfare groups critical of chuckwagon races.

“I think it’s fair to say that while we have a difference in fundamental values, we do agree on something,” said Stampede spokeswoman Kristina Barnes.

“We don’t ever want to see an animal injured when it heads out onto our chuckwagon track and I’m sure they would agree on that point.”

Lauren Krugel , The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

MARS receives the gift of an X-ray machine

Country Animal Hospital in Courtenay donated the machine and processing machine to MARS

Habitat for Humanity opens four more homes in Comox Valley

Area chapter finishes eight homes during one year for first time

Kingfisher Resort unveils spectacular winter light display

A must this winter season is the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa’s… Continue reading

Nearly 200 people participate in annual Jingle Bell Run at Seal Bay Park

The Comox Valley Road Runners held their annual Jingle Bell Charity Fun… Continue reading

Opening day delayed at Mount Washington

Dec. 6 was set as opening day but will now be delayed due to lack of snow.

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Carriageworks Restorations come together to care for car

Courtenay council approves third reading for apartment proposal

Courtenay council has approved third reading of a zoning amendment that would… Continue reading

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Most Read