Calgary Stampede says rodeo will go ahead as smoke causes nearby races to be canceled


Two horse racing events in southern Alberta were canceled on Sunday to protect animals from the fumes of raging wildfires that pushed the area’s air quality off the charts, but the Calgary Stampede said its rodeo would go ahead .

The Air Quality Health Index was at 10+ or ​​very high risk as of 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

The World Professional Chuckwagon Association said it consulted with veterinarians, who determined that racing was not recommended because of the smoke, forcing the Battle of the Foothills race to be postponed to 7 p.m. that evening in the city of High River. Had to be

“It is our love for the horses that every precaution is taken to ensure their safety and well-being,” the organization said in a statement.

Century Downs Racetrack in Calgary also canceled its standard breed race, citing the safety of the horses and humans scheduled to compete.

The Calgary Stampede said the final day of its rodeo would go ahead.

A Stampede spokesperson said in an emailed statement, “The team of veterinarians on our site is monitoring the animals for any signs of increased respiratory effort. If noticed, they are not allowed to compete. Will go.”

There was also an amateur rodeo going on at High River on Sunday. High River Agricultural Society president Tanya Froh said rodeo events have a lighter workload and shorter duration than chuckwagons or horse racing.

Calgary’s air had a concentration of PM2.5 (or fine particulate matter) that was 17 times higher than the World Health Organization’s exposure recommendations on Sunday afternoon, according to Swiss-based company IQAir, which measures air quality around the world. tracks.

Environment Canada states that when the Air Quality Health Index is so high, people should reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outside, and that children, the elderly, or anyone with respiratory or heart conditions should avoid outdoor exertion entirely. should avoid.

Arts Commons also canceled pop-up performances in the East Village due to air quality.

Stampede was also offering free admission for its final day. The festival, which was one of the first major events to be held across Canada since the pandemic began, said it saw nearly half of its pre-pandemic daily attendance, or about 50,000 people per day.

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