July 19, 2016 - 7:00 AM
CALGARY - No animals died or were seriously injured during the Calgary Stampede this year.
Stampede spokeswoman Kristina Barnes says changes made to the track and to barrel positions for the chuckwagon races made the difference.
Barnes says there were no injuries in other rodeo events either and the animals left with a clean bill of health.
The last time no animals died or were seriously injured was in 2003.
The rain made the infield sloppy on the last weekend of the stampede.
Kirk Sutherland won the chuckwagon championship and his son Mitch finished in second place.
“I think anyone watching the finals yesterday could see there were no slips, a couple of the barrel horses with little ones, but the bucking stock did well as well," Barnes said.
"It was a success despite the rain, and the fans hung in there as well."
Persistent rains are being blamed for cumulative attendance of just 1,088,000 at the 10-day show that ended Sunday, the lowest it has been since 1994, when 1,082,000 came through the turnstiles.
This year's total is down about seven per cent from last year and off 13 per cent from the five-year average of 1.23 million.
(CFFR, CTV Calgary)
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016