When Lee Graves came out to the parking lot to find his truck and loaded trailer missing, he did what any cowboy would do: chase the thief down and try to save his horses.
Top photo: A cowboy wrestling down a steer. Matt Millham/Wikimedia Commons
World champion steer wrestler Lee Graves isn’t a stranger to chasing things down. Steer wrestling, of course, is all about catching and restraining runaway animals, and Graves is one of the best in the country, able to wrestle a 500-pound steer to the ground in less than 5 seconds.
Lee Graves, doing what he does best
But when his horses went missing, Graves had a different kind of chase on his hands. While competing at the Calgary Stampede last week in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, he parked his truck and trailer, with three of his best steer wrestling and roping horses inside, at the Black Diamond Hotel around midnight. When he headed back to the parking lot an hour later, the whole rig was gone, horses included. An initial search by the police turned up no leads–but Graves spotted his truck and trailer later, his horses Dave, HYTY and Snap still inside.
Graves climbed right up on the running board and tried to reason with the driver for the sake of his horses, pleading with the thief not to hurt his animals. In response, the thief accelerated, driving through a barrier to knock Graves from the truck. He then sped off, horses still in tow. Police found the rig abandoned a few hours later, with the horses lathered and frightened. Despite their wild ride, the horses suffered only minor scrapes and bruises–the same can be said of Graves, who is banged up from being thrown off of his own truck. While Graves competed throughout the rest of the Calgary Stampede, his horses were scratched so they could heal.
23-year-old Joshua Lemire was later found and arrested to face numerous charges, including dangerous driving causing bodily harm and endangering animals.
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