Woman, 30, dies after being trampled by horses at Ponoka Stampede exercise

A woman died while practicing for the opening act at the Ponoka Stampede on Sunday night.

Ponoka RCMP was called to the local rodeo site just after 7pm to assist EMS with an injured woman.

In a press release, RCMP in the central Alberta community said a 30-year-old woman was thrown from her horse, trampled by other horses and died of her injuries.

Jason Cline, the president of the Ponoka Stampede, said the tragedy happened during rehearsal time prior to the opening act.

“It’s an accident and, you know, accidents happen whether you’re setting up a rodeo or driving on the highway,” he said Monday.

“It was unforeseen. It was unavoidable at this point – so you just have to work to get past it and do our best to honor the individual and make sure we have the best safety protocols in place.”

Click to play video: 'Woman dies after being trampled by horses during Ponoka Stampede exercise'

Woman dies after being trampled by horses at Ponoka Stampede exercise

Woman dies after being trampled by horses at Ponoka Stampede exercise

Cline said death is hard for everyone involved and he got emotional talking about it.

“It’s tough. You know, this community is a small community — not just Ponoka, but the equestrian and rodeo community in general.

“This person was clearly an experienced person and it was an accident. And it will take its toll on a lot of people – it probably hasn’t really hit today.”

The identity of the murdered woman was not released.

Read more:

Family of young rodeo star Ty Pozzobon worried about concussion after his death

Occupational health and safety is investigating after a volunteer on horseback fell from the horse and suffered fatal injuries, Department of Labor spokesman Roy Dallmann told Global News.

“OHS has issued a verbal stop-work order to the Ponoka Stampede & Exhibition Association covering only the ‘wild horse’ segment of the grandstand ceremonies,” Dallmann said in a statement.

Both RCMP and the Department of Labor said no further comments would be made as OHS takes over the case.

The annual event in downtown Alberta began Monday and continues through Saturday.

Ponoka is about 90 miles south of Edmonton.

Click to play video: 'The Ponoka Stampede Celebrates 80 Years'

The Ponoka Stampede is 80 years old

The Ponoka Stampede Celebrates 80 Years – July 2, 2016

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.