Pamela Anderson calls on Alberta premier to ban chuckwagon racing at Calgary Stampede

Baywatch star and animal rights activist Pamela Anderson has her sights set on the Calgary Stampede.

Six horses died during the chuckwagon races during the self-proclaimed “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” earlier this month.

Three horses belonging to the same driver died after one horse broke a leg and the rig crashed during the event’s final night of racing on July 14.  That same driver was the victim of driver interference and lost another horse to a fatal injury earlier in the competition.

And now, Anderson has penned “Letter to The Honorable Jason Kenney Premier of Alberta and The Honorable Devin Dreeshen Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Province of Alberta”

“After recently moving back to my beautiful native Canada, my heart sank as I read about six horses who died in this year’s chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede,” she wrote. “As an honorary director of PETA, I urge you to direct the Stampede to ban these deadly races.”

The Stampede, which is Calgary biggest tourism draw of the year and pumps about $325-million into the provincial economy, quickly promised a review of the event.

“In light of these events, we are committed to initiating a thorough review process surrounding chuckwagon safety,” the Stampede said in a statement. “At this time we don’t know what form that process will take, and we ask for your patience and understanding.”

There are 10 nights of chuckwagon races during the Calgary Stampede. CS Chuckwagons/Twitter

Anderson says previous tweaks to the rules isn’t doing enough.

Around 70 horses have died during the races since 1986.

“These races are inherently cruel and dangerous,” she wrote. “Horses have suffered from fractured legs and broken backs, while others have had heart attacks. Anyone watching can see animals foaming at the mouth as their eyes roll back in their heads.”

She wants the provincial government to intervene and ban the event.

“This cruelty and indifference do not represent the Canada I know and love,” Anderson added.

The province says it is watching and waiting for the Stampede’s review. The Stampede hasn’t said how long the review would take.

The province’s Agriculture Minister, Devin Dreeshen, responded on Twitter:

“While a huge fan of your work, I respectfully disagree on your opinion about the care of rodeo and chuckwagon horses in Alberta,” he wrote. “I’ve attached a letter in response and would be happy to meet with you, and introduce you to some of our farmers and ranchers.”

Anderson wrote of her refusal to meet with him Monday.

“You’re an apologist for indefensible cruelty,” she wrote in a letter circulated by PETA. “I don’t see the point of meeting face to face if there’s no common ground.”

Then, Dreeshen posted online again.


Main photo Pamela Anderson/Twitter

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About the Author

Dawn Walton

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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