Former Williams Lake resident and steer wrestling world champion Lee Graves was involved in an unfortunate and bizarre incident just prior to the start of the Calgary Stampede.
Graves, who had just returned home to Alberta after competing at the Williams Lake Stampede only a few days earlier, found himself chasing down a crook instead of a cow this time.
RCMP in Black Diamond, AB say shortly before midnight (PT) on Tuesday, July 8 they received reports of a stolen truck and horse trailer containing three horses.
The horses belonging to Graves were valuable roping and steer wrestling horses — Dave, HYTY and Snap.
RCMP say Graves had parked his truck and trailer alongside the Black Diamond Hotel an hour earlier but noticed it gone when he came out.
Police were patrolling the area and later Graves spotted his rig in Black Diamond.
He was able to climb onto the running boards of the truck and pleaded with the driver to stop for fear of injury to his horses.
The driver sped away and crashed into a barrier, throwing Graves off the vehicle.
Police located the rig abandoned in Turner Valley a short time later with all three horses still inside.
RCMP say the horses were very distraught and sustained cuts and bruising from being slammed around during the driving.
Unfortunately the horses had to be pulled from the upcoming Calgary Stampede.
Graves suffered minor injuries but was able to compete at the Stampede through the weekend.
The canine team was called in a short time after the driver was located. RCMP arrested Joshua Lemire, 23, of Turner Valley.
Lemire is now facing charges of theft over $5,000, dangerous driving causing bodily harm, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, endangering animals and failing to remain at the scene of an accident.
Lemire, who is well known to police, was also arrested for breaching an unrelated court order and was set to appear in court July 15.