Chuckwagon driver fined and disqualified after third horse dies at Calgary Stampede

Chuckwagon driver Chad Harden has been disqualified from the Calgary Stampede and fined $10,000 after Stampede officials determined he caused a crash on the track that resulted in the death of a horse belonging to another driver on Thursday evening.

Calgary Stampede officials confirm that a third horse died following a collision in Heat 7 of the Rangeland Derby. 

An Independent Chuckwagon safety commission reviewed the crash involving Harden, who now faces a $10,000 fine and a lifetime ban from competing at the Stampede Chuckwagon event. 

The Stampede has determined that Harden’s wagon interfered with another driver in the backstretch just out of the first turn, which then caused a third wagon to collide with the inner wagon on the track. 

The crash resulted in the death of a horse belonging to Evan Salmond’s team and three other horses owned by Salmond were also injured in the incident. The extent of those injuries and an update on conditions has yet to be released. 

The video appears to show the collision involving Salmond’s rig and Danny Ringuette’s chuckwagon. The inside lead horse of Salmond’s team can be seen striking the guardrail and stumbling to the ground.

Ringuette’s team was able to finish the race and no Chuckwagon drivers were injured in the crash. 

In a release, the Calgary Stampede says it has ‘a zero tolerance policy for preventable accidents and injuries and the care of the animals that participate in our events is our highest priority.’ 

The release goes on to say, ‘With the death of two horses on previous nights of racing, this has been a difficult time for us an the greater chuckwagon community, seeing injuries, despite the best and safest conditions possible, is hard.’ 

Prior to Thursday night’s action, two other horses had already died during the 2019 Rangeland Derby. On Wednesday night, one of Obrey Motowylo’s horses was euthanized after suffering a fractured left front radius and a 14-year-old gelding belonging to Troy Dorchester died Monday night after collapsing. 

The Calgary Stampede will provide more information at a press conference scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday. Check back here for livestream details…