BRITISH COLUMBIA
08/19/2014 07:39 EDT | Updated 10/19/2014 05:59 EDT

Redstone Rodeo Horse Race Accident Kills Merritt, B.C. Man

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - A horse race down a steep mountain slope in the B.C. Interior has claimed the life of a 44-year-old man.

The accident occurred Sunday afternoon at the Redstone Rodeo near the community of Alexis Creek, about 660 kilometres north of Vancouver.

Coroner Barb McLintock says some of the horses in the "high-risk sport" got too close to each other and three riders tumbled off their horses at a high rate of speed.

Jason Coutlee, of Merritt, B.C., was rushed to a medical clinic in Alexis Creek but died en route to Kelowna General Hospital.

Rodeo president Gerald William says eight riders were competing for a top prize of about $1,100, and the death was the first in the event's 16-year history.

The coroners service is investigating.

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