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

Making the grade

Borrow Enterprises Ltd. donates equipment and manpower to help Clearwater Ski Hill

Animal Protection Party candidate selected for riding

Kira Cheeseborough said among her party’s platforms, she also hopes to inspire the youth vote

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour heads into third year

Attendees can expect selections ranging from comedic to dramatic to outright astounding

Clearwater RCMP report

Clearwater RCMP responded to 34 calls for service over this past week

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Most Read