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Steer, two horses euthanized at Calgary Stampede rodeo competition

Competitors gather for the national anthem before the rodeo at the Calgary Stampede on Saturday, July 8, 2023. One of the plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against the Stampede says he agrees with a member of Parliament who wants the federal government to temporarily withdraw funding for the organization. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

A third animal has been euthanized at the Calgary Stampede’s rodeo competition.

The Stampede says a steer was injured Monday night during the steer wrestling event.

“Medical attention was immediately provided. Following assessment, the veterinarian made the humane decision to euthanize the steer,” said the statement.

“We do everything possible to evolve our programs to minimize risk. This was a highly unusual and unfortunate incident.”

A chuckwagon horse injured in a chuckwagon race Friday was also euthanized.

And another horse, ridden by an outrider during Saturday’s chuckwagon event, was euthanized after it was injured.

“The nature and severity of the injury was not determined until the animal left the track, at which time medical care was immediately dispatched,” said the Stampede.

“Following a thorough examination, and in close consultation between the owner and the veterinary team, the humane decision was made to euthanize the horse.”

The Stampede has offered condolences to the animals’ owners and says it’s doing everything possible to minimize risk.

The Stampede embarked on changes to the sport in 2020, after six horses died during rodeo events a year earlier.

It implemented a program ensuring only fit and healthy animals compete. Every animal is inspected by a veterinarian each day, and chuckwagon horses get mandatory rest days and random drug tests.

The Vancouver Humane Society issued a statement calling for an end to the Stampede’s animal events.

“How many animals will die in these events before the Calgary Stampede does the right thing and leaves them in the past,” Emily Pickett with the humane society said in a release.

It said 105 other animals have died in the Stampede’s rodeo and chuckwagon races since the society started tracking the deaths in 1986.