The chuckwagon community is mourning the loss of one of its own.
Wednesday night, a horse had to be put down after sustaining an injury in heat 9 of the GMC Rangeland Derby.
“It hurts,” chuckwagon driver Jordie Fike said. “It doesn’t matter wagon horse or riding horse it is still a horse.”
Fike says that these horses are like the drivers’ children and when they are hurt or sick it effects them.
Stampede spokesperson Kristina Barnes says that these drivers put hours into working with these horses.
“Putting the financial aspect aside, that they have paid for these horses to have them in their barns,” Barnes explained. “They invest hours and hours and hours of their time and it’s emotional time too. They are very much emotionally invested in these horses and they will say they are part of their families.”
In a release, the Stampede says it’s a common injury among racehorses, and not unique to chuckwagon racing. The horse was part of Chad Harden’s team.