Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon Horses Died Of Ruptured Aortic Aneurysm, Autopsy Shows

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Wes, a Clydesdale horse from McLaughlin stables in Hayley, Ont., has his tack put on by a groom before a competition at the Calgary Stampede in Calgary, Sunday, July 8, 2012. This is the 100th anniversary of the Stampede which runs for 10 days featuring rodeo action, chuckwagon races, a midway, agricultural exhibits and live stock competitions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh | CP

CALGARY - An autopsy has revealed what caused a horse to collapse and die at the Calgary Stampede Thursday night.

The Stampede says in a release the horse suffered from a weak blood vessel in the heart that burst, causing blood to fill the animal's abdomen.

Chief veterinarian Greg Evans says the condition is undetectable in animals and could have ruptured at any time during exercise.

That horse's collapse caused a crash that injured two others so badly they had to be euthanized on the track.

A fourth horse needed surgery and is expected to survive.

The Vancouver Humane Society wants the chuckwagon races to be shut down while an investigation is conducted.

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