The Calgary Stampede, which begins July 6, announced plans to introduce more precise veterinary medicine to keep the horses from being injured or dying during the races where four wagons pulled by four horses each charge through a winding, half-mile dirt course, The Globe and Mail reported.
In the last 25 years, about 50 horses have died during chuckwagon racing, including six in the last two years. The deaths inspired the Stampede to research ways to protect the 7,500 animals that will take part in various events.
Veterinarians have already begun using electrocardiograms on the horses to monitor their heart rates before, during and after the races, and using the information to determine if a horse is healthy enough to compete.
"Nowadays, in veterinary medicine there's very much a push on for evidence-based decision making," said Greg Evans, chief veterinarian for the Stampede. "We want hard scientific data."
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