Ghosts of Calgary Stampede Past, Present, and Yet to Come – Remembering Animals died unnecessary to entertain us

Second chuckwagon horse death - Does Calgary Stampede get it? - Doing your part to help change Calgary Stampede


Ghosts of Calgary Stampede Present (2011)

If you attended 2011 Calgary Stampede rodeos and/or chuckwagon racing, the following two chuckwagon racing horses were killed (“euthanized”) after accidents, in order to entertain *you*.

1. H. Cliff Cunningham (died on Stampede opening night, “Rookie driver Cliff Cunningham’s right wheel horse went down with a broken leg entering the tracks second turn“)

2. Shooter H. Jim Knight (Cliff Cunningham was fined $12,500 for “wagon interference after his wagon collided with Knight’s horse during the opening portion of the Rangeland Derby bout“)


Ghosts of Calgary Stampede Past (2010)

If you attended 2010 Calgary Stampede rodeos and/or chuckwagon racing, six horses died (including four chuckwagon racing horses) after accidents, in order to entertain *us*.

1. Name unknown pending research (heart attack)

2. Name unknown pending research (heart attack)

3. Name unknown pending research (“euthanized after various injuries”)

4. Name unknown pending research (“euthanized after various injuries”)

5. Name unknown pending research (“euthanized after various injuries”)

6. Name unknown pending research (?)


1) The names of the six horses and other details to be added later when more information are available.

2) Yes, entertain *us*. I attended the 2010 Grandstand show (with different competitions, including chuckwagon races). It was fun watching the show last year but the fun stopped with the knowledge that the accidents were not totally unavoidable.

3) Toronto Star, 2010 July 19th, “Horse deaths have many questioning Stampede Chuckwagon races

It is an unusual number,” admitted chuckwagon racer Rae Croteau Jr. of Bonnyville, Alta.



I eat meat and I’m not an “animal welfare advocate” but as I get older, I also don’t like to see other animals (or harmless insects) die to entertain me. I have never attended any protests to improve “animal welfare” in my life, let alone organized one. But today, I am going to make an exception for Calgary Stampede and add my 2 cents.

Animals are not just numbers

Animals are not just numbers, it is too simplistic to only say 2 animals died  in 2011 Calgary Stampede to entertain us. Stealing a good idea from Charles Dickens‘s A Christmas Carol. Lets group these dead animals into Ghosts of Calgary Stampede Past, Ghosts of Calgary Stampede Present, and Ghosts of Calgary Stampede Yet to Come , just like Dickens‘s idea of using Ghost of Christmas PastGhost of Christmas Present, and Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in hope to illuminate.

We cannot change or influence Ghosts of Calgary Stampede Past and Ghosts of Calgary Stampede Present but we can always try to change Ghosts of Calgary Stampede Yet to Come.

Naming “convention”

If we know the name of the animal, we will use it as the first name. We will also use the following initials, “H.” for horses, “B.” for bulls, “C.” for calfs, etc. And then add the “animal name” in front of the animal owner’s name. (see following year 2011 names for example)

How You Can Help Change Calgary Stampede?

I believe we can get Calgary Stampede to speed up the changes by changing the mindset of Stampede‘s customers (Calgarians most importantly, and also out of town guests).

Please help by finding out the names of animals that died in 2010, 2009, 2008, … How did the animals die? Anyone fined? If so, fined for how much fo? These information are likely available by visiting the public library to read old newspaper archives of Calgary Herald.

Yes, I use “us” in this article throughout. Because I believe when it is not “us” against “them”. All Calgarians are in this together.


P.S. I appreciate reader “Joe” leaving me a comment in the blog entry “Second chuckwagon horse death: Does Calgary Stampede get it? – Will you let Calgary Deathpede bring you yearly horse death for the next 30-40 years? – Doing your part to help change Calgary Stampede“.

“Joe”‘s comment actually prompt me to reply and put this article back on the priority quite.


Previous reports

Second chuckwagon horse death: Does Calgary Stampede get it?

Full interview with Temple Grandin on Animal Care

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