In the first heat of tonight’s’ chuckwagon races an outrider horse in Layne Bremner’s outfit pulled up during the race with an injury. There was no contact made with another horse or wagon.
The horse, a 13-year-old thoroughbred named “Russian” was immediately taken for examination and radiographs by our on-scene veterinarians. The injury was deemed to be an untreatable breakdown injury in the left front leg and the horse was humanely euthanized. Russian was acquired by Bremner in Saskatoon about five years ago after a previous career as a racehorse.
“This injury – suspensory ligament rupture - is most commonly seen in race horses and occasionally seen in other types of sport horses,” said Greg Evans, Official Veterinarian for the Calgary Stampede. Evans had inspected this horse earlier this week and today prior to this race.
Almost every horse competing in the Rangeland Derby is a former race horse, and has a second racing career in the chuckwagon circuit.
Given the physiology of large animals including horses, leg injuries such as this cannot be repaired like they can in humans or other species. See Temple Grandin’s interview from 2011 for more background on thoroughbreds and injuries.
A post-mortem will not be performed, as Dr. Evans has determined the injuries were self-evident and do not require further investigation.
About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together, we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.
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