The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Former 'Price is Right' host comes down on game show over Calgary Stampede prize

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CALGARY - A prize giveaway from "The Price is Right" for a trip to two to mark the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede has former host Bob Barker stomping mad.

The show, now hosted by Drew Carey, awarded a five-day trip for two to the Stampede in July on Wednesday's show.

This year is the 100th anniversary for what is dubbed the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

"If I had been there, it would never in the world have happened," Barker said in an interview with The Canadian Press from his home in Hollywood, Calif.

"In fact, if I had been there, the people I worked with would never even have suggested it. But it has happened and it's very regrettable."

"The Price is Right'' on CBS has been handing out cash and prizes to lucky winners for almost four decades.

Drew Carey took over as host of the popular program in 2007 when Barker retired after 35 years with the show.

Barker said his knowledge of the Stampede is that it's "notorious for horses falling to their deaths."

"This Calgary Stampede is just an egregious example of inhumane treatment for animals. To give that prize away, I think, is utterly disgusting."

"Where is the show going next in the quest for prizes? You have to wonder what's next — a trip to Alaska to shoot wolves?"

But Barker acknowledges that as executive producer he was able to maintain control of the long-running show, including refusing to give away furs or cars that had leather interiors.

He doesn't blame his replacement for what has happened.

"Drew, bless him, is an animal lover because the first thing he told me when he and I shook hands was he was going to do my spay and neuter plug every show as long as he was the host. I said, 'thank you so much,' and he has done it," said Barker.

"Now he may not have any control over the prizes."

An official with the Calgary Stampede shrugged off the criticism, saying a lot of progress has been made in the area of animal safety.

"We're proud of our animal care and the way we treat animals," said Doug Fraser. "We're very proud of the way we've advanced our animal care program over the past few years so we'll just leave it at that."

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