A chuckwagon driver was taken away in an ambulance at the Calgary Stampede Tuesday night after he fell off his wagon and went under the back wheel.
The World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) said the driver was Obrey Motowylo.
Calgary Stampede spokesperson Kristina Barnes said that Motowylo’s family said that he was being treated for a broken collarbone and will remain in the hospital for further testing.
Barnes added that Motowylo “is in good spirits” and “he’s thankful for all the support.”
Motowylo suffered the injury in Heat 8.
WATCH: The chuckwagon community is coming together after one of their own was seriously injured at the Rangeland Derby Tuesday night. As Bindu Suri reports, his fellow drivers are supporting him by taking the reins.
“Obrey came around that fourth barrel, his wagon tipped to the right,” Barnes explained.
“It corrected itself, as it did that Obrey came out of the wagon on the left side. As the wagon moved forward, it did make contact with Obrey.”
According to the WPCA’s website, Motowylo is 46 years old and hails from Bluffton, Alta. The website said he is heading into his 15th season driving chuckwagons.
“An afternoon downpour and light evening rains made for sticky racetrack conditions,” the WPCA said in a news release that recapped the evening’s races.
However, Barnes disputed the WPCA’s evaluation of the track’s conditions.
“ conditions were good in the Stampede’s judgement,” she said.
Race driver Jason Glass agrees the track conditions were not an issue.
“We take every precaution. The ground, the dirt — everything is inspected. The horses are vet checked. The wagons are checked,” Glass said.
“There’s always a risk out there, we all know it. It’s no different than most professional sports. You got to love what you do and the risks are always there,” Glass said.
Fellow driver Cody McCurrach will be taking his place at the event, Barnes said.
McCurrach said he didn’t hesitate to step up and help when he was asked by Motowylo, someone he has known for 20 years.
“He asked me to drive for him tonight. I said 100 per cent I would do that for him, ‘cause I know he would do the same for me if I was in that situation,” McCurrach said.
McCurrach said the incident was a series of unfortunate circumstances.
“I don’t think I would have done anything different from Obrey,” McCurrach said. “He was having a really good turn of the barrels. He has some great horses over there. That’s just something that’s unfortunate. It happens. It’s rare that it happens.”
Watch below: In July 2017, Gil Tucker filed this report on improving chuckwagon safety being the focus of new research at the University of Calgary.
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