By Ryan McCracken on June 16, 2017.
Medicine Hat News
Friday night started on a sombre note for fans and riders alike at Day 2 of the World Professional Chuckwagon Association races at the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede grandstand.
DeWinton’s Dayton Sutherland and Warburg’s Blaid Flad collided entering the final turn of the first heat, sending both racers tumbling to the dirt while knocking over three of Flad’s horses and two of Sutherland’s.
Race officials and team members scrambled to assist the fallen wagons. No drivers or outriders were injured in the crash, though one horse was euthanized after sustaining serious injury and undergoing a thorough evaluation.
“In accordance with Section 3 of the WPCA Code of Care and under the direct supervision and recommendation of two veterinarians, the horse was euthanized,” the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede said in a press release. “All horse care protocols and the WPCA Code Care were in place and the horse was immediately placed under a veterinarian’s expert care. Both the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede and the WPCA take animal welfare seriously.”
The Medicine Hat News reached out to the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede on various occasions and left messages with Stampede general manager Jim MacArthur and the WPCA asking for further information, though direct requests for comment were denied and no messages were returned by press deadline.
Jim Knight held a lead entering the final turn and managed to avoid the crash, finishing with a time of 1:03.89 to win the heat.
Gary Gorst finished with the night’s best time, winning the ninth heat in 1:02.21. Chad Fike followed up in second with a time of 1:02.77 in the 10th heat and Obrey Motowylo won the main event to take third on the day at 1:02.79.
Gorst now leads the aggregate with a combined time of 2:05.30, followed by Friday’s winner, Kurt Bensmiller, at 2:05.31 and reigning world champion Luke Tournier at 2:05.40.
Racing continues Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. The top three drivers entering Sunday’s races will compete in a winner-take-all dash for the championship.
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