A horse was put down at the North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships at Westerner Days on Saturday night.
According to driver Brian Mills, who says he witnessed the incident, a wagon driver clipped the fender of a parked truck on his way out of the barn where the horses were kept, prior to Saturday’s race.
The team of four horses broke free from the wagon and ran into another truck, which needed to be towed away.
The driver was launched from the wagon but did not suffer any injuries.
One horse reportedly had to be euthanized.
“Everybody is crammed in there with semis and campers,” said Mills, who is the vice-president of the All Pro Canadian Chuckwagon. “He was misguided going out of the barn with his horses on. It was just a freak accident. All he was (doing) was trying to get to the race meet.”
At Westerner Days, most chuckwagon horses are kept in barns in between races, keeping them out of the elements and away from the thousands of visitors and vehicles used during the five-day fair.
Chuckwagon teams set up their camps on the paddock near the barns. Each team brings an assortment of horse trailers and RVs where they sleep, as well as trucks and other vehicles.
Mills said at every other stop, they are in an open field where there is more room to set up, but he emphasized the accidental nature of the incident.
Several messages were left for members of the Westerner Park board on Monday evening but were not returned at press time.