Rodeo horse death casts pall over Agribition

A somber news conference was held Friday morning at Canadian Western Agribition to update reporters on the death of a rodeo horse the night before.

Chief executive officer Chris Lane said the horse tweaked its neck or spine at the end of a bareback ride and was euthanized after being removed from the arena. The rider was not injured.

This was the first death of a rodeo animal at the show in at least 20 years.

Stock contractor C5 Rodeo spokesperson Gillian Grant said the response from the show’s veterinary staff was excellent. She said the 10-year-old horse was “irreplaceable” and they were sad to lose him.

You can find all our Canadian Western Agribition 2016 coverage here.

Two of the four pro rodeo performances are now complete.

In the purebred cattle show ring yesterday, Six Mile Red Angus from Fir Mountain, Sask., and several partners cleaned up in the Red Angus show.

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Red Six Mile Gloria 195B, with calf Red Six Mile Nio Gloria 555D, was grand champion female, exhibited by Six Mile and Niobrara Red Angus. Red Ter-Ron Diamond Mist 26C, exhibited by Ter-Ron Farms of Forestburg, Alta., and Six Mile, stood reserve.

In the bull division, Red Six Mile Signature 295B from Six Mile, Blairs.Ag Cattle Co. and Niobrara Red Angus, took the championship banner, while Red Six Mile High Caliber 177C from Six Mile, Diamond T Angus, Sunberry Valley Ranch and Vikse Family Farm was the reserve.

The Black Angus champion female came from Miller Wilson Angus at Bashaw, Alta. DMM Blackbird 105A with calf DMM International 54D was grand champion, followed by reserve winner SC Mich Rose 30X and SC Mich Rose 613D from Serhienko Cattle Co. at Maymont, Sask., Michelson Land and Cattle and Wheatland Cattle Co.

Ontario exhibitors Enright Farms and Cavanhill Farms showed the champion bull, EF Titan 545. Brooking Silver Lining 5012 from Brooking Angus Ranch of Radville, Sask., Sunrise Angus and CSI Angus stood reserve.

Greenwood Limousin from Lloydminster, Sask., and Boss Lake Genetics from Stony Plain, Alta., combined to show the grand and reserve Limousin females.

Greenwood PLD Zoom Bloom with calf Daisy PYN 42D topped the show, followed by Cottage Lake Code Blue.

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The grand champion bull was Highland Boston from Highland Stock Farms at Bragg Creek, Alta. Cottage Lake Big Star from Boss Lake Genetics and Shell Creek Ranches was the reserve.

The International Stock Dog Trial Championship went to Milton Scott and his dog, Josie, from Airdrie, Alta., in a time of 1:39.

Scott has been a finalist before but this was his first win.

The other finalists were Kaelene Forsyth and Lexi from Eriksdale, Man., Barry Breemersch and Jack from Deloraine, Man., four-time previous champion Peter Gonnet with Taff from Outlook, Sask., and Sherry Creech and Grace from Lloydminster, Alta.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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  • karin

    I am disgusted once again by the rodeo. ‘Cowboys’ and ‘cowgirls’ playing out some loose tradition and useless culture and using animals to fuel their egos to win prizes. Animal injuries and death are viewed as collateral damage in a business to make money and provide entertainment for human beings. Shame on the rodeo and shame on countries that keep allowing it to take place.

  • karin

    If you rodeo people REALLY love animals. you’ll stop exploiting them.

  • bufford54

    Sad news indeed for both the horse and the contractor that owned and cared for the horse for so many years. It’s tragedy’s like this that set some people off on a tirade of animal cruelty. That somehow the rodeo people are responsible for this accident. Anyone that has raised and handled animals know that this couldn’t be any further from the truth. Farmers, and especially rodeo people care a great deal for their livestock and go to great lengths and expenditures to keep them healthy and safe. If the public only knew the numbers of horses that die every year from disease, starvation, neglect, and slaughter plants, it pales in comparison to the few animals that are injured or killed by participating in horse shows, racing, and rodeos. If people are that upset by the loss of one animal, then I invite them to attend a horse auction in their country community, and buy up ever horse headed for slaughter. My neighbours dog ran out onto the road and got killed yesterday, does that mean everyone should stop raising and owning pets? The reality is, sooner or later everything dies, live with it.

    • Harold

      I can agree with your opinion only when the “talent” and “rodeo” are kept on the farm in the due course of the business of running that farm. I cannot conceive of an animal created or wishing to be in “show business” when it grows up. This animal died for what greater purpose. Domestic pleasure, transportation, moving a plow or a herd? Unlike a dog running onto a road, starvation, neglect, and bringing a horse to a rodeo, it is not done purely by any form of an accident. Unlike wild, the broken horse goes to where you see fit to steer it. Hence, broken in it’s spirit. In this case, the horse was a tool used to obtain the ego that a “ribbon” and a cash award provides, and this was viewed to be the animal’s highest meaning and calling. Those who may think otherwise, can still support the farmer and the business of the farm, while not supporting the commercialized Rodeo “ribbon” and the cash. If Rodeo’s were eliminated, what exactly is the unrecoverable loss. Entertainment? (I do not carry with me a picket sign – only words of my self-governance)
      Be that as it may, a tirade can be displayed by those on either side of this fence, and I believe that you had first dibs.

  • Courtney

    This was a tragic event for the rodeo community and something no cowboy, cowgirl, or producer wants to be involved with. Rodeo animals are provided with the highest level of care, vet checks before each performance and removed from the circuit if any problems are found, and theraputic massages after performances. Producers who raise rodeo stock spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on their animals whether it be breeding, feed and nutrition supplements, vet care, and massage therapy. Why would someone with such a huge investment in their animals want to hurt them? These animals are their livelyhood and no one cares more for the animals than their owners. This is a rare event to happen but tragic none the less.
    Accidents happen can blink of an eye but that wouldn’t stop someone from crossing the street becuase they could get hit by a car now would it??

    • Harold

      I would say from experience, that there is no doubt that these animal’s are cared for just a you claim. However, the Rodeo Organization is the riders livelihood, not the horse being a rider’s tool, and a tool which is well cared for as you suggested.

      An accident Crossing the street and getting hit by a car – was that on horseback to suit?