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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Heritage rail to remain closed for both July and August

Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society may open Cloverdale Station in September

‘Trauma equals addiction’ – why some seek solace in illicit substances

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Honks, sirens and thumbs-up at ‘Keep the RCMP in Surrey’ rally outside city hall

‘Many many Surreyites turned out supporting #keepthercmpinsurreybc,’ posted one protester

Proposed White Rock development a ‘nightmare’ for Elm Street neighbours

Density, traffic, loss of views among chief concerns of residents

Delta launches online engagement portal

“Let’s Talk Delta” offers variety of feedback methods including surveys, polls, forums and Q&A boards

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Cold and wet weather has corn farmers waiting across the Fraser Valley

Usually the crop is ready July 5-12 but it’s still a few more days from perfection, says local farmer

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

COVID-19 exposure on Vancouver flight

The Air Canada 8421 flight travelled from Kelowna to Vancouver on July 6

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Chilliwack

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

VIDEO: Former Abbotsford resident giving away $1,000

Langley native Alex Johnson creates elaborate treasure hunt to give away cash

Most Read