Horse News

Opinion: So another horse dies in the Calgary Stampede, what’s the big flippin deal?

If you haven’t caught this news article, floating around the web, please see below:

Another horse bites the dust, I guess its back to the auction for another nag.

"Another horse bites the dust, I guess it's back to the auction for another nag.

CALGARY – A horse has died of a heart attack following a chuckwagon race at the Calgary Stampede.

Stampede spokesman Doug Fraser says the horse finished a heat and a post-race walk in front of the stands Sunday night before collapsing on its way back to the barns.

He says the horse showed no signs of stress during the race.

Fraser says it’s very rare for a chuckwagon horse to die of a heart attack.

The Vancouver Humane Society has been watching the Stampede as part of its campaign to end rodeo events that can cause stress or injury to animals.

The society says three chuckwagon horses have died of heart attacks in the last decade.

So he says, “What’s the big flippin deal?  Only three (3) horses have died from this one event, alone, over the past ten (10) years.  That’s not out of line, look at all the fun that all those people had, over the years, watching those horses run their hearts out.  Heck, look at all of the other keen events where horses are jumping around and doing wild stuff.  It’s cool.  What do you bunch of commie bastards want to do, take away rodeo?

Hell, first you tell me I can’t sell my trusty old friend to a meat packer so that I can claim a few hundred dollars for his tired carcass when he is old, then you tell my how I am supposed to treat him while he is alive (like how I am supposed to feed and water him and crap) and now you don’t want me to have any fun with him?  What kind of tree hugging, vegetarian, pinko, commie sissy are you?

My horse is my property and I will do with him as I please, just like my ole Chevy truck.  I will gas him up when I want to, shine it up when I need to, and sell it for parts when it is worn out and I don’t need no city slicker tellin me what to do.  I’ll bet you never had to pick dust out of your nose or hay out of your drawers even once in your life.

So leave us telligent, animal friendly types alone.  We know what to do with our horses cuzz they are an investment and if I want to beat the piss out of mine, running around in a circle in an arena so that the purtty girls see me and maybe I will win that hunnertd dollars, then that’s my damn business.  The rest of you can go suck on a horse turd.  Giddiee-up!!!”

Sound familiar?  If you have been an Equine Welfare Advocate, for any length of time, you have heard this same out lash ring in your ears, personally.  I have, and on more than one occasion, but what actually brings a little humor into the entire arena is the gross and unabashed untruths and total disconnect with reality that hovers around such instances.

Yes, it is extremely upsetting to see a horse die in a situation where he/she had no say in the matter.  But does that mean that we want rodeo to disappear, no.  Do we want stupid and unthought through stressful activities to go away, yes.  Simple.  My wife’s horse loves to be in the Houston Livestock and Rodeo parade because he is a Ham, he loves the attention and it is his opportunity to be an equine ambassador to the masses, but do we hitch him to a cart and beat him senseless while racing other terrified horses around an arena, no.

Common sense can pay great dividends but the trick is to ensure that all of us are on the same page as to what “common sense” really is.  In my simple, mind’s eye it is easy, “Don’t put your equine charges into situations that can/could be damaging to either their physical or emotional well being”.  But then again, as stated, I am simple…but does it really have to be any more complicated than that?


R.T. Fitch
Author – “Straight from the Horse’s Heart
The Force of the Horse®, LLC

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