The crowd was still cheering for the rider’s bareback ride when the horse went down during Thursday night’s rodeo event at Agribition.
Rodeo staff and veterinarians rushed to the injured animal before a trailer brought it away.
“Our rodeo staff and veterinarians quickly assessed and dealt with the situation and unfortunately it had a neck or spinal injury so the decision was made to do the most humane thing possible, which was to put the horse to sleep,” Canadian Western Agribition CEO Chris Lane said.
He said rodeo animals and livestock receive the greatest standard of care, including an inspection by a vet before competition.
“It’s pretty rare. It’s been about 20 years since anything like this has happened at Agribition.”
Lane said while the athlete wasn’t hurt in the accident, it’s still a tough thing for him.
“It’s hardest on the people who love animals the most, which are the people who compete with these animals and show them at Agribition,” he said.
“The last thing they want to see is one of their fellow athletes – like an animal is considered for these guys – go down and get injured.”
Agribition has partnered with the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) for the Agribition Pro Rodeo. It features 16 athletes in seven major events. The rodeo continues Friday and Saturday.
The top competitor wins $100,000 in prize money.